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Genesis 20

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Abraham Deceives Abimelech
1Abraham moved to the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was living in Gerar, 2Abraham told everyone that his wife Sarah was his sister. So King Abimelech of Gerar sent men to take Sarah. 3God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You’re going to die because of the woman that you’ve taken! She’s a married woman!” 4Abimelech hadn’t come near her, so he asked, “Lord, will you destroy a nation even if it’s innocent? 5Didn’t he tell me himself, ‘She’s my sister,’ and didn’t she even say, ‘He’s my brother’? I did this in all innocence and with a clear conscience.”
6“Yes, I know that you did this with a clear conscience,” God said to him in the dream. “In fact, I kept you from sinning against me. That’s why I didn’t let you touch her. 7Give the man’s wife back to him now, because he’s a prophet. He will pray for you, and you will live. But if you don’t give her back, you and all who belong to you are doomed to die.”
8Early in the morning Abimelech called together all his officials. He told them about all of this, and they were terrified. 9Then Abimelech called for Abraham and asked him, “What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you that you would bring such a serious sin on me and my kingdom? You shouldn’t have done this to me.” 10Abimelech also asked Abraham, “What were you thinking when you did this?”
11Abraham said, “I thought that because there are no God-fearing people in this place, I’d be killed because of my wife. 12Besides, she is my sister—my father’s daughter but not my mother’s. She is also my wife. 13When God had me leave my father’s home and travel around, I said to her, ‘Do me a favor: Wherever we go, say that I’m your brother.’ ”
14Then Abimelech took sheep, cattle, and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 15Abimelech said, “Look, here’s my land. Live anywhere you like.” 16He said to Sarah, “Don’t forget, I’ve given your brother 25 pounds of silver. This is to silence any criticism against you from everyone with you. You’re completely cleared.”
17Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female slaves so that they could have children. 18(The Lord had made it impossible for any woman in Abimelech’s household to have children because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.)
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CHAPTER 20
1Abraham went forth from thence into the land of the south, and dwelled betwixt Kadesh and Shur, and was a pilgrim in Gerar;
2and he said of Sarah, his wife, She is my sister. Therefore Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent, and took her.
3Soothly God came to Abimelech by a sweven in the night, and said to him, Lo! thou shalt die, for the woman which thou hast taken, for she hath an husband.
4Forsooth Abimelech [had] touched not her; and he said, Lord, whether thou shalt slay a folk unknowing and just [or rightwise]?
5Whether he said not to me, She is my sister, and she said, He is my brother? In the simpleness of mine heart, and in the cleanness of mine hands, I did this.
6And the Lord said to him, And I know that thou didest by simple heart, and therefore I kept thee, lest thou didest sin against me, and I suffered not that thou touchedest her;
7now therefore yield thou the wife to her husband, for he is a prophet; and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live; soothly if thou wilt not yield her, know thou that thou shalt die by death, thou, and all things that be thine.
8And at once Abimelech rose by night, and called all his servants, and spake all these words in the ears of them; and all men dreaded greatly.
9Soothly Abimelech called also Abraham, and said to him, What hast thou done to us? what sinned we against thee, that thou hast brought in on me and on my realm such a great sin? thou hast done to us which things thou oughtest not to do.
10And again Abimelech asked, and said, What thing sawest thou, that thou wouldest do this?
11Abraham answered, I thought within me, and said, In hap the dread of God is not in this place; and they shall slay me for my wife;
12in other manner forsooth and she is my sister verily, the daughter of my father, and not the daughter of my mother; and I wedded her into wife;
13soothly after that God led me out of the house of my father, I said to her, Thou shalt do this mercy with me in each place to which we shall enter; thou shalt say, that I am thy brother.
14Therefore Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and servants, and handmaids, and gave to Abraham; and he yielded to him Sarah, his wife,
15and said, The land is before you; dwell thou, wherever it pleaseth thee.
16Forsooth Abimelech said to Sarah, Lo! I gave a thousand pieces of silver to thy brother; this shall be to thee into a covering of eyes, to all men that be with thee; and whither ever thou goest, have thou mind that thou art taken.
17Soothly for Abraham prayed, God cured Abimelech, and his wife, and handmaids, and they childed;
18for God had closed each womb of the house of Abimelech, for Sarah, the wife of Abraham.