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Genesis 20

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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.
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1-2Abraham traveled from there south to the Negev and settled down between Kadesh and Shur. While he was camping in Gerar, Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She’s my sister.”
2-3So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her. But God came to Abimelech in a dream that night and told him, “You’re as good as dead—that woman you took, she’s a married woman.”
4-5Now Abimelech had not yet slept with her, hadn’t so much as touched her. He said, “Master, would you kill an innocent man? Didn’t he tell me, ‘She’s my sister’? And didn’t she herself say, ‘He’s my brother’? I had no idea I was doing anything wrong when I did this.”
6-7God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know your intentions were pure, that’s why I kept you from sinning against me; I was the one who kept you from going to bed with her. So now give the man’s wife back to him. He’s a prophet and will pray for you—pray for your life. If you don’t give her back, know that it’s certain death both for you and everyone in your family.”
8-9Abimelech was up first thing in the morning. He called all his house servants together and told them the whole story. They were shocked. Then Abimelech called in Abraham and said, “What have you done to us? What have I ever done to you that you would bring on me and my kingdom this huge offense? What you’ve done to me ought never to have been done.”
10Abimelech went on to Abraham, “Whatever were you thinking of when you did this thing?”
11-13Abraham said, “I just assumed that there was no fear of God in this place and that they’d kill me to get my wife. Besides, the truth is that she is my half sister; she’s my father’s daughter but not my mother’s. When God sent me out as a wanderer from my father’s home, I told her, ‘Do me a favor; wherever we go, tell people that I’m your brother.’”
14-15Then Abimelech gave Sarah back to Abraham, and along with her sent sheep and cattle and servants, both male and female. He said, “My land is open to you; live wherever you wish.”
16And to Sarah he said, “I’ve given your brother a thousand pieces of silver—that clears you of even a shadow of suspicion before the eyes of the world. You’re vindicated.”
17-18Then Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his maidservants, and they started having babies again. For God had shut down every womb in Abimelech’s household on account of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.