Are there any opinions that either Abimelech and Sarah, or Pharaoh and Sarah, had children together? And if so, I would never suggest that would have any bearing on Yitzchak, since he's one of the avos and there is no question that Abraham was his father, but there is the concept that a drop from Shechem and a drop from Shimon combined to produce Shaul ha-Melech (two sources are given here Source text behind Rabbinic view on Dinah, Simeon, and Shaul noted in Jewish Encyclopedia), who was also a Jew, so I am wondering if there are any similar opinions here given the wording in Bereshis 20:2 that Abimelech "took Sarah," and in Bereshit 12:16 where it says Sarah was taken into Pharaoh's house, if possibly Abraham could be the pure father like Shimon but still also with an impure drop from Abimelech or Pharaoh, which maybe would have required the Akeida to separate from the pure, and which would fit with Yitzchak's middot being Gevurah? Or, the concept could fit with other similar concepts if it were the case. However to be clear, I know of no commentaries that suggest it is the case, but I think it's helpful to give some context for the question.

And then secondarily, I am also wondering could Sarah and Abimelech or Pharaoh have had children who were not Yitzchak, and who are not mentioned explicitly in Chumash but are explained in commentaries?

1 Answer 1


It is safe to say there are no such opinions because they would contradict explicit pesukim

She certainly had no children from Pharoah. The Torah explicitly says she had no children after the story took place (Breishis 16:1) וְשָׂרַי֙ אֵ֣שֶׁת אַבְרָ֔ם לֹ֥א יָֽלְדָ֖ה Sarai, the wife of Avrom, never gave birth The pesukim afterward repeat that she never had children and that they had been living in Canan for ten years already at that point so it was way after the Pharoah story

Two posukim later from saying "Avimelech took Sorah" (Breisis 20:4) explicitly says וַֽאֲבִימֶ֕לֶךְ לֹ֥א קָרַ֖ב אֵלֶ֑יהָ And Avimelech had not come near her so that would negate any possibility of her having had children with him

  • Thank u! This answer is short but to the pt and very clear and persuasive on the question. Often chazal can see things in the pesukim that we cant, sometimes things that even seem to go against what it appears to be saying clearly on the surface, but rly it isnt necessarily. I am wondering if there are any midrashim like that on this question. The case with Abimelech seems more clear cut than Pharaoh. This is the chabad translation of Bereshit 16:1. "Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had not borne to him..." IF the translation is accurate, could argue "to him" is extra unless she bore to Pharaoh. Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 1:06
  • Also, as far as timelines, do we know according to the opinions that Shechem and Shimon both lay with Dinah, how long apart that was? Science doesn't support that two drops can mix in the first place, so if it happened anyway would a time limit stop it? Since there is a mystical dimension to this, I'm not sure it has to be a physical seed, but maybe more like an energy or mystical spark that could have attached to Sarah from Pharaoh and then to Yitzchak even if it wasn't until many years later. So timelines may not tell us yes or no either, only a complete inventory of the seforim can do that. Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 1:31
  • Even assuming the Chabad translation is accurate she explicitly says in the next posuk that Hashem had held her back from giving birth. That would be from anyone.
    – Schmerel
    Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 22:44
  • I agree for the simple reading, but many times Rabbis have said something only applies to this or that, like in this case, it could be only about Abraham. And I dont know if it would be impossible for her to not bear from Pharaoh, but still have a spark within her from laying with Pharaoh (IF that happened), that then combined with Abraham's spark yrs later. I did not learn in med school how Shimon and Shechem's drops could have mixed together, or what the timeline would be, so it makes it hard to rule anything out, lol. But if anyone knows any commentaries with unique concepts here, pls post. Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 0:52

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