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Wife of Abraham and also his stepsister

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Sara ( Hebrew: SRH, princess; another form, SRY, Sarai, the signification of which is doubtful, is found in passages occurring before Gen., xvii, 15) . Sara was the wife of Abraham and also his step-sister (Gen., xii, 15; xx, 12). We do not find any other account of her parentage. When Abraham goes down to Egypt because of the famine, he induces Sara, who though sixty-five years of age is very beautiful, to say that she is his sister; whereupon she is taken to wife by the King of Egypt, who, however, restores her after a Divine admonition (Gen., xii). In a variant account (Gen., xx), she is represented as being taken in similar circumstances by Abimelech, King of Gerara, and restored likewise to Abraham through a Divine intervention. After having been barren till the age of ninety, Sara, in fulfilment of a Divine promise, gives birth to Isaac (Gen., xxi, 1-7). Later we find her through jealousy ill-treating her handmaiden Agar the Egyptian, who had borne a child to Abraham, and finally she forces the latter to drive away the bond-woman and her son Ismael (Gen., xxi). Sara lived to the age of one hundred and twenty-seven years, and at her death was buried in the cave of Macphelah in Hebron (Gen., xxiii). Isaias, li, 2, alludes to Sara as the mother of the chosen people; St. Peter praises her submission to her husband (I Pet., iii, 6). Other New Testament references to Sara are in Rom., iv, 19; ix, 9; Gal., iv, 22-23; Heb., xi, 11.


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