(flight), an Egyptian woman, the handmaid or slave of Sarah (Genesis 16:1), whom the latter gave as a concubine to Abraham, after he had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan and had no children by Sarah (Genesis 16:2, 3). When Hagar saw that she had conceived, “her mistress was despised in her eyes,” v. 4, and Sarah, with the anger, we may suppose, of a free woman rather than of a wife, reproached Abraham for the results of her own act. Hagar fled, turning her steps toward her native land through the great wilderness traversed by the Egyptian road. By the fountain in the way to Shur the angel of the Lord found her, charged her to return and submit herself under the hands of her mistress, and delivered the remarkable prophecy respecting her unborn child recorded in v. 10-12. On her return she gave birth to Ishmael, and Abraham was then eighty-six years old. When Ishmael was about sixteen years old, he was caught by Sarah making sport of her young son Isaac at the festival of his weaning, and Sarah demanded the expulsion of Hagar and her son. She again fled toward Egypt, and when in despair at the want of water, an angel again appeared to her, pointed out a fountain close by, and renewed the former promises to her (Genesis 21:9-21). Paul refers to her as the type of the old covenant of the law (Galatians 4:25).
Smith's Bible Names Dictionary (1866).