Abraham Deceives Abimelech
1Abraham moved south to the Negev and lived for a while between Kadesh and Shur, and then he moved on to Gerar. While living there as a foreigner, 2Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to him at his palace.
3But that night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “You are a dead man, for that woman you have taken is already married!”
4But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5Didn’t Abraham tell me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘Yes, he is my brother.’ I acted in complete innocence! My hands are clean.”
6In the dream God responded, “Yes, I know you are innocent. That’s why I kept you from sinning against me, and why I did not let you touch her. 7Now return the woman to her husband, and he will pray for you, for he is a prophet. Then you will live. But if you don’t return her to him, you can be sure that you and all your people will die.”
8Abimelech got up early the next morning and quickly called all his servants together. When he told them what had happened, his men were terrified. 9Then Abimelech called for Abraham. “What have you done to us?” he demanded. “What crime have I committed that deserves treatment like this, making me and my kingdom guilty of this great sin? No one should ever do what you have done! 10Whatever possessed you to do such a thing?”
11Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘This is a godless place. They will want my wife and will kill me to get her.’ 12And she really is my sister, for we both have the same father, but different mothers. And I married her. 13When God called me to leave my father’s home and to travel from place to place, I told her, ‘Do me a favor. Wherever we go, tell the people that I am your brother.’”
14Then Abimelech took some of his sheep and goats, cattle, and male and female servants, and he presented them to Abraham. He also returned his wife, Sarah, to him. 15Then Abimelech said, “Look over my land and choose any place where you would like to live.” 16And he said to Sarah, “Look, I am giving your ‘brother’ 1,000 pieces of silver#20:16 Hebrew 1,000 [shekels] of silver, about 25 pounds or 11.4 kilograms in weight. in the presence of all these witnesses. This is to compensate you for any wrong I may have done to you. This will settle any claim against me, and your reputation is cleared.”
17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants, so they could have children. 18For the Lord had caused all the women to be infertile because of what happened with Abraham’s wife, Sarah.
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Abraham and Abimelech
1Abraham left Hebron and traveled to southern Canaan. He stayed awhile between Kadesh and Shur. Then he moved to Gerar. 2Abraham 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. God said, “You will die. That woman you took is married.”
4But Abimelech had not slept with 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 that you did not realize what you were doing. So I did not allow you to sin against me. I did not allow you to sleep with 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 will die. And all your family will surely die.”
8So early the next morning, Abimelech called all his officers. He told them everything that had happened in the dream. They were very much afraid. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham to him. Abimelech 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. I thought 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. 13God told me to leave my father’s house and wander in many different places. When that happened, 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. Abimelech also gave Sarah, his wife, back to him. 15And Abimelech said, “Look around you at my land. You may live anywhere you want.”
16Abimelech said to Sarah, “I gave your brother Abraham 25 pounds of silver. I did this 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. Now they could have children. 18The Lord had kept all the women in Abimelech’s house from having children. This was God’s punishment on Abimelech for taking Abraham’s wife Sarah.
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