I remember my early church-going days and the common story told of Sarah having a baby at the ripe old age of 90, which always sparked my imagination. How could a woman of such an advanced maternal age bear a child? But after reading the Apostle Paul’s writings in Galatians 4-22 through 31 saying that this story is an allegory, I had to do some soul-searching and re-evaluate my beliefs because the church was teaching this like it actually happened. The Bible is very clear not to interpret this as actual history, as you will see below.
What is an allegory? It’s a fictional story with fictional characters used to convey a deeper truth.
First of all, here are the actual passages:
Galatians 4-22 through 31 (KJV)
22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
So, if it’s an allegory and never happened, what deeper meaning is it really trying to convey to us? Let’s break this down so that we can actually understand what it is saying and discover the hidden meaning so that we can apply the knowledge to our own lives because clearly the church cannot be trusted to do just that.
Okay, so Sarah’s maid, Agar or later Hagar is symbolic of the physical or material side. It mentions the physical city of Jerusalem and bondage, which tie in with the lower mind. That’s what this maid represents.
“But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all” is referring to Sarah, the spiritual side of our consciousness, that’s what Sarah represents. So what this is talking about is not two people, not three people, not children. It’s talking about your mind. You have a mind on the left side which is connected to the physical, to the three dimensions of reality on planet Earth, and you know about Jerusalem which is in the Middle East. But there is another Jerusalem which is inside of you, which is in the mind in the right hemisphere, which is the mother of us all. The dwelling place of what science calls in your brain Pia Mater or tender mother.
Okay, so here we have a confirmation from the Bible itself that the story means something else other than what a literal interpretation can give you, it’s an allegory and the Bible defines for us the nature of the story and what it really means.
Let’s break it down step by step.
4. Jerusalem is the city in the Middle East in Israel that we know about or is the invisible place of the mind where God dwells, the city of peace.
So that’s how the two are injected into the story in a mythological or allegorical way. The story of Abraham and Sarah never happened and is proven by the Bible itself. It is a story of a struggle between the physical three-dimensional side of the human being against the non-physical, invisible, quantum or spiritual side, and that is the nature of every story in the Bible. They did not happen but they do happen to us. Every one of us is Abraham whether you’re male or female, and in a figurative sense we intercourse with Hagar all the time and we produce offspring which are our thoughts, and our actions give birth to things out of communicating with the left side, whether we take part in school or whether we take part in government, whether we take part in jobs or whatever it is. Everything that we give thought to on that side we produce both positive and negative results, that’s Hagar. We also intercourse with Hagar in our meditations, the endless random chatter that attempts to distract you from intercoursing with the divine within. But in meditation, when we intercourse with Sarah, there is produced in this quantum world of what we call spirit the child of promise, and in this case, it turns out to be Isaac, basically the father of Judaism.
God promises to give Sarah a baby even though she’s 90 and Abraham is 99. This is the child of promise which is always given in the Bible to a woman who is either barren or a virgin. Every one of the males who turn out to be the heroes of the Bible are born of a woman who is either a virgin or who is barren. In this particular case, Sarah is barren. In other words, it is a spiritual child and it cannot be produced in the normal sexual way, it is produced in a spiritual, quantum, invisible way.
So Isaac is born and becomes the father of the Jewish people but before this birth takes place Sarah tells Abraham he wants Hagar and the child that they produced sent off into the desert to fend for themselves in the wilderness. Hagar has given birth to a child named Ishmael. There are two sides to this story. The Hebrew side has Isaac being the father of the Jewish religion and the other side is equally fascinating because Ishmael becomes the father of the Muslim religion. The Bible portrays Ishmael in the negative light whereas the Quran portrays Ishmael in a positive light. The problem with this, however, is the fact that the Bible we have tells us this is an allegory, tells us that Hagar represents the physical and tells us that Sarah represents the spiritual or the Jerusalem which is above. Now once we can accept this as mythology, and that can be a hard thing to do, we can then unravel the story as a deep explanation as to what goes on in that quantum or spiritual realm which is within us all.
10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.
13 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the Lord.
14 Thus saith the Lord against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.
We formulate our minds based on our physical contacts from birth. Our parents train us, our friends train us, school trains us, the church trains us, the military trains us, the corporations train us. Everything is put together and that’s who we are. That is Hagar. We never bother with the inner mind, which is accessible through meditation. There is where we are barren, there is where the wilderness exists. But you know what? No matter how long that beautiful place has been left barren, it is ready as soon as you touch it to bring forth to you the child of promise.
And to top this story off, just to prove that it is all about consciousness, Abraham was 99 and Sarah was 90. Remember that the numbers have meaning, too. The number 9 is mysticism means consciousness.
Sarah was 90. 9+0=9