And he said,
Hagar, Sarai's maid, where did
you come from? and where will you go?
And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.
Read Chapter 16
Didymus the Blind
Moreover, when the beauty of the spiritual law is illuminated, that which is no more than shadow flees. Sacrifices that are luminous compared with those of “the shadow” were in fact announced in the transmitted teaching and have been effectively introduced in practice. Likewise too “that which was only partial” is abolished when that which is perfect is present. A case of “fleeing far from the face” is the one who, on hearing the Lord say, you must “be born from above,” inquires, “How can a man be born when he is old?” for he is interpreting a divine saying in human terms. ...
From this text one gains insight into the virtue of Hagar as well, and one becomes aware that she is a woman not to be despised since an angel converses with her and shows concern for her that is hardly superficial, for it is evidently by the will of God that [the angel speaks]. It is not at all improbable that Hagar was a person of zeal, because she was chosen by the holy woman Sarah to sleep with Abraham. Her nobility of soul is likewise shown by the fact that she says, “I am fleeing from my mistress, Sarah,” without saying anything bad about her. We earlier had hypothesized that Sarah represented virtue and a spiritual understanding of the Scriptures but that Hagar represented the introductory knowledge and the shadow. One who approaches the divine teaching should listen to Scripture in such a way as to understand it first according to the letter, while grasping its spirit gradually and in due order. Sarah’s child therefore requires an introductory course so that by this means he mi...