Charles, I tried to send this message via the contact system but it did not work.
I think I may have posted this before, but good things never go bad! I just saw a need to delve into this subject a little more. Ron
"The Catholic Encyclopedia have to say about Sara / Sarah / Sarai?
“Sara (Hebrew for "princess"; another form, Sarai, the signification of which is doubtful, is found in passages occurring before Genesis 17:15).
Sara was the wife of Abraham (Avraham?) and also his step-sister (Genesis 12:15; 20:12). 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 (Genesis 12). In a variant account (Genesis 20), she is represented as being taken in similar circumstances by Abimelech (Avimelech?), King of Gerara, and restored likewise to Abraham through a Divine intervention.
After having been barren till the age of ninety, Sara, in fulfillment of a Divine promise, gives birth to Isaac (Genesis 21:1-7). Later we find her through jealousy ill-treating her handmaiden Agar the Egyptian, who had borne a child to Abraham, and finally she forces that latter to drive away the bond-woman and her son Ishmael (Genesis 21). 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 (Genesis 23). Isaiah 51:2 alludes to Sara as the mother of the chosen people; St. Peter praises her submission to her husband (1 Peter 3:6). Other New Testament references to Sara are in Romans 4:19; 9:9; Galatians 4:22-23; Hebrews 11:11.”
Not too much, huh? But, we do know that God had already changed Abram’s (Avram?) name to Abraham, in honor of the “covenant” that had been established and that he also changes her name. And, as we already know, in those days, as today in some places, a covenant or contract is blessed or made holy by the use of salt!
But, isn’t it likely that Sara / Sarai would have been a “bitter” wife when she realizes that the son of her “handmaiden” Agar / Hagar would bear the son of her husband?
Would not she shed tears of salt, or bitter tasting for her loss? And, would not she be bitter because her “essence” or her “royal?” blood line would not be continued? But God gave her back her essence, as her blood was passed on to a son with Abraham, a son who was to be blessed for all times!"
Something I think we can consider is the ages denoted in the Biblical text for the ancestors of the Hebrews / Israelites! In the above, we see that Sara(h)(i), is reported to have been aged 65 years (and still beautiful) when she was taken as wife by pharaoh; that she was 90 years of age when she bore her first child Isaac; and she died at 127 years of age!
Certainly, unless we have faith the "size of a mustard seed", we cannot accept such ages as being correct! And, as well, the other great ages given to the patriarchs of the Bible also stretch our credibility! Is there any other way of dating the age of these people without becoming embarrassed?
I suggest these ages, as suggested in Biblical verse, may have something to do with the way the ancients considered time. It is reported that the ancient Israelites divided the thing we now call a year, into three equal components, consisting of four months each. Let us suppose that for some reason these "seasons", with the word found commonly used in terms like "for everything there is its season", or "she was in season", etc., were somehow confused at a later time with the word "year?" In this case when the bible states that it was in the 10th year of the rule of Solomon, then it could easily be stating only that it was in the 10th "season" of Solomon! And, thus, if a king was said to have ruled for 33 years, it would really have been rule for but 33 seasons! Thus 33 seasons really would equal only ten years!
Ron, you may ask, just how could you ever come to this determination? Well, I am glad that you asked! It is a simple thing since, as I have stated numerous times, that the ancient writers liked to play with us! They used word and number games in their writings, developing stories within stories, etc., the mark of master craftsmen of words! Just as you remark Charles! In this case the clue just may lay in the lap of Sarah!
The Bible records that the king of Egypt took her as wife when she was aged at 65 years, but if we assume, as I have already done, that this was only a misrepresentation of "seasons", and that there were three seasons to a year, the Sarah would have been only about age 21 when the king saw her and her beauty! And, from the accounts I have read the Isrealites only recognized three seasons.
As many of us know, the experts on ancient times, have early recognized that a girl becomes a woman at her first menstrual cycle! That is, she becomes of marriageable age or able to conceive a child only at this point in time, whether she is age 10, 11, 12 or 13 years old! Thus Sarah might have been a rather late blossom, if she had her first period, at age 21, and just in time to have been noticed by the great king himself! Note, she is also alleged to have been coveted by or married to Abimelech also!
