Her husband told her to go. “Let Abimelech take you up in his harem, otherwise he may kill me.” Sarah did just that. (See Genesis 20)
In our modern mindset, that sound like the most radical wifely obedience in the whole of the 66 books that make up the Bible. But we think of this from cultures where a woman has many resources. There were no police in Gerar. There were no shelters for abused women. The culture was not just pre-Christian, but pre-Israelite.
In the barbaric world of the era, it seems to me she saw 2 possible futures:
1) Abimelech’s soldiers kill Abraham and take her.
2) Abraham negotiates terms for her to be taken into Abimelech’s harem.
In the first case, her husband is dead, and she gets taken in as a piece of war booty with nowhere to go. In the second case, Abraham is still alive and she gets taken into a harem as someone with some value, the relative of someone Abimelech made friends with.
Was there a possibility 3? Telling Abraham she won’t do that and they should flee back in the direction they came from instead? Well, Abraham got a message from God to go to a land God will show them, and probably would not have turned around. Should she have taken (more…)