5 God Warns Abimelek Off Sarah
Just as you think things are straightening out for Sarah and Abraham, they blot their copy-book yet again. There is a repetition of the grubby incident in Egypt, where Abraham tricked Pharaoh.
Passing through Gerar, a town in the south of Canaan, Abraham again tells people that Sarah is his sister, not his wife. The same old lie. This time it is a king, Abimelek, who is taken in and who sends for Sarah.
Abraham's lie almost beggars belief.
The story-teller tries to mitigate Abraham's lie by saying that it is, after all, only a half lie. Sarah is Abraham's half sister as well as his wife, which is true. Marriage of a man and woman with the same father but different mothers was a fairly common practice then, though later forbidden.
God has promised a son to Sarah and Abraham. Yet Abraham throws the whole future into doubt by allowing Sarah to enter the harem of Abimelek. Only God's intervention prevents Abimelek from having sex with Sarah, and jeopardizing the promise of an heir for her and Abraham.
The reader might wonder why is this shameful story is included in the Bible. What is going on? What is the purpose?
Despite everything that human beings do, despite their stupidity, greed and cowardice, the inexorable plan of God unfolds as God meant it to. Even sinners can be instruments of God.
This is the central message of the story of Sarah and Abraham. Do what we will, humans cannot thwart the Will of God.
Genesis 20:1 And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.
(This journey takes place after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.)
2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, "She is my sister:"
(= half-sister. Abraham's expedient = the next assault on Abraham in the Great Conflict for the destruction of the promised Seed of the woman [Gen. 3:15]. God had to intervene, for man could know nothing of it. Abraham's fear shown in v. 11.)
(= father-king. The official tittle of the king of Gerar, like Pharaoh in Egypt)
king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
(See 21:7. In Sarah's conception God must have renewed her youth, for she nursed Isaac.)
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream
(20 recorded in Scripture)
by night, and said to him, "Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife."
4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, "LORD, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
(Abimelech evidently expected God to slay the whole nation)
5 Said he not unto me, 'She is my sister?' and she, even she herself said, 'He is my brother:' in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this."
6 And God said unto him in a dream, "Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against Me:
(Divine intervention needed. Note the emphatic pronouns)
therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet,
(First occ., showing that prediction is only a small part of its meaning, God's spokesman. Here it is prayer, and prayer is associated with prophesying, i.e. witnessing [1 Cor.11:5].)
and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine."
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.
(This nation of Abimelech had seen the power of God in their barren nation, and now it is explained to the men of that nation exactly why it had befallen them; the men of that nation were ready to make all things right before the Lord)
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."
10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, "What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?"
11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, "Surely the fear (or reverence) of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.
(Showing how his fears were worked upon by the Enemy)
12 And yet indeed she is my sister;
(The daughter of Terah by another wife [than Abraham's mother: therefore Abraham's half-sister)
she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
13 And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, 'This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, 'He is my brother.' ' "
14 And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.
(It seems like Abraham just could not go wrong, for even after this act of Abraham against Abimelech, Abraham is restored not only what he had, but blessed with much more. When you are in God's will and favor, even today, it seems that you will be blessed, and things that are bad, will be turned for the good.
In the mind of Abimelech, Abraham is not just a man, but as we read in verse seven, God told him that Abraham is a prophet of God)
15 And Abimelech said, "Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee."
16 And unto Sarah he said, "Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes,
(Fig. of speech, when a wish is expressed to pass by a subject, which is, notwithstanding, briefly alluded to subsequently. Having called Abraham her "brother", she uses this beautiful Fig. of Speech for her husband)
unto all that are with thee, and with all other:" thus she was reproved.
(Abimelech revealed to Sarah all that had been done that she had not known, thus Sarah was reproved. Everything was in the open. Abimelech bought Sarah under threat to Abraham, and now that Abimelech knew the nature of both Abraham and Sarah, he did not want any shameful reproach to fall on either himself or them. Things are now made right, and in the Hebrew idiom, "a covering of the eyes", means "lets forget what has happened".)
17 So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.
(This is the first record of a healing in the Bible; Abimelech requested the prayer of healing for his wife, and his maidservants, and they were healed, and bare children. This physical restraint was removed from them.)
18 For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.
(What message is this for us today? Satan will always attempt to mess up the lives and character of those that God intends to use. As we study the entire Bible we see this continually, and it will happen even today as it did then. If you love God, and study His Word, and try to plant the seeds of faith; Satan will attempt to foul you up also, if you allow him to. However, God has given us the power and authority of Satan, and all of Satan's forces, if we will but use that power. You must be strong spiritually, and act in the power and name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have the instruction and direction given by the Holy Spirit of God, and we must learn to listen and lean on the strengths that God has given to us.
