Abraham Tricks Abimelech
1Abraham left Hebron and traveled to southern Canaan where he stayed awhile between Kadesh and Shur. When he moved to Gerar, 2he told people that his wife Sarah was his sister. Abimelech king of Gerar heard this, so he sent some servants to take her. 3But one night God spoke to Abimelech in a dream and said, “You will die. The woman you took is married.”
4But Abimelech had not gone near Sarah, so he said, “Lord, would you destroy an innocent nation? 5Abraham himself told me, ‘This woman is my sister,’ and she also said, ‘He is my brother.’ I am innocent. I did not know I was doing anything wrong.”
6Then God said to Abimelech in the dream, “Yes, I know you did not realize what you were doing. So I did not allow you to sin against me and touch her. 7Give Abraham his wife back. He is a prophet. He will pray for you, and you will not die. But if you do not give Sarah back, you and all your family will surely die.”
8So early the next morning, Abimelech called all his officers and told them everything that had happened in the dream. They were very afraid. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham to him and said, “What have you done to us? What wrong did I do against you? Why did you bring this trouble to my kingdom? You should not have done these things to me. 10What were you thinking that caused you to do this?”
11Then Abraham answered, “I thought no one in this place respected God and that someone would kill me to get Sarah. 12And it is true that she is my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but she is not the daughter of my mother. 13When God told me to leave my father’s house and wander in many different places, I told Sarah, ‘You must do a special favor for me. Everywhere we go tell people I am your brother.’ ”
14Then Abimelech gave Abraham some sheep, cattle, and male and female slaves. He also gave Sarah, Abraham’s wife, back to him 15and said, “Look around you at my land. You may live anywhere you want.”
16Abimelech said to Sarah, “I gave your brother Abraham twenty-five pounds of silver to make up for any wrong that people may think about you. I want everyone to know that you are innocent.”
17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his servant girls so they could have children. 18The Lord had kept all the women in Abimelech’s house from having children as a punishment on Abimelech for taking Abraham’s wife Sarah.
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