She is my sister? Oh my – what has Abraham done? The woman who he took to himself 49 years ago; the same woman who Yehovah JUST said would give him the promised son/seed on the next “Time of Life” moed (in less a year), has just been given to Abimelech as his woman.
Abraham has lived in Hebron, which is next to Mamre, for 21 years. Now, right after the destruction of Sodom he goes (I think “flees”) south to Gerar. Why did he leave so suddenly? Is it possible that he was avoiding poisonous gasses from Sodom which were coming up from the valley?
“She Is My sister” Was Said Out Of Fear
This Genesis 20 story moves along quickly; and in verse 2 Abraham is already telling Abimelech, King of Gerar about Sarah saying, “she is my sister.”
Now Abraham said of Sarah his woman, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. (Gen 20:2)
Augh! Why would Abraham say “she is my sister” except out of fear? She is his woman (there is no word for wife in Torah) and his niece; NOT his sister. He fears the king and what he can do to him, and he has failed to understand the significance of what Yehovah had told Him, through His sent ones, just days before.
Is anything too hard for Yehovah? At the appointed time [the moed] I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” (Gen 18:14)
Abraham is about to receive the son which Yehovah promised him 25 years before. Nothing can happen to Abraham until Sarah conceives his son and still have Yehovah’s word fulfilled. But Abraham fears the people of the land more than he trusts in Yehovah who ALWAYS does what He says He will do. And now beautiful Sarah has been taken by Abimelech as his woman.
And what about Sarah? What a woman of worth she is! Practically every woman today, if faced with the situation that Sarah found herself in, would betray her husband’s confidence. But Sarah did what Abraham asked, even to her own potential hurt. I want a woman like that!
I love this story! It demonstrates Yehovah’s faithfulness to fulfill His words even when those who truly are in covenant/cutting with Him fail miserably by saying foolish and unnecessary things like “she is my sister.”
Here is yet another case where the book of Yasher gives “the rest of the story;” I know you will find it interesting.
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Genesis 12 tells us that when Abram left Haran (at 75), that Lot went with him. But few people understand that Abram and Lot separate within that very year.
So Abram departed as Yehovah had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. (Gen 12:4)
What do we know about Lot? Here is the first and second time he is mentioned in Genesis.
This is the genealogy of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot. (Gen 11:27)
And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s woman, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. (Gen 11:31)
To understand who Lot is we must first understand who Terah and Haran are.
Terah was, until he left Babylon (via Ur), the head of Nimrod’s host for more than 50 years; and he was a very wealthy man. He bore Haran (and then Nahor) 32 years before Abram was born.
So, if Abram was 50, Lot had to be approximately 43; and the entitled son of Haran, the first-born son of Terah, the head of Nimrod’s host and the only heir of his father Haran.
We saw last time, after Nimrod called Abram out of the fiery furnace, that 200 men joined themselves to Abram and became his servants; and they and their families stayed at Terah’s house for 2 years. As Haran’s heir, Lot not only has his own home and servants, but also his father’s home and all his servants.
And now, 25 years later Abram is leaving the second time for Canaan (he has already lived there for 15 years and Haran for 8) and Lot is now going with him. Abram leaves the second time with around 1000+ people going with him (perhaps as many as 600 are men) and hundreds of sheep, goats and cattle.
But feeding this many people and animals in a drought is difficult and Abram is forced to go to Egypt. We talk aboutÂ his visit there at length in our class today.
Look at how Genesis 13 starts.
Then Abram went up from Egypt, he and his woman and all that he had, and Lot with him, to the South. (Gen 13:1)
All that Abram had, and he had a LOT of men, servants, cattle, silver and gold; but Lot and all he had was not part of Abram’s possessions.
Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. (Gen 13:5)
Lot was “with him,” but he did not obey Abram nor learn from him.
Was there anyone who went with Abram who did not obey him? Look what Yasher says about Lot.
Jasher 15:35 And Lot the son of Haran, Abram’s brother, had a heavy stock of cattle, flocks and herds and tents, for Yehovah was bountiful to him on account of Abram.
36 And when Abram was dwelling in the land the herdsmen of Lot quarreled with the herdsmen of Abram, for their property was too great for them to remain together in the land, and the land could not bear them on account of their cattle.
37 And when Abram’s herdsmen went to feed their flock they would not go into the fields of the people of the land, but the cattle of Lot’s herdsmen did otherwise, for they were suffered to feed in the fields of the people of the land [we will see that the “people of the land” are all men, Canaan’s seed].
38 And the people of the land saw this occurrence daily, and they came to Abram and quarreled with him on account of Lot’s herdsmen.
39 And Abram said to Lot, What is this thou art doing to me, to make me despicable to the inhabitants of the land, that thou orders thy herdsman to feed thy cattle in the fields of other people? Dost thou not know that I am a stranger in this land among Canaan’s seed, and why wilt thou do this unto me?
40 And Abram quarreled daily with Lot on account of this, but Lot would not listen to Abram, and he continued to do the same, and the inhabitants of the land came and told Abram.
Abram and Lot Separate
If one of the men or servants, who Abram is teaching and leading, were to disobey him they would be asked to leave. Those whom Abram leads MUST follow his directions or they will not be allowed to stay. But it is a different story for a relative who is simply “with” you. Listen to how Abram addresses Lot.
So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between thee and me, and between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? Please separate from me. If thou take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if thou go to the right, then I will go to the left.” (Gen 13:8-9)
In Yasher he says it like this.
