Sarah, Sarai, Sara

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. Abraham said she was the daughter of his father but not of his mother, therefore he called her “sister;” but God preserved her in His mercy to Abraham, who had, through fear, denied his true relationship to her in the land of Egypt and before Abimelech. Sarah, being barren, gave to Abraham her Egyptian handmaid Hagar, who, when she had conceived, despised her mistress. Sarah then dealt harshly with her and she ran away; but the angel of the Lord sent her back, and Ishmael was born.
When God promised Abraham that a son should be born to him of Sarah, He altered her name from Sarai to Sarah, which signifies “princess.” The meaning of Sarai is uncertain. Jerome gave “my princess;” others “princely;” others “contentious;” Fürst says, “Jah is ruler.” (See NAMES.) When Sarah heard that she was to have a son, she laughed within herself, for she was old, but it was known by the Lord, and then, being afraid, she denied that she had laughed.
In fulfillment of God’s promise, Isaac was at length born. When he was weaned, Ishmael was seen mocking, which roused Sarah to demand the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael. Though it was grievous to Abraham, God bade him do what Sarah desired. This is taken up in Galatians 4 as a figure of Christians being children of the free woman, that is, of Jerusalem which is above, which, says the apostle, is our mother. Ishmael represents the man born after the flesh, who persecutes him born after the Spirit.
Sarah lived to the age of 127, and died in Kirjath-arba, and was buried in the cave of Machpelah, which was purchased as a burying place. Her history is given in Genesis 11-23. Sarah is held up in the New Testament as an example of faith (Heb. 11:1111Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. (Hebrews 11:11)); and also as a wife who was in subjection to her husband (1 Pet. 3:66Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. (1 Peter 3:6)).