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A Study of Sarai/Sarah - What I Didn't Know

Updated on September 17, 2014

When I started my study on Sarah, Abraham's wife, I went into it having a preset mind on who she was. After all, the coloring sheets in Sunday School showed an old woman with a baby, Isaac. But what I didn't know, actually, was more that I did know about her.

First, besides being Abraham's wife, she was his sister. Half-sister, they shared the same father. It is evidence by the scripture in Genesis 20: 12 But truly, she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father but not of my mother; and she became my wife. All these years, teaching the story in Sunday School and I never knew that. I also did not know that Sarah was beautiful. Actually, very beautiful.

When Abraham was 75 years old God told him to leave his home for the promised new land for him and his many descendants. Shortly after that there was a great famine in the land and Abraham and Sarah headed to Egypt.

Now in Genesis 12 Abraham says to Sarah, "I know that you are beautiful to behold. So when the Egyptians see you, they will kill me if they think I am your husband. But, if you tell them you are my sister (which he technically was not lying when he said this) they will spare me.

Here is the best part - first remember - Sarah is around 65 years old - From Genesis 12:14 And when Abram came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful.15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into Pharaoh’s house [harem].16 And he treated Abram well for her sake; he acquired sheep, oxen, he-donkeys, menservants, maidservants, she-donkeys, and camels.

At 65 Sarah joins Pharaoh's harem!!!! Wow - that was never in the coloring pages.

Now, this didn't set well with God, He causes all kinds of plagues for Pharaoh and Pharaoh catches on and asks Abraham, what is going on. Abraham confesses that he is Sarah's husband. Pharaoh lets him go with Sarah and with all the gifts Pharaoh had given him. Which, by the way, made Abraham a rich man.

When Sarah was about 76 years old she figured she would not be bearing any children for Abraham, so she offers her maid Hagar to Abraham to have a child with. And so Hagar becomes pregnant. Immediately Sarah hates and despises her.

I think Sarah was feeling pressure. God promises Abraham many descendants and she was not living up to God's promise. So she offers her maid. Which I think that secretly she really didn't want Abraham to take up the offer. But, being the man he was, he did, and he does, and has a son, Ishmael.

Sometimes are prayers are like this, we ask God for something but we can't wait until He answers us. Everything is in God's time.

Here is the part we know the best - Sarah is now 89 year old and she over hears the Lord telling Abraham that next year Sarah would be having a baby and Sarah laughs. God hears her laugh and questions Abraham on this - why would Sarah laugh - does she now know that nothing is to hard for the Lord to do!

Really God, cut the women a break, she 89 years old and she hears you telling her husband, that she is going to have a baby. I am not sure I would laugh or cry. But we know, it's again God's timing not ours.

Now Sarah and Abraham travel again and believe or not, she ends up in another harem, for the same reason as the first time, Abraham says, oh yes, this is my sister to Abimelech King of Gerar.

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said, Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken [as your own], for she is a man’s wife. Abimelech says he did know. Abraham had said she was his sister, and that he had not slept with Sarah so nothing had happened.

Now they must of been there for a while, because Genesis 20 ends with - 17 So Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his female slaves, and they bore children, 18 For the Lord had closed fast the wombs of all in Abimelech’s household because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

So finally I come to the part that we are familiar with, Sarah becomes pregnant and when Abraham is 100 years old gives birth to their son Isaac. But as Isaac grows up, Sarah becomes more jealous of Ishmael and Hagar. So she tells Abraham to cast them out, she doesn't want Ishmael to be sharing with Isaac as an heir. Abraham does as he is asked.

Sarah dies at 127 years old.

Sarah was so many things, we see so many different emotions from her, but most of all she was a dreamer and a believer. She had a dream of a son one day. She didn't quite have the patience God wanted her to have, but she believed in the promise.

Maybe you to have had a dream or a prayer that you asked of God and have wondered where the answer is? Maybe it is just not the time yet, or then again maybe the time is now!

Sarah in the Bible

Genesis 17:15. Sarai was renamed Sarah.

Genesis 17:19. God told Abraham that Sarah would give birth to a son that would be named Isaac.

Genesis 18:12. Sarah laughed after learning about God’s prophecy of her giving birth to a son.

Genesis 20:2. Abraham introduced Sarah as his sister to King Abimelek of Gerar.

Genesis 20:14-16. King Abimelek returned Sarah to Abraham along with gifts of sheep, cattle, slaves, and silvers.

Genesis 21:12. God told Abraham to follow Sarah and send Hagar and Ishmael away.

Genesis 23:1-2. Sarah died at age 127 at Hebron.

Genesis 23:19. Abraham buried Sarah at the cave in Machpelah.

Genesis 25:10. Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah in the cave he purchased from the Hittites.


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    • BAMwer profile image

      Beverly Werner 3 years ago from Catasauqua

      Actually yes, graceinus, I knew that - I did a sermon on Abraham not to long ago. My favorite line from the Amplified Bible was in Genesis 25: 8 Then Abraham’s spirit was released, and he died at a good (ample, full) old age, an old man, satisfied and satiated, and was gathered to his people. I loved the satisfied and satiated part.

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      graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      Although my comment may be a bit off track from Sarah the wife of Abraham, but it is important to note with the Abraham story that not well known. After the death Sarah, Abraham married a second time. Abraham's second wife's name was Keturah she bore six sons from Abraham. Their names are: Zimram, Jorshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. You will find this information in Genesis 25:1-2 (NKJV).

      Abraham therefore had eight sons.

      One son (Ishmael) from the maidservent

      One son (Isaac) from Sarah, Abraham's first wife

      Six sons (as mentioned above) from Keturah, Abrahan's second wife.

      Not many christains are aware of this fact.

      God bless