Genesis 21: 14-17 -Answering Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati

Was God unjust in sending Hagar out of Abraham’s dwelling?


 Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.


 

"And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Haggar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away….and she departed ….and she cast the child under one of the shrubs…… and she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad." 21: 14- 17.)

C. Now (gentle reader!) Look at the crooked doings of this Christian God! First he unjustly sided with Sarah (vide 21:12) and had Haggar driven out of the house. Then it is Haggar that lifted up her voice and wept whilst it was the lad's voice that God heard. How wonderful! Is not it? Can such a being ever be God! Can such a thing ever be found in the word of God? Excepting a few (ordinary) truths that could have been written by a man of ordinary intelligence, the whole book abounds in absurdities.

Answer: By now the readers should have noticed that Maharishi had a real comprehension problem. He was unable to read the entire text and understand the meaning in its context.

Let us read the entire text and derive the meaning.

Gen 21:12-21 But God said to Abraham, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called? Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he [is] your seed. So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting [it] on her shoulder, he gave [it] and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba.  And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs.  Then she went and sat down across from [him] at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, "Let me not see the death of the boy." So she sat opposite [him], and lifted her voice and wept.  And God heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, "What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he [is].  Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation."  Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. So God was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

We see the following facts:

(a) God had promised to Abraham that He will make Ishmael a great nation. Based on the faithful promise of God, Abraham sent out Hagar and Ishmael. So, it was nnot just siding with Sarah to drive out Hagar but a journey based on the promise of God. Remember that Abraham himself went out of his nation and home just like this based on the promise of God. So, there was nothing unjust.

(b) Now the water Hagar had, got over. From her words, “let me not see the death of the boy” we can understand that he was crying for water and about to die. So, when the LORD says “I heard the cry of the lad” the context is already given.

(c) As God promised to Abraham and then Hagar, God was with Ishmael. God did not leave Ishmael alone to call this journey as unjust.

It is not surprising that the Vedic Maharishi who does not have a God like this to trust and lean for comfort may find this as unjust.

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