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Genesis 20

20
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.
20
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.