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The Egyptian maidservant whom Sarah gave to Abraham as his concubine; she bore him Ishmael. There are two stories concerning Hagar, both showing the rivalry between her and Sarah (Gen 16:1-16; Gen 21:8-21). These stories are meant to show that Ishmael’s descendants, the bedouins living to the south of the Israelites, were of the same stock as the Hebrews, but from a religiously less important branch of the family. The inferiority of Hagar and Ishmael is used allegorically in the NT by Paul (Gal 4:21-31).