What better than to consult all the Scriptures for a profile on Sarah?  The N.T. reveals an important facet of her character, mentioned in 1 Peter 3.

    “Do not let your adornment be merely outward … rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror” (1 Peter 3:3-6).

Sarah is an example for Christian women today:

As a wife and mother, Sarah set an example that Christian women are encouraged to follow.

The holy women of God adorned themselves with a meek and quiet spirit and were submissive to their husbands—as Sarah obeyed and respected Abraham with honour. As children of faith, we are all the children of Abraham and Sarah, and as they did, we are to be submitting to one another in the fear of God.

As a brief summary: through faith, Sarah received the miracle of being able to conceive a child in her old age, and she bore to Abraham a son of promise, Isaac. She became the mother of many nations and the mother of a royal line of kings. She became a symbolic type of Jerusalem above. Sarah was a freewoman, a symbolic mother of the child of promise, a mother of heirs of the promises given by God to Abraham, and a mother of children who would enter into the New Covenant with God.

Ephesians 5:21:  ‘Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles (nothing wrong with getting a perm and wearing a little bit of gold jewellery; nothing wrong with a small pendant necklace, wristwatch, but fine clothes and plunging necklines? Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her Lord. You are her daughters (sons of Abraham) if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.’

Col 3:19-20 ‘Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

 1Tim 3:11’ Women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

Hebrews 11:11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.’


Genesis 11 27-33. 27 This is the account of Terah’s family line. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, yet

Sarai’s ancestry is not clear. Genesis 11 relates that Abram and his brother Nahor married Sarai and Milcah, respectively (v. 29). It does not name Sarai’s father.  

Gen 11:31 tells that “Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot son of Haran. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. It does not call Sarai ‘Terah’s granddaughter’. However, in Genesis 20, when Abraham explains his wife-sister ruse to Abimelech of Gerar, he claims that Sarah is his half sister (v. 12).

Read all of Genesis 12.  (Harran to Canaan was in all a journey of some 1,500 miles. We do not know what means of transport they used.)

Sarah’s name means “princess.” In Genesis Sarah was first named, “Sarai,” which in Hebrew means “my lady” or “my princess.” Then God named her “Sarah,” renamed at the annunciation of the birth of Isaac, a similar Hebrew name meaning “lady,” “princess,” or “noblewoman.”  (Gen 17:15).

She was so beautiful that Abraham saw the danger of her beauty.

When they travelled to Egypt, Abraham said to her, “I know that you are a woman beautiful to behold; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’. Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared on your account” (Genesis 12:11-13).

Her beauty was affirmed in Egypt and she was taken into Pharaoh’s harem, where she was protected by God and the truth about her eventually came out.

Sarah and Abraham had a sense of humour.

When God approached Abraham and Sarah about giving birth to a son, both laughed. Abraham, “fell on his face and laughed” while Sarah, “laughed to herself” and even tried to deny it. She should know better than to try to fool the Lord who said to her, “No, but you did laugh.”

Sarah was 90 years old when Isaac was born.

Abraham and Sarah were really old when Sarah became pregnant. There was no natural way that they could conceive a child. Abraham exclaims, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (Genesis 17:17) She did — and named him Isaac, which means “laughter.”

Sarah lived to be 127 years old and her burial is the first one to be mentioned in the Bible. She is buried in the “Cave of the Patriarchs” and tradition says that both Abraham and Sarah (as well as Isaac and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah) are buried there. Her tomb is still venerated today.

Wife or sister or both? The ruse might have some advantage for Sarah, for a brother was somewhat of a protector, whereas a widow had no protection of any kind. It certainly enriched Abraham, to whom the Egyptians gave bride wealth for a sister, something that he would never have received as a husband. His concerns make sense in the biblical context, for in the Bible, beauty predisposes the beautiful to be desired and taken. Furthermore, adultery was considered a very grievous offense. She herself is not in danger of her life, but the future Israel is in danger of losing its ancestress. So God acts to protect Sarah by afflicting “Pharaoh and his house with great plagues” (Gen 12:17) until he realizes the problem and sends Sarah away. Protection and plague foreshadow Israel’s later redemption at the exodus. So they returned to Canaan.

Genesis 12 relates this unusual wife-sister episode in a matter-of-fact fashion. In Genesis 20, the parallel account in which Abraham tries this ruse in Gerar, adds new details that perhaps show concern about Abraham’s actions that developed after the original telling of the story. The Gehar story emphasizes the fact that Abimelech never touched Sarah because God immediately intervened with dreams.

