This article first gives a survey of scholarship on the study of Genesis 12, Genesis 20, and Genesis 26, passages where Abraham and Isaac claim that Sarah (12:11-16; 20:2-3) and Rebekah (26:6-11) were their sisters. Next, it develops suggestions that have been considered only in passing by a few scholars, and that is that some type of diplomatic marriage may be involved in the stories.
What did the world of the Ancient Near East look like? This map shows major cities, rivers and mountains, and important regions (such as Mesopotamia and the Levant) which are related to the earliest biblical accounts of human history. The region where the cities are most concentrated - stretching from Mesopotamia, the Levant (Palestine) and up to the upper regions of the Nile River - is also called the Fertile Crescent.