November 14, 2006
A further point about the "she's my sister" episode in Gen. 20:1-18: at the time Abraham travelled to Gerar, Sarah was nearly a hundred years old. She was well past childbearing age, at the very least. And yet Abimelech still coveted her. Why? Did he actually intend to sleep with the centenarian? Or were there other motives behind the kidnapping? Keep in mind that Abraham was already a very rich man with a retinue of at least three hundred warriors in his household. (Gen. 14:14-16) Perhaps Abimelech wanted ransom, not conjugal pleasures. The text suggests otherwise, but I find it difficult to imagine that a king, presumably in the prime of his life, would want to sleep with a woman who was nearly a hundred years old, no matter how beautiful she was in her youth.