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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Sarah

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SARAH or SARAI . 1 . ‘Sarai’ is the form used previous to Genesis 17:15 , and ‘Sarah’ afterwards, in harmony with the change of name there narrated (by P [Note: 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 ( Genesis 12:13; Genesis 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 ( Genesis 12:10-20; Genesis 12:20 ). The former incident is in J [Note: 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 ( Genesis 12:4; cf. Genesis 17:17 ) seems inconsistent with these incidents, and especially with the statement concerning her beauty ( Genesis 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 ( Genesis 21:1-7 [P [Note: Priestly Narrative.] ]). Through jealousy Sarah illtreated Hagar , her handmaid, the concubine of Abraham, and finally drove her away with her son Ishmael ( Genesis 16:1-16 , Genesis 21:8-21 ). The incident is in harmony with the regulations of the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (§§ 144 147). Sarah died at the age of 127 (P [Note: Priestly Narrative.] ), and was buried in the cave of Machpelah ( Genesis 23:1-20 ). In the NT she is mentioned in Romans 4:19; Romans 9:9 , Hebrews 11:11 , 1 Peter 3:6 , Galatians 4:21 to Galatians 5:1 .

2 . Sarah, daughter of Raguel and wife of Tobias ( Tob 3:7; Tob 3:17 and elsewhere).

George R. Berry.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Sarah'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/s/sarah.html. 1909.

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