And God said to Abraham, As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Sarai.—Probably princely, an adjective of the same form as shaddai, Genesis 17:1; while Sarah means princess. The change of name shows that she was admitted to the covenant. (Comp. Genesis 17:10.)Genesis 17:15. Here is the promise made to Abraham of a son by Sarai, that son in whom the promise made to him should be fulfilled, that he should be the father of many nations, for she also shall be a mother of nations, and kings of people shall be of her, Genesis 17:16. Thus God reveals the purposes of his good-will to his people by degrees. He had told Abraham long before that he should have a son, but never till now that he should have a son by Sarai. Sarah shall her name be — The same letter is added to her name that was to Abraham’s. Sarai signifies my princess, as if her honour were confined to one family only; Sarah signifies a princess, namely, of multitudes.Sarai signifies my lady, or my princess, which confines her dominion to one family; but
Sarah signifies either a lady or princess, simply and absolutely without restriction, or the princess of a multitude, the Hebrew letter he being taken out of Hamon, and added to her name, as it was to Abram’s name.
as for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah her name shall be; her former name Sarai signifies "my princess", or rather "princesses", being to him in the room of many, and better than ten thousand; yet only a princess to him, and in his family, being sole mistress there: but Sarah signifies, as Jarchi observes, "princess" absolutely, because she was princess over all the princes and people that should come of her, as well as be the mother and princess of all female believers, who are called her daughters, 1 Peter 3:6.And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. Sarah shall her name be] That is, Princess. The name “Sarai” (LXX Σάρα) is altered to “Sarah” (LXX Σάῤῥα). The name “Sarah” is the feminine form of the Heb. Sar, “a prince.” Other explanations which give the meaning “the contentious one,” or “the merry one,” are improbable. “Sarai” may possibly have been an older form of “Sarah.” It cannot mean, as used to be asserted, “my princess.”Verse 15. - And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, - who, not having hitherto been mentioned in any of the promises, is now expressly taken into covenant, and accordingly receives a new name (cf. Ver. 5; Genesis 32:28; Revelation 3:12) - thou shalt not call her name Sarai, - "my princess" (Gesenius); "princely, noble" (Ikenins, Rosenmüller, Keil, Delitzsch); "the heroine" (Knobel); "strife, contention" (Ewald, Murphy), with special reference to her struggle against sterility. (Kalisch) - but Sarah "princess" (Gesenius), the meaning being that, whereas formerly she was Abram's princess only, she was henceforth to be recognized as a princess generally, i.e. as the mother of the Church (Jerome, Augustine), or as princess to the Lord, the letter A being taken from the name Jehovah, as in the change of Abram into Abraham (the Rabbis); though Ikenius and Rosenmüller derive from an Arabic root, sara, to have a numerous progeny - shall her name be. Genesis 17:4) God required that he and his descendants in all generations should keep the covenant, and that as a sign he should circumcise himself and every male in his house. המּול Niph. of מוּל, and נמלתּם perf. Niph. for נמלּתם, from מלל equals מוּל. As the sign of the covenant, circumcision is called in Genesis 17:13, "the covenant in the flesh," so far as the nature of the covenant was manifested in the flesh. It was to be extended not only to the seed, the lineal descendants of Abraham, but to all the males in his house, even to every foreign slave not belonging to the seed of Abram, whether born in the house or acquired (i.e., bought) with money, and to the "son of eight days," i.e., the male child eight days old; with the threat that the uncircumcised should be exterminated from his people, because by neglecting circumcision he had broken the covenant with God. The form of speech ההיא הנּפשׁ נכרתה, by which many of the laws are enforced (cf. Exodus 12:15, Exodus 12:19; Leviticus 7:20-21, Leviticus 7:25, etc.), denotes not rejection from the nation, or banishment, but death, whether by a direct judgment from God, an untimely death at the hand of God, or by the punishment of death inflicted by the congregation or the magistrates, and that whether יוּמת מות is added, as in Exodus 31:14, etc., or not. This is very evident from Leviticus 17:9-10, where the extermination to be effected by the authorities is distinguished from that to be executed by God Himself (see my biblische Archologie ii. 153, 1). In this sense we sometimes find, in the place of the earlier expression "from his people," i.e., his nation, such expressions as "from among his people" (Leviticus 17:4, Leviticus 17:10; Numbers 15:30), "from Israel" (Exodus 12:15; Numbers 19:13), "from the congregation of Israel" (Exodus 12:19); and instead of "that soul," in Leviticus 17:4, Leviticus 17:9 (cf. Exodus 30:33, Exodus 30:38), we find "that man."
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