When the three angels visit Avraham, the mefarshim go to length on why each Malach was needed and the different missions each was required to carry out - why don't we have the same when 5 malachim visited Hagar in the previous parsha and what were these 5 unique missions that required 5 malachim?

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    When did 5 angels visit Hagar? Please edit in which verse or commentary you're citing for the benefit of those not familiar. – Scimonster Dec 4 '16 at 16:07
  • the mefarshim go to length on why each Malach was needed and the different missions each was required to carry out Could you give an example of one such mefaresh? – mevaqesh Dec 4 '16 at 19:13

It appears that you are referencing Lech Lecha 16:9 - 12 since Raashi says

And the angel of the Lord said to her, etc.: For each statement, another angel was sent to her. Therefore, the word מַלְאָךְ, angel, is used with each statement. — [from Gen. Rabbah 45:7]

There are meforshim such as Rav Sorotzkin who explain that Hagar refused to listen to the malachim and in effect sent them back with the "mission" a failure. As a result, each message, being a different promise, required a different mal'ach.

  1. Go back to Sarai and bear this child who will be part of the family of Avram and Sarai.

She refused and had a miscarriage.

  1. Go back and you will have children who will become great.

This is similar to what happened with her (as Keturah) after the death of Sarah when Yitzchak brought her back to Avrohom.

She again refused and the mal'ach had to end his mission leaving her behind.

  1. You will get pregnant and have Yishmael who will be a wild man (פֶּרֶא אָדָם) and terrorize to world.

This is what she finally accepted and when she agreed to go back. This is analogous to the modern Arab mothers who raise their children to become terrorists.

Thus, each time it says וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה it was actually a new mission.

  • Then what was the reason the malach who asked her where she came from and where she is going, had to be replaced? What was the refusal there? – David Kenner Dec 4 '16 at 21:02
  • She absolutely refused to answer and did not pay attention to the Malach. Note that when Hashem asked Adam, he answered Him. – sabbahillel Dec 4 '16 at 23:41
  • Gen. 15:8 "..And she said, "From before Sarai my mistress, I am fleeing." She did answer the malach.? – David Kenner Dec 5 '16 at 0:55
  • Why did she merit to have 5 angels pursue her after her outright refusal?! I understand she merited because she left pharaoh to be with Avraham, but why was this so critical for gods plan?? – Draizy-Levi Pine Dec 5 '16 at 2:36
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    @DavidKenner The implication was that she would not return in any event. – sabbahillel Dec 5 '16 at 3:57

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