Abraham seems content to keep Sarah out of the loop and to consider Ishmael the child of the promise. The miracles that God performed for Sarah in Egypt have not taught him her importance. God informs him that, although Ishmael will have his own destiny, the promise—as formalized in God’s covenant—will come through Sarah. God therefore renames Sarai Sarah and blesses her when announcing the birth of Isaac (Gen 17:15–21).

Although the wife-sister stories are difficult to understand,  Sarah’s barrenness also endangers the promise and prompts her to give her handmaiden Hagar to Abraham as a surrogate womb (Gen 16:1–2), a custom known also from Mesopotamia. The plan goes awry when the pregnant Hagar no longer acknowledges Sarah’s superiority. Sarah feels sidelined and turns her anger on Abraham, declaring, “May the wrong done to me be on you!” and “May the Lord judge between you and me!” (Gen 16:5). Her own experience of servitude in Egypt perhaps has made her feel threatened by the Egyptian Hagar rather than sympathetic to her.

Her status as first wife was not completely secure: she had been given away before, in the wife-sister ruse, and she may be vulnerable to Hagar, who conceives and could bear Abraham’s heir. Abraham then restores the authority over Hagar to Sarah. However, Hagar’s child Ishmael is never considered part of Sarah’s domain.  Abraham has all the authority in the family, and he, rather than Sarah, names Ishmael.

Sarah laughed when told that she would have a son. But her laughter turned into amazement, triumph and delight when Isaac was born: “Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, ‘God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.’ She also said, ‘Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age’” (Genesis 21:5-7).

Who would have said to Abraham that his wife would have a child at an advanced age? Only God could have said so and also bring it to pass. And all of Sarah’s children will hear her story and laugh with her through all the ages—a laugh of the triumph of faith in the mighty power of God.

Abraham fell on his face, laughing (Gen 17:17) because of their age (he is one hundred years old, and she is ninety) just as Sarah laughs when she hears the second announcement of the birth (Gen 18:11–15). God ignores Abraham’s laughter but reacts to Sarah’s. After all, Sarah should understand how important she is, for God has already worked miracles for her.

Sarah’s importance is certainly clear after she sees Ishmael “sporting” (NRSV, at Isaac’s weaning.  But however innocent this act may have been, it was Isaac named as “the one who plays” who was supposed to be doing it. Sarah therefore intervenes, urging Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away. Abraham, who considers Ishmael his son, is reluctant; but God once again emphasizes Sarah’s importance and tells Abraham to do what she says. As a result, Abraham emancipates Hagar and Ishmael and sends them away as freed slaves.

Having secured Isaac’s position in the family, Sarah disappears from Genesis. She plays no role in the near sacrifice of Isaac. She dies at the age of 127 in Hebron (Gen 23:1–2). Abraham buys his first real property in the land of Canaan, the Cave of Machpelah, in order to bury her (Gen 23:19). She is mentioned three more times in the Book of Genesis (24:36; 25:10–12), and Sarah is remembered in the prophecies of Isaiah 51 (v. 2) as the ancestress of her people.

Abraham is our father; Sarah is our mother! We are children of promise as Isaac was.

So, Sarah and Abraham are now counted as our ancestors in the faith, if we have faith. They will be counted as the parents of many believing nations. “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).

The prophet Isaiah was inspired to write the following: “Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him” (Isaiah 51:1-2).

First and foremost, we look to Jesus Christ as our example. But we can also learn from the lives of Abraham and Sarah. What were their minds focused on? How did they live their lives in faith?

What was their vision?

The answer is found in Hebrews 11:13-16: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. … But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

We are to live all our lives in faith, eagerly awaiting the city of God, the New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem will be prepared for us and come to the earth. (Revelation 21:1-4). We are to follow in the faith of Abraham and Sarah. We need to “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12).

Sarah is truly one of the women of faith. She came to know that no obstacle is too hard for God to overcome. Nothing is too hard for God to accomplish. That is the faith she had and what we should strive for as well. All this happened before the Bible existed!

Let’s pray together.  ‘Lord, we thank and praise you for Sarah’s remarkable life. Sarah trusted in You. We are thankful that she trusted herself to Abraham’s leadership.   Thank You Father that through Your son Jesus Christ our Lord, we are called children of Abraham & Sarah.