🔼The name Sarah: Summary
- Princess, Senate
- From the noun שרה (sara), ruling body, from the verb שרר (sharar), to retain liquidity.
🔼The name Sarah in the Bible
Sarah (formerly known as Sarai) is the half-sister of Abraham, Nahor and Haran (same father; Genesis 20:12), who becomes Abraham's wife. Note that the later Levitical code prohibits marriage between siblings (Leviticus 18:9). At the age of ninety, Sarah becomes the mother of Isaac, who became the father of Jacob, who became Israel.
Sarah is the fourth woman mentioned by name in the Bible, and the first in the line of Seth. Her name appears 4 times in the Greek New Testament (spelled Σαρρα, Sarra — see full New Testament concordance).
🔼Etymology of the name Sarah
The name Sarah is identical to the Hebrew noun שׂרה (sara), meaning princess or noble lady:
Root שרר (sharar) has to do with rigidity resulting from the absorption and retention of liquids (called turgor in plants), liquidity in economy, or data in IT and so on — and the ultimate effects thereof. The promise of Jesus', that streams of living water would emerge from within (John 7:38), tells of a curing of social lymphedema, when pools of stagnant wealth (whether fat, cash or data) are re-released into society to benefit all (for more on this, see our article on the noun δουλος, doulos).
Noun שר (sar) means chief or ruler (someone in whom a society's wealth is concentrated). Its feminine form, שרה (sara), denotes a princess, noble lady or perhaps a ruling class collectively. The denominative verb שרר (sarar) means to be a chief.
Noun שרירות (sherirut) describes firmness in a negative sense: stubbornness. Noun שר (shor) refers to the umbilical cord and noun שרה (shera) to a bracelet of some sort. Noun שריר (sharir) apparently denotes a sinew or muscle.
Mystery verb שרה (sara) is used only to describe what Jacob did with the Angel (Genesis 32:29 and Hosea 12:4). It's traditionally been translated as "to wrestle," but it obviously metaphorizes Israel's formation into a political unity based on the retention of knowledge and skills. Derived noun משרה (misra) literally means "place or agent of שרה (sara)." It occurs only in the famous prediction that "the misra will be upon his shoulders" (Isaiah 9:6).
Verb שרה (shara) means to fill and release. Noun משרה (mishra) denotes the juice of grapes. Noun שריה (shirya) denotes a kind of weapon and noun שריון (shiryon) or שרין (shiryan) describes body armor — the link between physical, political and intellectual rigidity is obvious (see Ephesians 6:14).
For a meaning of the name Sarah, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Princess. Here at Abarim Publications we suspect that this name refers to a Senate or parliament that commonly in more complex societies operates in conjunction with a monarch.