Hagar/Bilha and Zilpa


Why did Avrohom marry Hager?Hashem promised sarah that he would have a child so why the need to marry Hagar?AlsoHow come Bilha and zilpa are not considered Matriarchs they gave birth to the Shivutim too?Why did Yaakov need to marry them?

16 years


  1. The Midrash, Bereshit Rabbah 61:4, relates that Keturah was actually Hagar. The Midrash explains the reason for the name change that Hagar’s deeds were as beautiful as incense, the Hebrew word for incense is Ketoret, according to the Rabbis this teaches that Hagar did complete Teshuva for her actions in the past. The Midrash goes on to relate that in the same way that Avraham only divorced Hagar because Hashem commanded him to so too he only remarried her because Hashem commanded him to. The Zohar explains, 1:133, that Hashem commanded him to remarry because she was worthy of being Avraham’s wife.

    Even though Bilha and Zilpah started of as Yaakov’s concubines, they were elevated to the status of wives. The reason that they do not seem to be treated with the same kind of “respect” as Rachel and Leah is because their role was to bring one third of the Tribes into the
    world, however their input was of a physical nature and not a spiritual one.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team