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Reference: Sarah


1. 'Sarai' is the form used previous to Ge 17:15, and 'Sarah' afterwards, in harmony with the change of name there narrated (by Priestly Narrative). It is probable that there is no real significance in the change, -ai being an old feminine ending found in Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic, while -ah is the common feminine ending. Sarah means 'princess.' The occurrence of the name Sa-ra-a-a in an Assyrian letter (K 1274) adds no definite information. Sarah was the wife of Abraham, and also his half-sister (Ge 12:13; 20:12); her parentage is not given further. She was taken as wife by the king of Egypt and also by Abimelech king of Gerar, and afterwards restored to Abraham (Ge 12:10-20,20). The former incident is in Jahwist, the latter in E; they may be different versions of the same story. The statement that she was at least 65 years old at this time (Ge 12:4; cf. Ge 17:17) seems inconsistent with these incidents, and especially with the statement concerning her beauty (Ge 12:11). It is to be remembered, however, that the dates belong to P. Sarah was long barren, but finally Isaac was born after supernatural intervention, when she was 90 years old (Ge 21:1-7 Priestly Narrative). Through jealousy Sarah illtreated Hagar, her handmaid, the concubine of Abraham, and finally drove her away with her son Ishmael (Ge 16; 21:8-21). The incident is in harmony with the regulations of the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (

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