Sarah - Contemporary Works and Analysis

Contemporary Works and Analysis

Sarah has been featured in several novels, and she is the central character in Sarah by Orson Scott Card in the Women of Genesis series, Sarai: A Novel by Jill Eileen Smith, and Sarah: A Novel by Marek Halter. In the Christian fiction novel Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, the protagonist, called "Angel" throughout the duration of the story, is barren. At the end of the book, she reveals that her birth name is "Sarah" to her husband, who takes the revelation as a promise from God that they will one day be able to have children.

In the 1994 movie Abraham, Sarah is portrayed by Barbara Hershey.

Sarah is also a subject discussed in nonfiction books. In Twelve Extraordinary Women by Pastor John F. MacArthur, her life and story is analyzed along with that of Eve, Rahab, Ruth, Hannah, Mary the mother of Jesus, Anna, the Samaritan woman, Mary of Bethany, Martha of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and Lydia. Sarah appears in Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible: Flawed Women Loved by a Flawless God by Liz Curtis Higgs alongside several other Biblical women.

Some classical and modern scholars have analyzed Abraham's reasoning for hiding Sarah's position as his wife. Rashi argued that when a stranger comes to town, the proper thing to do would be to inquire if he needs food and drink, not whether his female companion is a married woman, and hence as Abimelech did the latter, it tipped off Abraham to the fact that there is no fear of God in this place, and so he lied about his relationship with Sarah in order to avoid being killed. Christian interpretation of the incidents has varied considerably. Some commentators have seen them as regrettable exceptions in the lives of those who otherwise lived upright lives, comparable tp Noah's and Lot's drunkenness and David's adultery. On the other hand, commentators such as Allan Turner, in his essay "Lying: Is It Ever Right?", takes the standpoint that the patriarchal individuals did not actually lie, but merely concealed part of the truth.

Others have questioned Sarah's status as Abraham's sister, notably biblical archaeologists. According to Emanuel Feldman (1965), basing his argument on Albright's interpretation of the archaeology of Nuzu, a wife could legally be awarded the title "sister", and that this was the most sacred form of marriage, and hence Abraham and Isaac referred to their wives as "sisters" for this reason. Most archaeologists however dispute that view, instead arguing the opposite - that sisters in the region were often awarded the title "wife" in order to give them much greater status in society. Savina Teubal's book Sarah the Priestess explains that while Sarah was indeed both Abram's wife and sister, there was no incest taboo because she was a half-sister by a different mother.

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