The message that we receive from Genesis 20, is don't let Satan mess with you. Put him in his place. We have angels in heaven that have the attention of God, when ever we are in trouble. Matthew 18:10 records this assurance to each of God's children, that when we ask of God, He will protect.)
6 The Birth of Isaac, Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away
The climax of Sarah's story, the event she has waited for all her life, at last comes. Her son Isaac is born.
She is overjoyed, laughing with pure happiness. She even names her child 'Isaac', which means laughter.
The baby boy is everything she hoped for, and more, and she dotes on him.
Lavished with care and love, the little boy thrives. Eventually when he is about three years old it is time for him to be weaned from breast milk. There is a great party to celebrate this event: babies in the ancient world had a high mortality rate, and staying alive past infancy warranted celebration.
All seems well - until something sinister happens and the happiness evaporates.
We are not sure what exactly it was that caused this jarring note. Some translations say that Sarah saw Ishmael 'playing' with Isaac. Others describe him as 'mocking' the little boy. The original Hebrew word is s-h-q. It can mean 'to play', 'to laugh' or 'to sport', and in fact has a wide range of meanings. Later, in the Greek translation, the words 'with her son Isaac' were added.
Women in multi-wife households, like Sarah and Hagar, spent a good part of their time planning ways to advance their own son's interests.
Should the word be translated as 'mocking', implying antipathy on Ishmael's part towards little Isaac?
Whatever it was, Sarah takes fright. She sees Ishmael and his mother as a threat to her own son. She senses that there is trouble ahead, bad trouble, and asks, demands, that Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away, immediately.
She is like a lioness protecting her cub:
Photograph of lioness and cub by Chris Humphreys 'Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac' (note that Sarah and Abraham never once use Hagar's name).
Abraham does not want to comply - Ishmael is his son - but Sarah prevails. It seems she still has legal dominion over Hagar, and she uses her power.
Next morning Abraham gives Hagar and the boy Ishmael some water and bread, and sends them out into the unforgiving desert, abandoning them to their fate. Technically they are free: Hagar is now an emancipated slave. In reality they are in a very precarious position, and only God's intervention saves them.
This direct intervention (through an angel) has an unspoken message: that the treatment of Hagar is illegal. God has spoken out against it. In fact, Hammurabi's Law would have required Abraham to give Ishmael a specified portion of inheritance, since Abraham has adopted the lad.
But Sarah has won. She has a son who will become the next tribal leader. Her remorseless speech against Hagar are the last words we hear from her.
Genesis 21:1 And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as He had spoken.
(This was a divine intervention, which far exceeds a healing. It was a divine intervention in Sarah and Abraham's lives, where Sarah, who had been barren all her child bearing life, was allowed by God to conceive and have a child at the age of one hundred years. This is why Satan wanted to destroy Sarah, and the birth of Isaac, for it would be through the birth of Isaac and his generations that the promised seed [Jesus Christ] would be used. This is the same type of destruction that Satan used in the Garden of Eden, where Satan tried to destroy the seed of woman to prevent the birth of the Christ child.
That attempt was followed up by the "sons of God", the fallen angels coming to earth to take the daughters of men for their wives, which also was an attempt by Satan to destroy the seed of woman, [Genesis 6] )
2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
(Note the change of title here, till v.32, because it is Creator and creature. In v.33, Yahaveh, where it is in covenant relation. In Mary's song both titles united-Luke 1:46,47)
3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
(= let him laugh)
4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old,
(8 = the Dominical number, cp. Ishmael, 13th year)
as God had commanded him.
5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
6 And Sarah said, "God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me."
(Sarah had prayed to God for a child from her youth, and her marriage to Abraham, and now she had her child, the answer to her prayers, and her son was the foremost desires of her heart. Is it any wonder that she was so overjoyed at the birth of Isaac?)
7 And she said, "Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age."
(A proof that "God", the Creator, had renewed her youth, showing why Abimelech should have taken her [20:2]. Sarah's Magnificat may be compared with Mary's. The scenes of both near to each other. Mary's words [Luke 1:54,55] connect her "mercy" with that shown to "Abraham and his seed")
8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
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."
(See the Divine Interpretation - Gal. 3:6-29; 4:22-31; 5:1-12)
11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.
