What was the gist of the opening dialogue between the angel and Hagar?
Seforno: The angel was asking her what she was doing traveling away from the holy dwelling of a Tzadik, on her way to Chutz la'Aretz, a Tamei place where Resha'im live. To which she replied that she was not going anywhere in particular, 1 but that she was simply running away from her mistress who was tormenting her.
Chochmah u'Musar (Vol. 2, p. 339): She said that after overtly seeing Emunah in Avraham's house, nothing could hurt her (spiritually). The angel rejected this. In the house of Tzadikim you were careful from all sin, but in a house of Resha'im one stumbles through anything.... It is better to return and be afflicted, as the verse states, "Tov Li Ki Uneisi, Lema'an Elmad Chukecha" (Tehilim 119:71).
QUESTIONS ON RASHI
Rashi writes: "'Where are you coming from' (Ei mi'Zeh Ba's) - The literal translation is, 'Where is the place about which you say, 'I come from there''?" Why did the angel phrase the question in this unusual way?
Gur Aryeh: The question is not merely, "Where are you coming from?", but also, "What are you doing here?" The angel asks, "What explanation would you give when I ask what you are doing here?"; therefore, Hagar answered, "I am running away from Sarah, my mistress."