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Genesis 20

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Chapter 20
Abraham and Abimelech
1Abraham travelled south to the Negev desert. He lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a time he stayed in Gerar. 2While he was there, Abraham told people that his wife, Sarah, was his sister. Because of this, the king of Gerar took Sarah so that she would become his wife. The king's name was Abimelech.
3But God appeared to Abimelech in a dream. He said to Abimelech, ‘Now you will die! The woman that you have taken to be your wife is already a married woman.’
4But Abimelech had not yet touched Sarah. He said to God, ‘Lord, I have not done anything wrong. Surely you will not destroy me and my people. 5Abraham told me that Sarah was his sister. And she herself said, “I am his sister.” So I am not guilty! I did not think that I was doing a bad thing.’
6God spoke to Abimelech again in a dream. He said, ‘That is true. You did not think that you were doing something wrong. I know that. So I did not let you touch her. I stopped you from doing anything wrong against me. 7You must now give her back to her husband. He is a prophet and he will pray for you. Because of that, you will not die. But if you do not give her back, you and all your people will surely die.’
8Early the next morning, Abimelech called together his officers. He told them what had happened. When the officers heard about it, they were very afraid. 9Abimelech called Abraham to come to him. He said to Abraham, ‘Why have you done this bad thing against us? I have not done anything wrong against you. Now you have made me and the people in my kingdom guilty of a very bad thing. Nobody should ever do the things that you have done to me.’ 10Abimelech asked Abraham, ‘What caused you to do this?’
11Abraham replied, ‘I did it because I was afraid. I thought, “The people here do not respect God. They will kill me so that they can take my wife from me.” #20:11 Verses 1-11 are like Genesis 12:11-20. Again, Abraham does not think that God will keep him safe. 12And also, she really is my sister. She is the daughter of my father. But she is not the daughter of my mother. And she became my wife. 13God told me to leave my father's house and to travel. At that time I said to Sarah, “This is how you can show that you love me. Everywhere we go, tell people that I am your brother.” ’
14Then Abimelech brought sheep and cows to give to Abraham. He also gave to Abraham male and female servants. And he gave Sarah back to Abraham. 15Abimelech said, ‘Look! See my land all round you. Go and live anywhere that you want to live.’
16Abimelech said to Sarah, ‘I have given 1,000 pieces of silver to your brother. #20:16 Abimelech is very kind. He calls Abraham Sarah's brother, just like Abraham had said. He shows that people in that place did respect God. So Abraham had been wrong to be afraid. This is to show everyone that you yourself did nothing wrong. It will pay you for any trouble that you have received.’
17Then Abraham prayed to God. As a result, God made Abimelech become well again. He also made Abimelech's wife and his female slaves become well, so that they could have children again. 18The Lord had made them unable to have children. He did this because of what happened to 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.