Yasher 15:42 But I pray thee separate from me, go and choose a place where thou may dwell with thy cattle and all belonging to thee, but keep thyself at a distance from me, thou and thy household. [Lot’s household is not Abram’s household.]
43 And be not afraid in going from me, for if any one do an injury to thee, let me know and I will avenge thy cause from him, only remove from me.
I think Lot was “with” Abram for two reasons; the blessing he received and the protection he enjoyed while he was “with” him. This makes me wonder, “what about Lot made him a righteous man?” Did he escape the burning at Sodom because he was righteous, or was it perhaps because of the words Abram spoke when Abram and Lot separated? Time will tell.
Please Contact Michael to help support his work in building Yehovahâ€™s kingdom on the earth.
Providence Ministries is NOT incorporated with any kingdom of this world. Providence Ministries is an affiliate of the Director of Ecclesiastical Enterprises, a Washington State acknowledged corporation sole of the ecclesia on file with the Secretary of the State. This charitable ministry is not for profit and maintains its nontaxable status consistent with 26 USC 508(c)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code with respect to 501 (c)(3) organizations special rules as a â€œmandatory exception.â€
This is the first time that Torah says “the life of Sarah” and did not say “and she lived so many years, and died.” Sarah was Abraham’s woman for 87 years; and she bore Isaac for him when she was 90 years of age. Sarah was a woman of worth who taught other women to do the same!
Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. (Gen 23:1)
So many folks treat the people in Torah like they are different from us; like the lives they lived have no application for our own. I fear this is a grievous mistake and this portion of scripture (Genesis 23 and 24) really drives that fact home for me. Abraham and his camp did things that every one of us does; birthed children, fought enemies, married, bought land, buried their loved ones and so much more.
That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new?” It has already been in ancient times before us. (Ecc 1:9-10)
Nothing has changed!
Now that Sarah has passed Abraham wants to bury her in a very special place so he buys a fieldÂ that has a machpelah (or double roomed) cave.
Machpelah means double portion; Abraham seems to have bought a cave with two rooms in it. One part for initial decay and the other part had boxes, or ossuaries, stacked with the bones of their ancestors. Abraham paid a premium price for the land and this special cave. The transfer of this land was completed with 4 witnesses to guarantee that Abraham’s descendants would have it perpetually. Here is the portion from Yasher that describes the “escrow” process that was used in the transfer of this land from Heth’s sons to Abraham and his seed forever.
Yasher 24:6 And Ephron answered and said, Behold the field and the cave are before thee, give whatever thou desires; and Abraham said, Only at full value will I buy it from thy hand, and from the hands of those that go in at the gate of thy city, and from the hand of thy seed for ever.
7 And Ephron and all his brethren heard this, and Abraham weighed to Ephron four hundred shekels of silver in the hands of Ephron and in the hands of all his brethren; and Abraham wrote this transaction, and he wrote it and testified it with four witnesses.
8 And these are the names of the witnesses, Amigal son of Abishna the Hittite, Adichorom son of Ashunach the Hivite, Abdon son of Achiram the Gomerite, Bakdil the son of Abudish the Zidonite.
9 And Abraham took the book of the purchase, and placed it in his treasures, and these are the words that Abraham wrote in the book, namely:
10 That the cave and the field Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite, and from his seed, and from those that go out of his city, and from their seed for ever, are to be a purchase to Abraham and to his seed and to those that go forth from his loins, for a possession of a burial-place for ever; and he put a signet to it and testified it with witnesses.
11 And the field and the cave that was in it and all that place were made sure unto Abraham and unto his seed after him, from Heth’s sons; behold it is before Mamre in Hebron, which is in the land of Canaan.
Abraham bought the property from the Gentiles (Heth’s sons) using the currency of the land in which he dwelt. He used their sons as witnesses to this transaction so there could be no dispute.
Abraham was loved and greatly respected by his neighbors; even Abimelech and the eldest and most respected leaders of the land came to Sarah’s funeral.
Yasher 24:13 And Abraham buried Sarah with pomp as observed as the interment of kings, and she was buried in very fine and beautiful garments.
14 And at her bier was Shem, his son Eber and Abimelech: together with Anar, Ashcol and Mamre, and all the grandees of the land followed her bier.
A Bride for Isaac
After Sarah died Abraham sent Isaac to live with Shem and Eber for 3 years and then sent Eliezer to Haran to find a bride for Isaac. In this teaching I cover the Genesis record of this event; a very touching story.
In your mind’s eye, how old was Isaac when Yehovah told Abraham to bring him to Mount Moriah, kill him and make him a burnt offering (an olah)? In the olah offering it is the smoke that comes from the altar which is the sweet aroma to Yehovah. Most people see a boy being led by his father up the hill.
But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt [olah]offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, Elohim (his lawmaker and judge) will provide for Himself the lamb for a olah.” So the two of them went together. (Gen 22:7-8)
In our last meeting (Abraham walked with Yehovah) we saw that Isaac was 37 and his brother (Ishmael) was 51 (when Yehovah, after talking with Satan, decided to test Abraham; that would make Abraham 137 and and Sarah (Isaac’s mother) 127.Â Is it a coincidence that Sarah died that same year that Isaac was taken by Abraham from Beersheva up to mount Moriah? The book of Yasher provides much background information that brings new life to this story.
Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. (Gen 23:1)