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Genesis 20

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Abraham Deceives Abimelech
1Abraham moved south to the Negev and lived for a while between Kadesh and Shur, and then he moved on to Gerar. While living there as a foreigner, 2Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to him at his palace.
3But that night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “You are a dead man, for that woman you have taken is already married!”
4But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5Didn’t Abraham tell me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘Yes, he is my brother.’ I acted in complete innocence! My hands are clean.”
6In the dream God responded, “Yes, I know you are innocent. That’s why I kept you from sinning against me, and why I did not let you touch her. 7Now return the woman to her husband, and he will pray for you, for he is a prophet. Then you will live. But if you don’t return her to him, you can be sure that you and all your people will die.”
8Abimelech got up early the next morning and quickly called all his servants together. When he told them what had happened, his men were terrified. 9Then Abimelech called for Abraham. “What have you done to us?” he demanded. “What crime have I committed that deserves treatment like this, making me and my kingdom guilty of this great sin? No one should ever do what you have done! 10Whatever possessed you to do such a thing?”
11Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘This is a godless place. They will want my wife and will kill me to get her.’ 12And she really is my sister, for we both have the same father, but different mothers. And I married her. 13When God called me to leave my father’s home and to travel from place to place, I told her, ‘Do me a favor. Wherever we go, tell the people that I am your brother.’”
14Then Abimelech took some of his sheep and goats, cattle, and male and female servants, and he presented them to Abraham. He also returned his wife, Sarah, to him. 15Then Abimelech said, “Look over my land and choose any place where you would like to live.” 16And he said to Sarah, “Look, I am giving your ‘brother’ 1,000 pieces of silver#20:16 Hebrew 1,000 [shekels] of silver, about 25 pounds or 11.4 kilograms in weight. in the presence of all these witnesses. This is to compensate you for any wrong I may have done to you. This will settle any claim against me, and your reputation is cleared.”
17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants, so they could have children. 18For the Lord had caused all the women to be infertile because of what happened with Abraham’s wife, Sarah.
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Abraham’s Treachery
1Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the #I.e., South countryNegev, and #Lit dweltsettled between Kadesh and Shur; then he lived for a time in Gerar. 2And Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent men and took Sarah. 3But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is #Lit married to a husbandmarried.” 4Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You kill a nation, even though #Lit righteousblameless? 5Did he himself not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my #Lit palmshands I have done this.” 6Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also #Lit restrainedkept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. 7Now then, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, know that you will certainly die, you and all who are yours.”
8So Abimelech got up early in the morning and called all his servants, and told all these things in their #Lit earspresence; and the people were greatly frightened. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And #Lit whathow have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me #Lit deedsthings that ought not to be done.” 10And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What have you #Lit seenencountered, that you have done this thing?” 11Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely there is no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. 12Besides, she actually is my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife; 13and it came about, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is #Lit yourthe kindness which you will show to me: #Lit at every place whereeverywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ” 14Abimelech then took sheep and oxen and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned his wife Sarah to him. 15Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; #Lit dwellsettle wherever #Lit it is good in your sightyou please.” 16To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. #Lit Behold, it isIt is #Lit for you a covering of the eyesyour vindication before all who are with you, and before everyone you are cleared.” 17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his female slaves, so that they gave birth to children. 18For the Lord had completely closed all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.