Digging Up the Past

Chapter 10 - Israel

Promised son

Abraham's wife, Sarah, laughed at the suggestion of having a son at her age of 76

Abram had been promised a son, through whom the favoured nation would come, but up to this time Sarai had not borne him any children, and, as she was now seventy-six years of age, it obviously seemed unlikely that she would bear a child. So she suggested to Abraham that he take her handmaid, Hagar, as a secondary wife – a custom which was prevalent in those days, and socially acceptable.

In the course of time a son was born to this marriage, and he was named Ishmael (‘God hears’). But this plan of human devising did not meet the approval of God, who at this point changed Abram’s name to Abraham, and his wife Sarai’s name to Sarah, confirming His promise to them. He appeared to Abraham and assured him that Sarai would bear him a son, and that through him the promised inheritance would come. Accordingly, when Sarah was ninety years of age, she miraculously conceived and gave birth to a son whose name was Isaac, meaning ‘Laughter’, because Sarah had laughed at the idea of bearing a son at her age.