The story of the dismissal of Hagar and Ishmael, and the revelation (xxi.
Thackeray, Relation of St Paul to contemporary Jewish Thought (London, 1900), pp. 196 sqq.; Hagar typifies the old Sinaitic covenant, and Sarah represents the new covenant of freedom from bondage.
The principal ruin, of Roman origin and now called Deir el Hagar (the stone convent), is of considerable size.
The traditions recording the separation of Lot from Abraham, of Hagar and Ishmael from Isaac, and of Esau from Jacob, although at present arranged in a descending scheme of family relationship, are the result of systematic grouping and cannot express any chronological order of events (see Genesis).
Another tradition places the expulsion of Hagar after the birth of Isaac. It was thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael, according to the latest narratives, that God appeared unto Abram with a renewed promise that his posterity should inhabit the land.
The triviality of these rites is ill concealed by the legends of the sa'y of Hagar and of the tawaf being first performed by Adam in imitation of the circuit of the angels about the throne of God; the meaning of their ceremonies seems to have been almost a blank to the Arabs before Islam, whose religion had become a mere formal tradition.
The brick enclosure wall of the temple is still plainly visible near the little village of Sa el hagar (Sa of stone) on the east bank of the Rosetta branch, but the royal tombs and other monuments of Sais, some of which were described by Herodotus, and its inscribed records, have all gone.