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Was Sarah Abraham's sister?

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by Andrewn, May 1, 2021.

  1. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    Twice, in Genesis, Abraham declared that Sarah was his half-sister. But

    Gen 11:31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. (ESV)

    This passage clearly mention that Sarah was not Terah's daughter!!
     
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  2. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    I think there is something Incestual (by our standards). I thought it the Mesopatamiam culture there was some marriages among the nobility of close relatives, including brothers and sisters. But I'm not an expert. But this sort of thing was sometimes done by the elite. I assume it happened rather than "marrying down" and marrying someone from a lower class that might have fresh genes but doesn't really help the prestige of your family, especially since I don't think people back then appreciated the notions of inbreeding etc.
     
  3. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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  4. Handmaid for Jesus

    Handmaid for Jesus You can't steal my joy Supporter

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    This is what scripture says
    Gen. 20:12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
     
  5. chad kincham

    chad kincham Well-Known Member

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    .
     
  6. chad kincham

    chad kincham Well-Known Member

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    There were no incest laws until after Abraham’s day.

    And Adam and Eves children married each other.

    Eve was cloned from Adams rib, so she was genetically as close as a fraternal twin to Adam, anyway.

    There was no need for incest laws until DNA accumulated bad genes over many centuries from Adams perfect genes, and now if close relatives marry, bad genes can stack up and become dominant instead of recessive, and cause birth defects.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  7. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    The law of Moses against incest came at least 600 years after Abraham's time. My issue is not with incest but rather with Sarah being called Tareh's daughter-in-law in Gen 11:31.

    In the Talmud, Sarah is said to be Abraham's niece, rather than his sister. Do you think this solves the issue?

    Also, it seems that Ezekiel considers Abraham and Sarah to belong to different nations:

    Eze 16:3 and tell her that this is what the Lord GOD says to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth were in the land of the Canaanites. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  8. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    Yes, but this seems to contradict Gen 11:31. Was Abraham lying again in Gen 20:12?
     
  9. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    I can see the Talmud idea because of the nature of Hebrew vocabulary that there wasn't a word for cousin in Hebrew and that brother and sister was often used for describing things like 1st cousins and other close relationships than actual brother and sister.


    I did read in one of the above links I posted that some sources say Sarah was Abraham's half sister, which is another possibility.
     
  10. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    This is the usual Christian view but I'm finding it difficult to believe that Sarah is Terah's daughter when she's referred to as his daughter-in-law. Even if she could be both, the primary relationship would be "daughter." Perhaps rabbi thought this way also, this is why they consider her Terah's granddaughter, then daughter-in-law would be a closer relationship.

    Perhaps I'm making a mountain out of a molehill :).

    What do you think of Eze 16:3?
     
  11. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    I think that prophesy is a metaphorical rebuke, basically commentating how they were steeped in idolatry. Saying you were a Amorite, Canaanite etc. is more talking about them borrowing the gods of their neighbors, than their actual ancestry.
     
  12. plain jayne

    plain jayne Active Member

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    The whole of Ezekiel is to the Jews in exile about their return, but God has to remind them why they were taken into captivity in the first place.

    Chapter 16 describes Israel as a harlot wife.

    In figurative language God describes them as:
    • A baby born as nothing in pagan places and abandoned without even their umbilical cord cut - cast aside naked, bloody, and no one having pity or compassion [the use of the words Canaan, Amorites, and Hittites are figurative for their humble beginnings without God]
    • God says, figuratively speaking, that he "found" them and cleaned them and made them to live. They grew and became beautiful, but they were still naked.
    • God said he covered them with his wings and made a covenant with them
    • God says he washed and anointed them, gave them clothes, covered them with all kinds of adornments, jewels, and a crown.
    • He says they "trusted" in their own beauty and chased after other gods - spiritual adultery.
     
  13. Handmaid for Jesus

    Handmaid for Jesus You can't steal my joy Supporter

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    It may seem like a contradiction to modern understanding. The scripture does not name Sarai's mother, but Abraham named Terah as her father. Note in verse 29, Milcah was the daughter of Abraham's brother Haran who had died but she married Haran's brother Nahor. Technically she was his niece. It would help if we knew Sarai's mother's name.
     
  14. Handmaid for Jesus

    Handmaid for Jesus You can't steal my joy Supporter

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    Well that is no mystery. Sarai was married to Abram so she was Terah's daughter-in-law.She could have been his daughter as well.
     
  15. throughfireytrial

    throughfireytrial Truth-Lover Supporter

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    Sarah was Abraham's half sister...same father but not the same mother. This is all before the LAW was given to Moses.
     
  16. a-lily-in-the-valley

    a-lily-in-the-valley Well-Known Member

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    Her primary relationship wouldn’t necessarily be “daughter” when viewed through the lens that a woman was under her father’s authority only until she married, at which point she was under her husband’s authority.

    Her primary relationship in the family was to Abram, so it could be phrased this way to show the extent of Terah’s authority.

    This might seem irrelevant but it shows the idea:

    “Or if a woman makes a vow to the Lord, and binds herself by some agreement while in her father’s house in her youth, and her father hears her vow and the agreement by which she has bound herself, and her father holds his peace, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement with which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father overrules her on the day that he hears, then none of her vows nor her agreements by which she has bound herself shall stand; and the Lord will release her, because her father overruled her.
    “If indeed she takes a husband, while bound by her vows or by a rash utterance from her lips by which she bound herself, and her husband hears it, and makes no response to her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her agreements by which she bound herself shall stand. But if her husband overrules her on the day that he hears it, he shall make void her vow which she took and what she uttered with her lips, by which she bound herself, and the Lord will release her.

    (Numbers 30:3-8, NKJV)
     
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  17. Davy

    Davy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Gen 20:12
    12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

    KJV
     
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