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Genesis 20

20
Abraham’s Deception
1Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the Negev (the South country), and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he lived temporarily in Gerar. 2Abraham #See 12:11-13.said [again] of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So #The word “Abimelech” may be a royal title instead of a proper name. In either case this man is probably the father or grandfather of Abimelech king of the Philistines encountered later by Isaac (26:1).Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took #Sarah was about ninety years old at this time.Sarah [into his harem]. 3But God came to Abimelech in a dream during the night, and said, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken [as your wife], for she is another man’s wife.” 4Now Abimelech had not yet come near her; so he said, “Lord, will you kill a people who are righteous and innocent and blameless [regarding Sarah]? 5Did Abraham not tell me, ‘She is my sister?’ And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.” 6Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this in the integrity of your heart, for it was I who kept you back and spared you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not give you an opportunity to touch her. 7So now 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 [to him], know that you shall die, you and all who are yours (your household).”
8So Abimelech got up early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things; and the men were terrified. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I offended you that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me what ought not to be done [to anyone].” 10And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What have you encountered or seen [in us or our customs], that you have done this [unjust] thing?” 11Abraham said, “Because I thought, ‘Surely there is no fear or reverence of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12Besides, she actually is my [half] sister; she is the daughter of my father [Terah], but not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13When God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This kindness and loyalty you can show me: at every place we stop, say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ” 14Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen and male and female slaves, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him [as God commanded]. 15So Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; settle wherever you please.” 16Then to Sarah he said, “Look, I have given this brother of yours a #Perhaps about three years’ or a thousand days’ wages.thousand pieces of silver; it is to compensate you [for all that has happened] and to vindicate your honor before all who are with you; before all men you are cleared and compensated.” 17So Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, and they again gave birth to children, 18for the Lord had securely closed the wombs of all [the women] in Abimelech’s household because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
20
Abraham Goes to Gerar
1Abraham left that place and traveled to the Negev. He settled in the city of Gerar, between Kadesh and Shur. While in Gerar, 2Abraham told people that Sarah was his sister. King Abimelech of Gerar heard this. Abimelech wanted Sarah, so he sent some servants to take her. 3But one night God spoke to Abimelech in a dream and said, “You will die. The woman you took is married.”
4But Abimelech had not yet slept with Sarah, so he said, “Lord, I am not guilty. Would you kill an innocent man? 5Abraham himself told me, ‘This woman is my sister,’ and she also said, ‘This man is my brother.’ I am innocent. I did not know what I was doing.”
6Then God said to Abimelech in a dream, “Yes, I know that you are innocent and that you did not know what you were doing. I saved you. I did not allow you to sin against me. I was the one who did not allow you to sleep with her. 7So give Abraham his wife again. He is a prophet. He will pray for you, and you will live. But if you don’t give Sarah back to him, I promise that you will die. And all your family will die with you.”
8So very early the next morning, Abimelech called all his servants and told them about the dream. The servants were very afraid. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “Why have you done this to us? What wrong did I do to you? Why did you lie and say that she was your sister? You brought great trouble to my kingdom. You should not have done this to me. 10What were you afraid of? Why did you do this to me?”
11Then Abraham said, “I thought no one in this place respected God. I thought someone would kill me to get Sarah. 12She is my wife, but she is also my sister. She is the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother. 13God led me away from my father’s house. He led me to wander to many different places. When that happened, I told Sarah, ‘Do something for me. Wherever we go, tell people you are my sister.’”
14So Abimelech gave Sarah back to Abraham. Abimelech also gave Abraham some sheep, cattle, and slaves. 15And Abimelech said, “Look all around you. This is my land. You may live any place you want.”
16Abimelech said to Sarah, “I gave your brother Abraham 1000 pieces of silver. I did this to show that I am very sorry. I want everyone to see that I did the right thing.”
17-18The Lord made all the women in Abimelech’s family not able to have children. God did this because Abimelech had taken Sarah, Abraham’s wife. But Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his servant girls.