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Genesis 20

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Sarah Renewed
1Then Abraham journeyed from there to the land of the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was dwelling as an outsider in Gerar,
2Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for and took Sarah.
3But God came to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “Behold, you are as good as dead, because of the woman whom you have taken—since she is a married woman.”
4Now Abimelech had not come near her. So he said, “My Lord, will You slay a nation, even though innocent?
5Didn’t he say to me, ‘She’s my sister’? And she herself even said, ‘He’s my brother.’ I did this with integrity of my heart and guiltlessness of my hands.”
6Then God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I myself knew that you did this with integrity of your heart, so I, yes I Myself prevented you from sinning against Me. That is why I did not allow you to touch her.
7So now, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet. And let him pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, know that you will surely die—you and all who are yours.”
8Abimelech rose early in the morning, called all his servants and spoke all these words in their ears—and the men were very frightened.
9Then Abimelech called to Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us, and how have I sinned against you, that you brought great sin upon me and my kingdom? You’ve done to me things that should not be done!”
10Abimelech also said to Abraham, “What motivated you to do this thing?”
11Abraham said, “Because I thought, ‘There is certainly no fear of God in this place, so they’ll kill me, because of my wife.’
12And besides, she really is my sister. She’s my father’s daughter, though not my mother’s daughter. Then she became my wife.
13So when God made me wander away from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is your loyalty that you must show me: in every place we go, say of me, ‘He is my brother.’”
14Then Abimelech took sheep, cattle, male slaves and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and returned his wife Sarah to him.
15Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you. Dwell wherever it pleases you.”
16At the same time he said to Sarah, “Look, I’ve given a thousand shekels to your brother. Look, it is compensation for everything that happened—so to everyone with you, you are vindicated.”
17Then Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his female slaves so that they could bear children.
18For Adonai had completely locked up every womb in Abimelech’s household 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.