In the bible we can see two events,

In Genesis the LORD promised Abraham and Sarah a son, but we can see they both laughed.

case 1:

Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?" -Genesis 17:17

Case 2:

Sarah laughed to herself,-Genesis 18:12 The LORD doesn't get angry'?' as Abraham fell facedown and laughed while Sarah laughed to herself. Is the anger'?' of LORD because of Sarah's lie that She didn't laugh?

NB: '?' is used just because I'm not sure if it's real anger.

3 Answers 3


Abraham's laugh was a laugh of joy, while Sarah's laugh was a laugh of contempt.

God looks at the heart or that is to say he looks at the underlying cause.

The heart in Christianity is believed to be the place where one's loyalty, belief, dedication, and so on is lodged.

All Scripture is quoted from the King James translation.

Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Matthew 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Unless God understood the machinations of man's minds he would not be omniscient, and could not have known:

Genesis 15:4 through 6 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.


If I may, in my honest opinion I believe that the relationship that Abraham had established with God was so much deeper than his wife Sarah. Remember, this was not Abraham's first time speaking or hearing from the Lord. It was a constant in his life; whereas, Sarah's interaction with the Lord of Hosts are very limited. Which limits her relationship and thus voids her laugh as being a doubtful heart.

Just my two cents....


  • Welcome to C.SE! When you get the chance, please check out our tour and specifically How we are different than other sites. Unfortunately, this is personal exegesis. We aren't looking for anybody's "two cents," but rather existing theological work. Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 23:36

I wondered this for years. Today as I was studying I realized two things. The event where Sarah laughed was after God has promised this to Abraham. Abraham laughed openly. He basically asked the same question as Sarah when she laughed. Some will argue the heart, but both displayed disbelief in this instance. Then 2, God didn't call out Sarah to Sarah, He called out Sarah to Abraham. So one must ask, why? I believe he was calling them both out. Was it perhaps Abraham didn't relay the news to Sarah? Was it because he wasnt leading them in belief? Was it because God was calling him out to lead his wife better? Whatever it was, Abraham knew his part in it.

I believe God was reacting to both of them. He had to take it a little further with Sarah because she denied it.

Another side note, people often say things about laughing outwardly and inwardly shows their heart. I submit that people have different personalities and one may be boisterous and one may be quiet. The laughter may be just how they laugh. The thoughts and speech that follow indicates more what's on their hearts. They both had disbelief. Understandably so, based on their bodies they couldn't see the promise happening. But God was reminding them that He is the creator and nothing is too hard for Him.

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    – agarza
    Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 21:36

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