Sarah is an important biblical figure in the book of Genesis. She is a wife of Abraham (Gen 11:29) and the mother of Isaac, the second patriarch (“father”) of Israel (Gen 21:2). Yet, she has some rather eyebrow-raising events in her life. She is brought into the house, possibly “harem,” of two foreign rulers (
Did you know…?
- When Sarah dies Abraham buys a plot of land, which becomes the burial site for all the patriarchs and some of their wives (
- Sarah’s burial site, known today as the Cave of the Patriarchs or the Ibrahimi Mosque, is located in the modern city of Hebron and is considered the oldest continuously used prayer structure in the world.
- There are ancient Near Eastern texts, especially from the site of Nuzi, where men adopt women as their sisters and later marry them. According to some scholars, this may be why Abraham calls Sarah his sister.
- Sarah does not appear in the story where Abraham almost sacrifices Isaac. Because Sarah dies in the next chapter, some Jewish interpretations of the Bible connect the two episodes so that, for example, Sarah realizes what Abraham is prepared to do and dies thinking her husband will sacrifice her son, not realizing that God will save Isaac.
- Sarah is mentioned four times in the New Testament (
Rom 4:19, Heb 11:11, 1Pet 3:6, Gal 4:21-31).
How does God protect Sarah?
Sarah often moves with her husband, but she always is in God’s camp, and God in hers. She is born in Ur of the Chaldees, moves to Haran and then to Canaan (
Later, back in Canaan, Sarah gives her slave, Hagar, to Abraham so that (
After Sarah learns she will have a child with Abraham, another foreign ruler, King Abimelech of Gerar, takes her into his house and again God must save her (
How can Sarah mistreat Hagar and free her?
Sarah leaves Pharaoh’s house in Egypt with an Egyptian slave, Hagar (