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Genesis 20

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1Abraham traveled towards the Negev, staying between Kadesh and Shur. After that he moved on to live in Gerar. 2During his time there, when Abraham told people about his wife Sarah, he said, “She's my sister.” So Abimelech,#20:2. “Abimelech” means “my father is the king,” or “my father is Molech,” a Canaanite god. This may well have been a formal title rather than a personal name (see also 26:8). king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her to become one of his wives.#20:2. “To become one of his wives”: supplied for clarity.
3But God appeared to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “Listen! You're going to die because the woman you've taken is already married—she has a husband.”
4Abimelech hadn't touched Sarah, and he asked, “Lord, do you kill good people? 5Didn't Abraham tell me himself, ‘She's my sister,’ and didn't Sarah also say, ‘He's my brother’? I did this in all innocence—my conscience is clear!”
6God told him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this in all innocence, so I prevented you from sinning against me. That's why I didn't let you touch her. 7Send the man's wife back to him. He's a prophet. He will pray for you, and you will live. But if you don't send her back to him, you should know for sure that you and all your family will die.”
8Abimelech got up early in the morning and called all his servants together. He explained everything that had happened, and they were all terrified. 9Then Abimelech summoned Abraham and asked him “What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you should treat me like this, bringing this terrible sin on me and my kingdom? You've done things to me that no one should ever do!”
10Then Abimelech asked Abraham “What were you thinking when you did this?”
11“Well, I thought to myself, ‘Nobody respects God in this place. They'll kill me just to get my wife,’” Abraham replied. 12“Anyway, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father but not my mother, and I married her. 13Since my God made me move far away from my family home, I told her, ‘If you really love me, then wherever you go with me you must tell people: He's my brother.’”
14Then Abimelech gave Abraham gifts of sheep, cattle, and male and female slaves, and returned his wife Sarah to him. 15Abimelech told him, “Look over my land. You can choose to live anywhere you like.” 16Abimelech also told Sarah, “Notice that I'm giving your brother a thousand pieces of silver. This is to compensate you for the wrong done to you in the eyes of everyone with you, and to make sure that your name is publicly cleared.”
17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female slaves, so that they could have children again. 18For the Lord had made all the women unable to have children because Abraham's wife, Sarah, had been taken.#20:18. “Was taken”: supplied for clarity.
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Abraham and Abimelek
Ge 12:10–20; 26:1–11
1#Ge 26:6; 18:1Abraham journeyed from there toward the Negev, settled between Kadesh and Shur, and then he sojourned in Gerar. 2#Ge 12:15; 26:7Then Abraham said about Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelek, king of Gerar, sent for her and took Sarah.
3#Job 33:15; Ps 105:14But God came to Abimelek in a dream by night and said to him, “You are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”
4#Ge 18:23–25; 1Ch 21:17Abimelek had not gone near her, and he said, “Lord, will You slay a righteous nation? 5#1Ki 9:4; Ps 7:8Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and did not even she herself say, ‘He is my brother’? In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.”
6#1Sa 25:26; 25:34And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also kept you from sinning against Me. Therefore, I did not let you touch her. 7#1Sa 7:5; Job 42:8Therefore return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet and he will pray for you. Moreover, you will live. However, if you do not return her, know that you will surely die, you and all who are yours.”
8So Abimelek rose early in the morning, and called all his servants and told them all these things, and the men were very afraid. 9#Ge 12:18; 26:10Then Abimelek called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I offended you that you would bring on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done things to me that should not have been done.” 10Then Abimelek said to Abraham, “What were you thinking of, that you did this thing?”
11#Ge 12:12; 26:7Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely there is no fear of God in this place, and they will slay me because of my wife. 12#Ge 11:29Still, indeed, she is my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother. She became my wife. 13#Ge 12:1; 12:9When God caused me to travel from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is your kindness which you must show me: Every place where we go, say concerning me, He is my brother.’ ”
14#Ge 12:16Then Abimelek took sheep, oxen, and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned his wife Sarah to him. 15#Ge 13:9; 34:10Abimelek said, “My land is before you; settle wherever it pleases you.”
16#Ge 20:5; Pr 27:5To Sarah he said, “I have given your brother a thousand shekels of silver.#About 25 pounds, or 12 kilograms. It is a sign of your innocence in the eyes of all who are with you, and before everyone you are vindicated.”
17#Jas 5:16So Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children. 18#Ge 12:17For the Lord had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelek because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.