Sarah


Sarah
/sair"euh/, n.
1. the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. Gen. 17:15-22.
2. a female given name.
[ Heb sarah princess]

* * *

I
flourished early 2nd millennium BC

In the Hebrew scriptures, the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac.

She was childless until age 90. In Genesis, God promised Abraham that she would be "a mother of nations," but Sarah refused to believe and had already given her maidservant Hagar to Abraham, with whom he fathered Ishmael. Nevertheless, Sarah did conceive in her old age and give birth to Abraham's son Isaac.
II
(as used in expressions)
Bernhardt Sarah
Fuller Sarah Margaret
Grimké Sarah Moore and Grimké Angelina Emily
Hale Sarah Josepha
Sarah Josepha Buell
Jewett Theodora Sarah Orne
Marlborough Sarah Jennings duchess of
Siddons Sarah
Sarah Kemble
Spark Muriel Sarah
Muriel Sarah Camberg
Vaughan Sarah Lois
Walker Sarah Breedlove
Sarah Breedlove
Hopkins Sarah Winnemucca
Sarah Hopkins Winnemucca

* * *

▪ biblical figure
also spelled  Sarai,  

      in the Old Testament, wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. Sarah was childless until she was 90 years old. God promised Abraham that she would be “a mother of nations” (Genesis 17:16) and that she would conceive and bear a son, but Sarah did not believe. Isaac, born to Sarah and Abraham in their old age, was the fulfillment of God's promise to them. The barrenness of Sarah, cited in the preface (Genesis 11:30), stands in tension with the central theme of the Abraham saga, the promise that God will make him the founder of a mighty nation. With respect to the fulfillment of the promise, Sarah embodies the themes of fear and doubt, Abraham those of faith and hope. Her doubt drives Sarah to devise her own way of realizing the promise—she gives Abraham her maidservant, Hagar, so that Hagar might bear a child for them. When the promise is repeated, Sarah expresses her doubt in sarcastic laughter (Genesis 18:12). And when the promise is kept, Sarah, overcome by joy, still implies her doubt had been reasonable (Genesis 21:6–7). Her tomb at Hebron (Genesis 23) was a sign of Abraham's faith that God's promise of the land would also be kept.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.