12 And God said unto Abraham, "Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
(Here Heb. zer'a = seed, is in the sing. sense, because of the word "Isaac", and because of the sing. verb "it shall be called". Zer'a is a collective noun, like Eng. "sheep", but the context must determine whether it is sing. or pl. It is to this verse Gal. 3:16 refers; not 12:7, where it is indefinite; or 17:7 where the verb and pronoun show it is plural. See Gal. 3:16; and cp. Rom. 9:7. Heb. 11:18. "Your seed" is therefore "Christ". The difference of the 30 years comes in here: 430 years to Exodus 12:40 from Gen.12:4, when Abraham was 75: thence to Isaac's birth: and now, 5 to his recognition as the seed = 30 years.)
13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed."
(This is the start of the Arabian nations, the offspring of Ishmael in part. Abraham will have twelve additional sons through Keturah, Abraham's wife after the death of Sarah.)
14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water,
(cp. man's provision, a bottle, with God's a well v.19)
and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
(= well of the oath)
15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, "Let me not see the death of the child." And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.
17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, "What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.
(God heard the crying of Ishmael, the loved son of Abraham, and God spoke out to Hagar. God does work in His own ways. Now we go back to Genesis 16:10, which was a time eighteen years prior, when Hagar was with child and fleeing in the wilderness from Sarai. God made an unconditional promise to Hagar also, concerning the unborn child, which later would be called Ishmael.
That promise was; "I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall be numbered for multitude." God goes on to say; "Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction." God knew what was going on then, and in Hagar's cries now, and the failure of God's promise of a multitude of offspring would show that God did not have control. )
18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation."
(And so we have the great Arab nations of today.)
19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.
20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.
21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
("Paran" in the Hebrew means "a place of caverns"; meaning there was a lot of natural shelter there. There will be twelve sons born to Ishmael, and his Egyptian wife. These sons will comprise the Arab world of today. Just as the twelve patriarchs of Jacob [Israel] make up the Israelite nations, so these twelve sons of Ishmael make up the patriarchs of the Arab nations.)
22 And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, "God is with thee in all that thou doest:
23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned."
(The covenant that Abimelech is trying to make between Abraham and himself is that there would always be peace between the two men, their households, and and generations. The swearing would commit this peace agreement to generations long after these two men have passed. Abimelech was a just man, and tried to do what was right. He was willing to live peacefully and show kindness with others, and thus sought the same kindness from others.)
24 And Abraham said, "I will swear."
25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.
(Cp. 26:19. Ex. 10-18. Judg. 5:11. This explains Ex. 17:8 "Then came Amalek", because of vv.1-7)
26 And Abimelech said, "I wot not who hath done this thing; neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day."
27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.
(What did Abraham do when all came out into the open? Abraham rendered good for bad. Remember back in verse twenty, when the two had met again after many years, It was Abimelech that covered over Abraham's embarrassment, for giving his wife Sarai to Abimelech, and saying she was his sister. It was Abimelech that gave riches to Abraham, and said, let's put this embarrassment behind us. Now it is Abraham that is doing likewise, and covering over Abimelech's fault. Abimelech hasn't done any wrong, but it was his people. Peace is restored.
It doesn't hurt a Christian to be generous, however, on certain matters a true Christian should stand his ground; especially when it comes to moral and spiritual issues. Christ did not teach that we should allow people to run all over us. Respect comes from knowing right from wrong; what is of God, and what is of Satan; and taking a position for what is right. It is called being honest.)
28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, "What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?"
30 And he said, "For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well."
(Does this remind you of the 7,000 elect that will witness for Christ before Satan [Antichrist] in the end times?)
31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.
32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
33 And Abraham planted a grove
(Not 'asherah, but the wood for 22:3 about 20 years later)
in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.
(This is the Divine definition of the Lord, Heb 'olan = duration, secret and hidden from man. Cp. Ps. 90:2)
34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.
7 The End of Sarah's Story
Before she dies, there is one more event that Sarah has to deal with: Abraham's aborted sacrifice of his (and Sarah's) son Isaac (Genesis 22). Sarah is not mentioned in this incident, but she must surely have known about it - either before it happened, or after.
Her side of the story has disappeared, but can anyone doubt what her reaction was, or how horrific this event must have been for her?
She died soon after this at Hebron, which became a sacred city of the Israelites.
about 1871 or 1863 B.C.
Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things,
(i.e. after 40 or 50 years in Cannan)
that God did tempt
(tempt = prove, so Ex. 15:25; 16:4; 20:20. Deut. 8:2,16. Judg. 2:22; 3:1,4. Ecc. 2:1; 7:23. 1 Sam. 17:39. 1 Kings 10:1. 2 Chron. 9:1; 33:31. Ps. 26:2. Cp. Deut. 4:34-assayed. In later usage trial meant trouble. Wisd. 3:5; 11:10. Sir.2:1. Judith 8:24-27. Luke 8:13 [cp. Matt. 13:21]. Acts 20:19. Heb.2:18. 1 Pet. 1:6)
Abraham, and said unto him, "Abraham:" and he said, "Behold, here I am."
