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1. The evidence on which the assumed fact rests is both deficient (1) Inconin amount and suspicious in character. Not more than two independent clusive witnesses, if they be independent, have, so far as I know, been produced. * (i) Chrysostom at the close of the fourth century in his exposition of Chrysothis epistle writes somewhat obscurely; ‘Hagar was the name of the stom. bondmaid; and Mount Sinai is so interpreted in their native tongue (ro 8è 2wa 3pos ooro uséeppnveilerai rā intoxopio adrów y\cirrm);’ and afterwards he speaks of the mountain as ‘bearing the same name with the bondmaid (óudovvuov ri 800Am).’ To the same effect writes Theophylact, who is often a mere echo of Chrysostom, as do one or two anonymous commentators in the CEcumenian Catena, without doubt deriving their information from the same source". (ii) The Bohemian traveller Harant, who visited Sinai in the year Harant. 1598, says: ‘The Arabian and Mauritanian heathen call Mount Sinai Agar or Tur".” Though, for anything that is found in the context, this might have been written without a thought of the passage of St Paul, yet I think it hardly probable. Luther, following Erasmus, had maintained this inter- Their pretation; and from the enormous popularity of his commentaries on the stateGalatians, it is likely that they were known to Harant, who himself ulti- :...d mately became a protestant. If so, he did not necessarily derive his inform-for. ation from the Arabs on the spot, but may have accepted without question the popular statement, as more recent travellers have done. In later works of travel I have not found any direct personal testimony to this assumed fact. If there be any, it will from the nature of the case require careful sifting. The word “Hagar’ (Chagar) meaning “a rock, or “a stone,’ must be heard again and again from native lips in this wild region”; and a traveller, once possessed of the idea, might easily elicit the word from his Arab guide by a leading question, and on the strength of an
work was written in Bohemian, but
1 Chrysostom's interpretation of the passage in St Paul may perhaps underlie the account of the word “Hagar' given in Bar Bahlul's Syriac Lexicon,
a miswriting of the name of a traveller
answer thus obtained unsuspiciously confirm the statement that it was a
The proper name “Hagar,’ with the simple aspirate (h)n, in Arabic jo-lo), signifies “a wanderer or fugitive, being connected with the Arabic “Hegira”
(2) False etymology.
1 Older critics, as Bochart and others (le Moyne War. Sacr. p. 834, Pfeiffer Op. 1. p. 504), assert that Petra itself bears the name Hagar (Chagar) in Arabic writers, just as in Greek it is
called IIárpa, and in Hebrew yop,
the desert on the way to Egypt. In
or ) in Belka, and that the
appearance of “Belka' in the Arabic
, and to this identity of meaning
in “Sinai' and “Hagar” he supposes Chrysostom to allude. But even if the account which Fürst gives of the word "2"b were altogether satisfactory, it would still remain in the highest degree improbable that Chrysostom should be acquainted with an etymology so abstruse.
the familiar term for the flight of Mahomet (compare also the Hebrew *]; and ny'). Thus it has nothing in common with ‘Chagar,’ ‘a stone'
that the gutturals are closely allied, and were sometimes confounded";
3. But lastly, is it probable, supposing this to have been St Paul's (3) St meaning, that he would have expressed himself as he has done? If in Paul's
writing to a half-Greek, half-Celtic people he ventured to argue from an Arabic word at all, he would at all events be careful to make his drift intelligible. But how could his readers be expected to put the right interpretation on the words “this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia’? How could they
tion of the gutturals to each other, see
. ... , Arabibus Josu- Hagiar, hoc est,
language. Philo's allegory,
possibly understand, knowing nothing of Arabic, that he meant to say, “this word Hagar in the Arabic tongue stands for Mount Sinai’s Even if it be granted that his readers were acquainted with the fact which was the key to his meaning, is €v ri, 'Apašig at all a likely expression to be used by any writer for év rà 'Apašuxi, y\dororm or "ApaGuart, unless it were made intelligible by the context? Yet this is the meaning generally assigned to év ri, 'Apašíg by those commentators, ancient or modern, who adopt the interpretation in question, and indeed seems to be required to justify that interpretation.
In the face of these difficulties, it seems at least improbable that the point of the passage is the identity of ‘Hagar’ and ‘Sinai’ as different names of the same mountain, and the reading which retains ‘Hagar'in the text loses any support which it may seem to draw from this identity, assumed as a fact.
Philo's allegory of Hagar and Sarah'.
In giving an allegorical meaning to this passage of the Old Testament narrative St Paul did not stand alone. It might be inferred indeed from his own language that such applications of the history of Hagar and Sarah were not uncommon in the schools of his day”. But, however this may be, it is more than once so applied in the extant works of Philo. I have already pointed out the contrast presented by his treatment of the history of Abraham in general to the lessons which it suggests to the Apostle of the Gentiles. This contrast extends to the application of the allegorical method to this portion of the sacred narrative. Philo's allegory is as follows.
Abraham—the human soul progressing towards the knowledge of God —unites himself first with Sarah and then with Hagar. These two alliances stand in direct opposition the one to the other". Sarah, the princess—for such is the interpretation of the word"—is divine wisdom. To her therefore Abraham is bidden to listen in all that she says. On the other hand Hagar, whose name signifies ‘sojourning’ (rapoikmats), and points therefore to something transient and unsatisfying, is a preparatory or intermediate
training—the instruction of the schools—secular learning, as it might be termed in modern phrase". Hence she is fitly described as an Egyptian, as Sarah's handmaid. Abraham's alliance with Sarah is at first premature. He is not sufficiently advanced in his moral and spiritual development to profit thereby. As yet he begets no son by her. She therefore directs him to go in to her handmaid, to apply himself to the learning of the schools. This inferior alliance proves fruitful at once. At a later date and after this preliminary training he again unites himself to Sarah; and this time his union with divine wisdom is fertile. Not only does Sarah bear him a son, but she is pointed out as the mother of a countless offspring”. Thus is realised the strange paradox that “the barren woman is most fruitful.” Thus in the progress of the human soul are verified the words of the prophet, spoken in an allegory, that ‘the desolate hath many children”.' But the allegory does not end here. The contrast between the mothers is reproduced in the contrast between the sons. Isaac represents the wisdom of the wise man, Ishmael the sophistry of the sophist”. Sophistry must in the end give place to wisdom. The son of the bondwoman must be cast out and flee before the son of the princess". Such is the ingenious application of Philo—most like and yet most compared unlike that of St Paul. They both allegorize, and in so doing they touch with St upon the same points in the narrative, they use the same text by way of * illustration. Yet in their whole tone and method they stand in direct contrast, and their results have nothing in common. Philo is, as usual, wholly unhistorical. With St Paul on the other hand Hagar's career is an allegory, because it is a history. The symbol and the thing symbolized are the same in kind. The simple passage of patriarchal life represents in miniature the workings of God's providence hereafter to be exhibited in grander proportions in the history of the Christian Church. The Christian