The daughter of Pharaoh


Photo credit:   Stephanie Thornton’s Daughter of the Gods

Probably not many of us knew that the rabbis such as Rashi presents Hagar, the wife of Patriarch Abraham as : Bath Par’o hayetah בַּת פַּרְעֹה הָיְתָה, or she was the daughter of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. She was an undoubtedly an Egyptian princess.

Hagar הָגָר, an Egyptian Princess

Interestingly the name Hagar is mentioned in Torah 12 times (i), as the name of Prophet Ishmael (ص) (Ar. إسماعيل‎ ʾIsmāʿīl) is also mentioned in the holy Qur’an 12 times (ii). It is obvious that God preserves the name Hagar in the Torah as He also preserves the name Ishmael in the holy Qur’an.

In Gen. 16:1: where Rashi wrote that she was the daughter of Pharaoh (Genesis Rabbah 45:1).  The midrashim present Hagar as someone who was worthy to live with Abraham because she was herself a princess, and was a fitting match for the Patriarch of all Prophets/Kings , the mother of prophet Ishmael, from whom 12 twelve kings were born, one of whom  Kedar קֵדָר  Prophet Muhammad (ص) is the direct descendant of. It is no coincidence that God also preserves the name Kedar in the TaNaKH 12 times (iii).

It is unfortunate that many christians have developed a racist view and hatred towards the Hagar and her descendant: the Arabs seeing them and muslims as the Hagarenes  a derogatory term and negative connotation. From the spread of Islam, through the middle ages until modern day phenomenon known as Islamophobia.

This attitude are based on their understanding of some passages in the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh)  for example the term “wild ass of a man” (Heb: פֶּ֣רֶא אָדָ֔ם pere’āḏāmin Genesis 16:12 which we have dealt briefly in this site:  part I of series about prophet Ishmael (p) in the Tanakh  and concluded that the translation should be a “fruitful man” which makes much more sense of  another way of stating what appears unambiguously in Genesis 17:20, Ishmael (p)  will be blessed by God him and  be made fruitful (to humankind).

Hagar through whom Abrahamic Everlasting Covenant was passed.

God has established a unique relationship with Prophet Abraham and his offsprings and subsequently His relationship with all the nations of the world.

The Abrahamic Covenant in the Tanakh is in Genesis 12:1-3:

וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ׃

Now the LORD said unto Abram: ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will show thee.

וְאֶֽעֶשְׂךָ֙ לְג֣וֹי גָּד֔וֹל וַאֲבָ֣רֶכְךָ֔ וַאֲגַדְּלָ֖ה שְׁמֶ֑ךָ וֶהְיֵ֖ה בְּרָכָֽה׃

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.

’וַאֲבָֽרֲכָה֙ מְבָ֣רְכֶ֔יךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ֖ אָאֹ֑ר וְנִבְרְכ֣וּ בְךָ֔ כֹּ֖ל מִשְׁפְּחֹ֥ת הָאֲדָמָֽה׃

And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

It was through the Circumcision (Heb: בְּרִית מִילָה‎ brit milah) this covenant was sealed  (Gen. 17:9-14).

זֹ֣את בְּרִיתִ֞י אֲשֶׁ֣ר תִּשְׁמְר֗וּ בֵּינִי֙ וּבֵ֣ינֵיכֶ֔ם וּבֵ֥יןזַרְעֲךָ֖ אַחֲרֶ֑יךָ הִמּ֥וֹל לָכֶ֖ם כָּל־זָכָֽר

This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed זֶרַע (Heb:zera’)after thee: every male among you shall be circumcised. (Gen 17:10)

On the very same day, Abraham,  and his son from Hagar: Ishmael, were the first two men to be circumcised sealing this God covenant. (Ref: Genesis 17:24-27)

It is also very important to note that out of all Abraham sons only through Hagar and Sarah (ie. Ishmael and Isaac) they were called “Seeds of Abraham”  (Heb: זַרְעֲךָ֖ zera’kha-hu), No other Abraham sons were called by this very special title in the TaNaKH.


i. Hagar in the Torah ii. Ishmael in the holy Qur’an iii. Kedar in the TaNaKH
1 Genesis 16:1 Al Baqarah 125 Genesis 25:13
2 Genesis 16:3 Al Baqarah 127 1 Chronicles 1:29
3 Genesis 16:4 Al Baqarah 133 Psalm 120:5
4 Genesis 16:8 Al Baqarah 136 Songs 1:5
5 Genesis 16:15 Al Baqarah 140 Isaiah 21:16
6 Genesis 16:15  (rep) Ali ’Imran 84 Isaiah 21:17
7 Genesis 16:16 An Nisa 163 Isaiah 42:11
8 Genesis 21:9 Al An’am 86 Isaiah 60:7
9 Genesis 21:14 Abraham 39 Jeremiah 2:10
10 Genesis 21:17 Mary 54 Jeremiah 49:28
11 Genesis 21:17 Al Anbiya 85 Jeremiah 49:28
12 Genesis 25:12 Sad 48 Ezekiel 27:21

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