Updated: Jan 24, 2021
We are all familiar with the story of Moses and the Exodus out of Egypt, but were you aware that an earlier event foreshadowed this exodus; along with plagues? This earlier event involves Sarai, Abram’s wife. But first, let’s review what happened with Moses and Pharaoh.
In Exodus it is recorded that Moses spoke to Pharaoh warning him about the plagues that would come upon him, and the nation, if he did not let the children of Israel go. Moses speaks the “word” given to him by Yahweh.
After the plague of frogs had come we find it recorded:
Exodus 8:12-13 And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. And the LORD did according to the word of Moses;
In English this seems straight forward enough but actually the Hebrew uses the words על-דבר (al-davar) twice in these verses. The meaning of the words is “ because of the word”.
In other words, the Hebrew states that Moses speaks Yahweh’s Word to Pharaoh; (the word Yahweh gave to Moses regarding the plagues), and Yahweh sends plagues in accordance to the word of Moses. Moses’ words carried weight because he spoke for God and what he said came to pass.
Now, let’s go way back to the time of Abram and Sarai. These two had an earlier encounter with another Pharaoh of Egypt. (Genesis Chapter 12)
It is in this story that Abram tells Sarai to pretend that she is only his sister and not his wife because he is afraid that Pharaoh will kill him to get his beautiful Sarai.
In Genesis 12:17 it says “And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.”
Again, the Hebrew text actually states, “על-דבר”. “ And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of the WORD of Sarai...”
Sarai spoke plagues over Pharaoh just like Moses did years later. Pharaoh figured out quickly that he wasn’t going to touch this woman Sarai or keep her captive. I have always wondered what convinced him so ardently to let her go.
To me, Abram was wrong in putting Sarai in this position, but then again, maybe he knew what we haven’t known - that his Sarai was perfectly able to take care of herself. She was a powerful woman of God.
This event of Abram and Sarai foreshadowed the children of Israel going down into Egypt and being brought out.
Gill commentary also makes mention of the above in his commentary about Moses and Pharaoh. He understood the connection to Sarai.