2 And He said, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah;
(=shown or provided by God. Cp. 1 Chron. 21:22; 22:1. 2 Chron. 3:1. Christ crucified also on one of these mountains)
and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
(Fig. Polysyndeton = many ands, emphasizing the calmness of Abraham's faith. Each "and" is to be noted, and each act weighed. There are 7 of these = Spiritual perfection)
Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day
(#3 symbolic of resurrection, cp. v.5 "come again", 1st person plural. Exactly 3 days journey from Beer-sheba to Mriah. Gerizim is 2 days further)
Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said unto his young men, "Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."
(This was proof of Abraham's faith. 1st person plural, "We will come again.")
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son;
(cp. John 19:17)
and he took the fire in his hand,
(Without doubt fire from Abraham's altar 12:2; 13:4,18, and see 21:33, for God accepted a sacrifice only by fire from heaven)
and a knife; and they went both of them together.
(Cp. the Father and the Son Anti-type. Emphatic by repetition in v.8. John 10:30; 14:10,11; 16:33. The sinner is not seen in the type; his part is subsequent to this, namely to believe in the substitution. See Rom. 8:32. 2 Cor. 5:19)
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, "My father:" and he said, "Here am I, my son." And he said, "Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering:" so they went both of them together.
9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham:" and he said, "Here am I."
12 And He said, "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou revere God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me."
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
(Here is the Doctrine of substitution, clearly stated)
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Yahaveh-Yireh:
(= Yahaveh will see, or provide)
as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
(So it was in 2 Sam.24:25. 1 Chron. 21:26. 2 Chron. 7:1-3. And so it will be in the future)
15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
(The first time was for substitution, the second was for revelation)
16 And said, "By Myself have I sworn, saith the LORD,
(This oath is the foundation of Israel's blessings [24:7; 26:3; 50:24. Ex. 13:5,11; 33:1]. David's "sure mercies" all grounded on it [Ps. 89:36; 132:11. Cp. Luke 1:73].)
for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
(Proof that the "Mystery" does not mean blessing of Gentiles as such: but the secret concerning Christ and the church [Eph. 5:32])
because thou hast obeyed My voice."
20-24. The Posterity of Nahor.
(Introduced here to lead up to Rebekah, the future wife of Isaac. Not proceeding further with Nahor's posterity. See how Abraham's history is broken up into 3 portions by 2 posterities, just as Isaac's and Jacob's histories are broken up.)
19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
20 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, "Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor;
21 Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram,
22 And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel.
23 And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother.
24 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.
Genesis 23:1 And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old:
(The only woman whose age is mentioned in the Bible. In 22:23 Rebekah is mentioned: one sun rising before the other sets)
these were the years of the life of Sarah.
2 And Sarah died in Kirjatharba;
(=the city of the four)
the same is Hebron
in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.
20 And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure
(this is in strict conformity with the commercial enactments of the "Code of Khumurrabi")
to Abraham for a possession of a burying-place
(All that Abraham possessed; but in the faith and hope of resurrection)
by the sons of Heth.
(Now lets go over to Genesis 49:31; "There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah." This is Jacob speaking to Joseph, while in Egypt, and telling Joseph why he wanted his remains taken back to the land of Canaan to be buried with parents and grandparents. The acrostic from above is made up with the names of these three generations, and their wives.
The very foundation of God's promise and hope to mankind are through those who are buried that the cave at Machpelah before Mamre. It is from them that the twelve sons of Jacob will become the nation of Israel, then after the death of King Solomon, split into two nations [the houses of Israel and Judah], and ultimately spread around the world and grow to become many nations.
It is also through the seed of these people that the promised seed of Genesis 3:15 would come to bruise the head of Satan, and give eternal life to all that will repent and receive the hope through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This area a source of great contention today. But Abraham did buy it, it was passed down to Jacob/Israel and they own it to this day. It was never sold back!)
Sarah's life was blighted by the lack of a son. In a society that measured women's worth by their fertility, Sarah was barren. In a spirit of noble self-sacrifice she offered her slave Hagar as surrogate mother to her husband Abraham. The plan back-fired: Hagar bore a son, Ishmael, and her status shot up in the tribe; Sarah became even more despised.
God came to her rescue. She conceived a son, Isaac, whom she loved with the protective ferocity of a lioness. She became the fore-mother of the nation of Israel.