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Genesis 20

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Abraham tried to trick a big boss called Abimelek
1At one time, Abraham moved his camp south to the Negev desert, and he lived between the 2 towns called Kadesh and Shur. Then later, he moved his camp to a town called Gerar. 2While Abraham and Sarah were in Gerar, Abraham told everyone that his wife, Sarah, was his sister, not his wife. The big boss of Gerar was called Abimelek. He believed Abraham, so he sent somebody to get Sarah so that he could marry her.#Genesis 12:13; 26:7
3God was not happy that Abimelek was going to marry Sarah, so one night he gave Abimelek a dream, and in that dream, God told him, “You are going to die. You took Sarah to be your wife, but she is already married to Abraham.”
4Abimelek said, “But God, I haven’t married Sarah yet. I have not slept with her, like a man sleeps with his wife. Me and my people, we haven’t done anything wrong. Will you kill us for nothing? 5Abraham told me himself that Sarah was his sister. And she said that Abraham was her brother. I didn’t know that she was already married to him. I didn’t want to do anything wrong.”
6God kept talking to him in that dream. He said, “Yes, I know that you didn’t want to do anything wrong. You didn’t know that Sarah was a married woman. That’s why I did not let you touch her. I stopped you from doing a bad thing. 7So now, give Sarah back to Abraham. He is my special man, and he will pray for you, so that you will not die. But I’m telling you, if you don’t give her back to Abraham, I will kill you, and I will kill everyone that lives with you.”
8So early in the morning, Abimelek called a meeting for all his important workers. He told them everything that God said, and they were all very frightened. 9Then Abimelek sent somebody to get Abraham to come to that meeting. Abimelek said to Abraham, “Look, you have made trouble for me and my people. What did I do to you, so that you pay me back with this trouble? You have done a bad thing to us. 10Why did you do that? Why did you tell us that Sarah is your sister?”
11Abraham said, “I’m sorry. I thought that nobody here respected God, so I was frightened of you mob. I reckoned that you would kill me so that you can marry Sarah. 12But anyway, Sarah really is my sister. We have the same father, but different mothers.” You see, in Abraham’s culture, men could marry their half-sisters.
13Then Abraham said, “God told me to leave my father’s country, so we moved around from place to place, and I was frightened of the people. So I told Sarah, ‘Be good to me and tell everyone that you are my sister. Then I will be safe.’ ”
14Then Abimelek did what God told him to do. He gave Sarah back to Abraham, and he also gave him some sheep, and some goats, and some cows, and some bulls, and some workers, both men and women. 15And Abimelek said to Abraham, “Friend, look around at all my country. You can live anywhere you like in this country.” 16Then Abimelek said to Sarah, “I’m giving Abraham, your brother, a lot of money, to pay for the trouble I gave you. I’m giving him 1,000 pieces of silver money to show your mob, and everyone else, that you did nothing wrong.”
17-18Then Abraham prayed to God and asked him to make Abimelek and his mob better. You see, before, at the time when Abimelek got Sarah so that he could marry her, God made Abimelek sick and stopped all the women in Abimelek’s house from having babies. But then God talked to Abimelek, and Abimelek gave Sarah back to Abraham. So then Abraham prayed to God, and God made Abimelek better, and he made Abimelek’s wife better, and he made all the women that lived in Abimelek’s house better too, so that they had babies again.
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Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac
Abraham and Sarah at Gerar
1Abraham moved to the Southern Desert, where he settled between Kadesh and Shur. Later he went to Gerar, and while there 2he told everyone that his wife Sarah was his sister. So King Abimelech of Gerar had Sarah brought to him.#Gn 12.13; 26.7. 3But God came to Abimelech in a dream and said, “You have taken a married woman, and for this you will die!”
4-5Abimelech said to the Lord, “Don't kill me! I haven't slept with Sarah. Didn't they say they were brother and sister? I am completely innocent.”
6God spoke to Abimelech in another dream and said:
I know you are innocent. That's why I kept you from sleeping with Sarah and doing anything wrong. 7Her husband is a prophet. Let her go back to him, and his prayers will save you from death. But if you don't return her, you and all your people will die.
8Early the next morning Abimelech sent for his officials, and when he told them what had happened, they were frightened. 9Abimelech then called in Abraham and said:
Look what you've done to us! What have I ever done to you? Why did you make me and my nation guilty of such a terrible sin? 10What were you thinking when you did this?
11Abraham answered:
I did it because I didn't think any of you respected God, and I was sure that someone would kill me to get my wife. 12Besides, she is my half-sister. We have the same father, but different mothers. 13When God made us leave my father's home and start wandering, I told her, “If you really love me, you will tell everyone that I am your brother.”
14Abimelech gave Abraham some sheep, cattle, and slaves. He sent Sarah back 15and told Abraham that he could settle anywhere in his country. 16Then he said to Sarah, “I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver as proof to everyone that you have done nothing wrong.”#20.16 as proof…wrong: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
17-18Meanwhile, God had kept Abimelech's wife and slaves from having children. But Abraham prayed, and God let them start having children again.