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Friday, June 22 2012
A Biography Of Abraham: Sarah
"She is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife"
Sarai, who the LORD later renamed as Sarah, is first recorded in the Scriptures as the wife of Abram, who the LORD later renamed as Abraham (see Abram and Sarai). Although they made the family journey together from Ur to Haran, and then to the land of Canaan, it's possible that they would have both made the journey together even if they weren't married. As we will read, Abraham later stated that "She is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother."
"11:27 Now these are the generations of Terah [see A Biography Of Abraham: The Genealogy Of Abram]:
Part of the family remained in Syria, in which nearly all of the first Israelite matriarchs (Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Bilhah and Zilpah) were born (see The Syrian Marriage Wells and Mothers Of Israel), while Abram and Sarai, and their then fatherless nephew Lot continued on to the land of Canaan.
"12:1 Now the LORD [see Appearances Of The LORD God] had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee:
Abram and Sarai journeyed the entire length of what would later become the land of Israel (named after their future grandson Jacob; see Where Jacob Became Israel). They stopped in the south (see The Negev Of Israel), where they would remain for the rest of their lives.
"12:6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land [see Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates]: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
As happened to the Israelites later, there was a famine in the land, so Abram and Sarai "went down into Egypt to sojourn there." It was during that time that the first of the famous "thou art my sister" incidents happened.
"12:10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. 12:11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: 12:12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 12:13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
Abram and Sarai had been married for a long time, but had no children of their own. After ten more years in the land of Canaan, Sarai sought to start a family through her Egyptian maidservant Hagar. It was not merely a "surrogate mother" or concubine arrangement. Sarai, as legally permitted by custom, "gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife" (see A Biography Of Abraham: Hagar And Ishmael).
"16:1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 16:2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
The LORD had not forsaken Sarai; He had kept her from having children until such time that the purpose of a child of Sarai had arrived. Nevertheless, the LORD made Abram and Sarai aware that they would have an actual child of their own, apart from the other children that Abraham would have (see Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates).
"17:15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 17:16 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.
"Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him"
The LORD later reiterated his promise to Sarah, even with the name of the child that would be born - Isaac.
"18:9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
It was during that time that the second incident of "she is my sister" occurred.
"20:1 And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar. 20:2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
It was from that occurrence that we are provided with the knowledge that Sarai was indeed Abraham's half sister, "the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife."
"20:8 Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid. 20:9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done. 20:10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
Exactly as promised by the LORD, Sarah became the mother of Isaac (see A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac).
"21:1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 21:2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 21:3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 21:4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. 21:5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
It had been Sarah who arranged for the marriage of Abraham and Hagar; it was Sarah who also arranged for Hagar's expulsion from the family (see A Biography Of Abraham: Hagar And Ishmael).
"21:8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
Although the Scriptures say nothing, it is most unlikely that Sarah was aware of the purpose of the journey that Abraham made - to sacrifice Sarah's son Isaac. Or, if she was aware of it, she would have been of the same belief as Abraham that Isaac would be resurrected and return home alive. Notice that Abraham told the men who accompanied him that "I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you." Abraham told them that he and Isaac would both return from the sacrifice. We know that is what Abraham was thinking, as recorded in the Book of Hebrews: "11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. 11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." (Hebrews 11:17-19 KJV).
"22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
"There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah"
Sarah died at age 127, when Isaac was about age 36.
"23:1 And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah. 23:2 And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron [see also Why Bethlehem, Hebron And Jerusalem?] in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
The tomb at Hebron, that Abraham purchased for the burial of Sarah, became a family burial tomb, as Jacob / Israel stated, as he gave instructions for his own burial there.
"49:29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 49:30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace. 49:31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. 49:32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.
Abraham is commonly known as the father of the faithful, but both Abraham and Sarah are stated i.e. "Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness ... Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you."
"51:1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. 51:2 Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. 51:3 For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." (Isaiah 51:1-3 KJV)
While Sarah became the mother of Abraham's Messianic line, the reality that both Abraham and Sarah were "gentiles" fulfills the requirement that the Messiah is the Savior of everyone who obeys Him (see What Did The Messiah Say About Gentiles?).
"9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 9:9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son." (Romans 9:6-9 KJV)
This Day In History, June 22
217 BC: The Battle of Raphia. Ptolemy IV Philopator of Egypt (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids) defeated Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid kingdom (a later Seleucid king committed the original "abomination of desolation" of the Temple in Jerusalem; see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation).
168 BC: The Battle of Pydna. Roman (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) forces under Lucius Aemilius Paullus defeated and captured Macedonian (see Ancient Empires - Greece) King Perseus at the end of the Third Macedonian War.
1535: A month after the Pope had made him a cardinal, John Fisher was executed at Tower Hill in London after refusing to recognize King Henry VIII as supreme head of the English Church.
1559: Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book was issued. During her 45-year reign, Elizabeth I rejected the Catholic faith, adopting instead the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican Church.
1593: The Battle of Sisak. Church of Rome "Christian" troops (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad and listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy) defeated the Ottoman Turks (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1633: The Vatican's "Holy Office" in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to withdraw his correct scientific teaching that the earth orbits the sun. The (sun-worshipping) Church of Rome taught that the Sun "is the center of the Universe" (see Why Observe The True Sabbath? to understand how veneration of the sun is still found in many of the false teachings of the Church of Rome e.g. "sun day," the "halo," and a "sun rise" resurrection).
1675: The Royal Greenwich Observatory was established in England by Charles II.
1772: Slavery was outlawed in England.
1774: The Quebec Act was passed by the British Parliament. It established French civil law and the British system of criminal law in Quebec. It also enlarged Quebec's boundaries to include Labrador, Iles de la Madelaine and the Indian territory south of the Great Lakes between the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers on the west. The Act was replaced by the Constitutional Act in 1791.
1813: During the War of 1812 (1812-1814), after overhearing a U.S. invasion force's plan for a further surprise attack on Ontario (they entered Secord's house where she was tending her husband who had been wounded in an earlier battle), Laura Secord (born in Massachusetts in 1775, her family moved to Canada after the colonial revolution there) set out on a 20 mile trek to warn British commander James FitzGibbon (Laura Secord became a "Paul Revere" to the history of Canada). The invasion was repelled at the Battle of Beaver Dams.
1815: Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated for the second and last time after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.
1870: Scholars began translation work on the English Revised Version of the Bible. Released in 1881, the ERV became the textual basis for the American Standard Version (ASV), first published in the United States in 1901.
1911: King George V and Queen Mary were crowned in Westminster Abbey.
1933: Adolf Hitler banned all political parties in Germany other than the Nazis (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1940: 8 days after German troops entered Paris, France signed an armistice in the same railway coach in Compiegne where Germany surrendered on November 11 1918.
1941: Adolf Hitler's "Operation Barbarossa" began when over 150 German army divisions (3,000,000 troops and 3,300 tanks) invaded Russia across a 1,800-mile front between the Baltic and the Black Seas. It was, and is, the largest invasion of another country in history (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1976: Canada abolished the death penalty, thereby joining other nations that sentence murderers to life.
1985: A terrorist bomb brought down Air India flight 182 off the coast of Ireland, killing 329 people, including 280 Canadians of India origin.
1990: The U.S. "Checkpoint Charlie" was removed during demolition of the Berlin Wall.
2009: Acknowledging the new age of digital photography, the Eastman Kodak Company announced that it was discontinuing Kodachrome Color Film after 74 years.