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by Wayne Blank
"And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her." (Genesis 17:15-16 KJV)
"I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her"
Sarah was about ten years younger than her half-brother Abraham (they had the same father, but different mothers, see Genesis 20:12). They were married before they left Ur, located in what is today southern Iraq (i.e. both Abraham and Sarah were Iraqi, an incredible irony considering the state of Middle East tensions today) for a journey, under The Lord's guidance, to a new land that would become the focus of God's plan of salvation for all of humanity (Genesis 11:29-31).
When Abraham and Sarah remained childless into their old age, Sarah took it upon herself to have children through a surrogate, her Egyptian handmaid Hagar. Sarah made the arrangement despite the Lord's earlier promise to Abraham that he would have children through Sarah (see Genesis 17:15-16, quoted above). The result of Sarah's initiative with Hagar was that Hagar also had a son of Abraham, Ishmael, who became the progenitor of many of the Arab people of today. The family conflict between Sarah and Hagar, and their sons Isaac and Ishmael, never ended; the struggle between them continues to this very day.
Sarah lived to the age of 127 years (the only female in written Bible History in which her age at death is recorded) and died at Hebron, southwest of Jerusalem. Abraham bought a burial cave (see Machpelah) from the Hittites, and Sarah was interred there (Genesis 23:1-20).
Eventually, Sarah's tomb was expanded and used as a family burial place, including not only Abraham, but also for their son Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and then later their grandson Jacob (Israel) and his wife Leah (Genesis 49:29-32). They all remain there to this day, awaiting their Resurrections.
Fact Finder: How did the apostle Paul describe Sarah in an allegory about the "Jerusalem which is above"?