June 28, 2024
Ministry Voice

Understanding the Meaning of Hagar in Greek


Parts of Speech: Proper Name Feminine

Hagar Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 2
Hagar = “flight”

  1. Abraham’s concubine and mother to Ishmael


What is the significance of Hagar in the Greek translation of the Bible?

Hagar, a figure in the biblical narrative, holds a significant place in the Greek translation of the Bible. In the context of the Bible, the name “Hagar” in Greek means “forsaken” or “flight.” Hagar appears in the Book of Genesis as Sarah’s Egyptian handmaiden, who later becomes the mother of Ishmael, the ancestor of the Islamic nations.

The story of Hagar is a tale of hardship, resilience, and divine intervention. After being mistreated by Sarah, Hagar flees into the wilderness, where she encounters an angel of the Lord who promises her descendants too numerous to count. This encounter marks the first time in the Bible that an angel appears to a woman, highlighting Hagar’s importance in the narrative.

In the Greek translation of the Bible, Hagar’s story symbolizes the plight of the oppressed and marginalized. Her journey from being a slave to becoming a matriarch represents the theme of God’s compassion and provision for those who are downtrodden. The name “Hagar” itself carries the weight of her experiences, emphasizing her sense of abandonment and isolation.

How is Hagar portrayed in the Greek text of the Bible compared to other translations?

Hagar is a significant figure in the Bible, primarily known for her role in the story of Abraham and Sarah. In the Greek text of the Bible, Hagar’s name is spelled as ‘Αγαρ,’ which is a transliteration of the Hebrew name ‘Hagar.’ The meaning of the name Hagar in Greek carries the idea of ‘fleeing’ or ‘sojourner,’ reflecting her status as a foreign maid servant in the household of Abraham and Sarah.

When we analyze the portrayal of Hagar in the Greek text compared to other translations, there are subtle differences in emphasis and interpretation. The Greek text often highlights Hagar’s struggles and her status as a marginalized woman, emphasizing her vulnerability and humanity.

In the story of Hagar, she is portrayed as a maid servant who is mistreated by her mistress Sarah, eventually leading to her fleeing into the wilderness. The Greek text conveys a sense of empathy towards Hagar, emphasizing her plight as a woman who is caught in a difficult situation beyond her control.

On the other hand, some translations of the Bible may focus more on the role of Hagar as a means to fulfill the promise of God to Abraham, highlighting her as a vehicle for the continuation of his lineage. These translations may downplay Hagar’s personal struggles and emphasize her role in the broader narrative of the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham.

Despite these variations in emphasis, the story of Hagar in the Bible serves as a reminder of the complexities of human relationships and the consequences of mistreatment and exploitation. The Greek text, with its nuanced portrayal of Hagar’s character, invites readers to consider the significance of her story beyond just her role in the lineage of Abraham.

What Theological Themes are Associated with the Depiction of Hagar in the Greek Context of the Bible?

In the Greek context of the Bible, the name Hagar holds significant theological themes that shed light on the narrative of this biblical figure. Hagar, whose name means “forsaken” or “stranger,” is introduced in the Old Testament as the Egyptian maidservant of Sarah, the wife of Abraham. The story of Hagar unfolds in the book of Genesis, where she plays a crucial role in the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham.

One theological theme associated with the depiction of Hagar is the concept of God’s faithfulness and ability to work through unlikely circumstances. Despite being a foreigner and a servant, Hagar becomes a central figure in the divine plan of redemption. Her encounter with the angel of the Lord in the wilderness, where she receives a promise regarding her son Ishmael, showcases God’s compassion and provision even in the midst of difficult situations.

Another theological theme related to Hagar is the idea of God’s inclusivity and concern for the marginalized. As a maidservant from Egypt, Hagar occupies a low social status in the patriarchal society of her time. However, God sees her distress and hears her cries, demonstrating His concern for the disenfranchised and oppressed. The naming of the well in the wilderness where Hagar receives divine intervention as Beer-lahai-roi, meaning “the well of the Living One who sees me,” underscores the personal care and attention that God extends to individuals like Hagar.


In conclusion, the name Hagar holds deep significance in the context of the Bible, particularly in the story of Hagar and Ishmael. The Greek origin of the name “Hagar” means “flight” or “stranger,” highlighting the journey of Hagar as she fled from her difficult circumstances and found solace in the presence of God. Through the lens of Greek etymology, we can further appreciate the themes of exile, perseverance, and divine intervention woven into the narrative of Hagar, shedding light on the enduring relevance and power of her story for readers of the Bible today.

About the Author

Ministry Voice

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Want More Great Content?

Check Out These Articles