Sarah is a matriarch in the Hebrew Bible. She was Abraham’s wife and Isaac’s mother. Her Hebrew name Sarah can be translated as “noblewoman”. Let us know more about Sarah, her family, and the major events that happened in her life.
- Sarah means “princess”
- Original name was Sarai
Family: Terah (Father), Abraham (Husband), Isaac (Son), Lot (Nephew), Nahor, Haran (Half-brothers)
- Faithful (Both to God and her husband)
- Obedient (Both to God and her husband)
- Incredibly beautiful
Major Evens in Sarah’s Life
Sarah was born with the name Sarai and she was raised in the Ur of the Chaldees which is now known as Iraq. She was married to Abram, who we know as Abraham. He was the oldest of three sons of Terah.
Abram had two brothers named Nahor and Haran, but Haran died and had left behind a son named Lot and a daughter named Milcah. After Haran died, Terah took Abram, Sarai, and Lot and they traveled to Canaan, far up stream to the land of Haran where they lived. It was also the place where Terah died at the age of 205.
Sarai followed Abram when God told him to leave for a land where God would bless him and bring a nation from him. They traveled to a place in Canaan called Shechem. However, there was a bad famine in Canaan, so the two briefly moved to Egypt.
Sarai was told by Abram to identify herself as his sister because Sarai was extremely beautiful and Abram was afraid that he would be killed because the Egyptians wanted his wife. When they were presented before Pharaoh, Sarai was introduced as Abram’s sister and Pharaoh brought her into his harem, giving her many gifts and signs of importance.
However, God sent many plagues upon Pharaoh’s household which led Pharaoh to realize that Sarai was Abram’s wife. With this, Pharaoh asked them to leave Egypt at once. They returned to Canaan and lived there for ten years.
During this time, Sarai and Abram did not have a child. Sarai grew frustrated and suggested that Abram have a child with her handmaiden, Hagar. They did and Hagar and Abram’s son was named Ishmael. However, it had created tension between Sarai and Hagar, Sarai complaining that Hagar no longer showed her respect. Hagar once fled the family but was convinced to go back by angels sent by God.
Abram’s and Sarai’s names were then changed by God to Abraham and Sarah, respectively, when Abraham was 99. Then, God promised Sarah would have a son. Abraham and Sarah were soon visited by three men which were angels of God. One of them told Abraham that Sarah would have a son by the time he returned next year. Sarah overheard and began to laugh uncontrollably, but the men told her it is true because God said so.
Abraham and Sarah eventually settled between Kadesh and Shur in the Philistine land. During this time, Abraham claimed that Sarah was his sister once again. King Abimelech had Sarah brought to him. God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him he would die if he took her as she was married. Because of that dream, Abimelech eventually returned her untouched to Abraham and gave them animals, silver, and land in his kingdom.
Abraham had to pray for Abimelech’s household because God made all the women there infertile because Sarah was taken. Sarah, however, had a son had the time told to her and their son was named Isaac which means laughter.
Abraham held a great feast to celebrate the birth of Isaac. During this feast, Sarah found Ishmael laughing derisively. She was disturbed by this site and asked Abraham to remove Hagar and Ishmael from their company. Abraham was initially reluctant to do so but complied when God told him to do as she asked.
Sarah died at the age of 127 because of natural causes. Abraham then bought a cave near Hebron from Ephron the Hittite which eventually came to be known as the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Sarah was a beautiful woman, however, she lived her life with the lack of faith in the promises of God. Her impatience led to poor decisions which revealed that she could be harsh and jealous. But towards the end of her story, her faith grew and she became a great woman of faith that God used to fulfill His plan.
Sarah’s story teaches us that no matter who we are, how old we are, where we came from, and how strong and weak we are, God can always make changes in us through our faith.