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Genesis 20

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Abraham and Abimelek
1Abraham moved south into the Negev Desert. He lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar. 2There Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She’s my sister.” Then Abimelek, the king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her.
3So God appeared to Abimelek in a dream one night. He said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken. She is already married.”
4But Abimelek hadn’t gone near her. So he said, “Lord, will you destroy a nation that hasn’t done anything wrong? 5Didn’t Abraham say to me, ‘She’s my sister’? And didn’t she also say, ‘He’s my brother’? I had no idea I was doing anything wrong.”
6Then God spoke to him in the dream. He said, “Yes, I know you had no idea you were doing anything wrong. So I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7Now return the man’s wife to him. He is a prophet. So he will pray for you, and you will live. But what if you do not return her? Then you can be sure that you and all your people will die.”
8Early the next morning Abimelek sent for all his officials. When he told them everything that had happened, they were really afraid. 9Then Abimelek called Abraham in. Abimelek said, “What have you done to us? Have I done something wrong to you? Why have you brought so much guilt on me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.” 10Abimelek also asked Abraham, “Why did you do this?”
11Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘There is no respect for God in this place. They will kill me because of my wife.’ 12Besides, she really is my sister. She’s the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother. And she became my wife. 13God had me wander away from my father’s house. So I said to her, ‘Here is how you can show your love to me. Everywhere we go, say about me, “He’s my brother.” ’ ”
14Then Abimelek gave Abraham sheep and cattle and male and female slaves. He also returned his wife Sarah to him. 15Abimelek said, “Here is my land. Live anywhere you want to.”
16He said to Sarah, “I’m giving your brother 25 pounds of silver. This will show everyone with you that I am sorry for what I did to you. You haven’t done anything wrong.”
17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek. He also healed his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again. 18The Lord had kept all the women in Abimelek’s house from having children. He had done it because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.
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1-2Abraham traveled from there south to the Negev and settled down between Kadesh and Shur. While he was camping in Gerar, Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She’s my sister.”
2-3So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her. But God came to Abimelech in a dream that night and told him, “You’re as good as dead—that woman you took, she’s a married woman.”
4-5Now Abimelech had not yet slept with her, hadn’t so much as touched her. He said, “Master, would you kill an innocent man? Didn’t he tell me, ‘She’s my sister’? And didn’t she herself say, ‘He’s my brother’? I had no idea I was doing anything wrong when I did this.”
6-7God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know your intentions were pure, that’s why I kept you from sinning against me; I was the one who kept you from going to bed with her. So now give the man’s wife back to him. He’s a prophet and will pray for you—pray for your life. If you don’t give her back, know that it’s certain death both for you and everyone in your family.”
8-9Abimelech was up first thing in the morning. He called all his house servants together and told them the whole story. They were shocked. Then Abimelech called in Abraham and said, “What have you done to us? What have I ever done to you that you would bring on me and my kingdom this huge offense? What you’ve done to me ought never to have been done.”
10Abimelech went on to Abraham, “Whatever were you thinking of when you did this thing?”
11-13Abraham said, “I just assumed that there was no fear of God in this place and that they’d kill me to get my wife. Besides, the truth is that she is my half sister; she’s my father’s daughter but not my mother’s. When God sent me out as a wanderer from my father’s home, I told her, ‘Do me a favor; wherever we go, tell people that I’m your brother.’”
14-15Then Abimelech gave Sarah back to Abraham, and along with her sent sheep and cattle and servants, both male and female. He said, “My land is open to you; live wherever you wish.”
16And to Sarah he said, “I’ve given your brother a thousand pieces of silver—that clears you of even a shadow of suspicion before the eyes of the world. You’re vindicated.”
17-18Then Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his maidservants, and they started having babies again. For God had shut down every womb in Abimelech’s household on account of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.