Again we are told that for years she endeavored to bear a child, and fearing that she was always to be barren, she allowed her cousin / husband to bear a child thru her maid! But, miracle of miracles, at age 90, she has a visit from an angel of God, and bears her first child at that age! A mother at 90! At this point we can understand that the story of Isaac is or could be but a restating of the life of Abraham, and the period of time he (Isaac) had to work for his wife's father, was due to the amount of time that he had to wait before she had her first period. But that is a "horse of a different color" so to speak.
But, again, if we use simple division, taking into account the three seasons, then Sarah was in reality only about age 30 at the birth of her first child. Thus, she was really only barren for about nine years!
(Note please that all of these ages are divisible by three!!)
Certainly in those days, if a girl does not become a women before she is, or was, age 15 or so, then she was unusual, and if it did not occur until she was age 21 she was a great embarrassment to her family and herself!
Heck, she had to be kept as a child for all of those years, she would have been like a albatross around the necks of her parents! But then good old Abraham, took her for his wife and saved her family from further embarrassment!
Perhaps that explains his (Isaac's) long engagement? And his (Abraham's) not very reluctant desire to let another man, especially a king, take her to be their wife!
But, then she became an embarrassment for him! She just would not become pregnant! And, as many women say today, her biological clock was running, and if we accept the life spans modern scientists give people of there times, death was to normally be expected after age 30 or so at least for women who bore many children! And, to save him the shame, she allowed him to bear children from a servant, good old Haggar!
So, she finally bore her husband a child at the very advance, for those days, age of thirty (90?)! And, afterwards, the Bible notes that she lived to be 127 years old! But, again, following my allegations, we see that this was really but about age 42! Thus she actually lived 127 periods of four months each! (three seasons of four months)
Thus, also when one of the patriarchs is said to have lived 170 years, in actuality he would have really been but 56 years of age or so!
And if it is said that someone lived to be aged 240 years, then his real age would have been but eighty (80)!! And, of course a real age of 100 would translate into Biblical age as being 300 periods of four months each old!
And, thus in later times, when all of these great ages were accepted, and the original dating system forgotten, did the Bible restrict man from living but threescore and ten years of age, or 120 of our current years! But, as I said, remember the division by three rule, and thus man would have been limited to the age of but 360 periods of four months each under the old system! Thus 360 years (seasons) in the old Biblical dating system!
Note that Abraham is reported to have lived 175 years, which would be, but about, age 58 in the later system, and his son Isaac was reported to have lived 180 years, which would correspond to the wonderfully divisible age of 60 in the later system, which we consider as accurate today!
Thus, all of these people actually lived very normal life spans, at least very good for those "Ancient of Days!"
It is only when the Bible gets back to the really ancient ancestors of mankind that they really get out of line, since the oldest man, Methuselah, reportedly lived for 969 years, and Noah was reportedly age 600 when the great flood happened! But, again divide these ages by three and we get 323 and 200!, and it then becomes easy to see that exaggeration of their ages was done to make them more God-like! Perhaps a multiple of three was used? Thus the division of 969 by nine (9) would give the age of Methuselah a more acceptable age of 107 modern years, which would of course, be very ancient a thousand or a few thousand years ago! (take your pick about the period of time that Noah reportedly lived)
And, under my system, which is probably not unique or novel) Noah would have been but about age 66, another wonderfully divisible by three age, when the flood came, and Methuselah drowned! Hell, if you were age 107 could you tread water for 40 days and nights? LOL
And adding a six (6) to age 66, would give us the famous number "666", the "number of the beast", which would translate to age 74 exactly if divided by nine!
Is there any ancient figure that lived to age 74?, or who ruled for 74 years?, or who was born in the year 74, etc.?
Remember, these men who wrote these ancient documents, were game players, and 7 plus 4 equals 11(eleven)!! Add, 74 + 11 and you get 85!; add 7+ 4+11, and you get 22!
Probably lots of fun games for those of you with a mathematical bent!
Hey, it looks like your list is rocking! Great!
Responses To This Message
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.