1Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the Negev (the South country), and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he lived temporarily in Gerar. 2Abraham #See 12:11-13.said [again] of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So #The word “Abimelech” may be a royal title instead of a proper name. In either case this man is probably the father or grandfather of Abimelech king of the Philistines encountered later by Isaac (26:1).Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took #Sarah was about ninety years old at this time.Sarah [into his harem]. 3But God came to Abimelech in a dream during the night, and said, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken [as your wife], for she is another man’s wife.” 4Now Abimelech had not yet come near her; so he said, “Lord, will you kill a people who are righteous and innocent and blameless [regarding Sarah]? 5Did Abraham not tell me, ‘She is my sister?’ And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.” 6Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this in the integrity of your heart, for it was I who kept you back and spared you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not give you an opportunity to touch her. 7So now 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 [to him], know that you shall die, you and all who are yours (your household).”
8So Abimelech got up early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things; and the men were terrified. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I offended you that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me what ought not to be done [to anyone].” 10And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What have you encountered or seen [in us or our customs], that you have done this [unjust] thing?” 11Abraham said, “Because I thought, ‘Surely there is no fear or reverence of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12Besides, she actually is my [half] sister; she is the daughter of my father [Terah], but not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13When God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This kindness and loyalty you can show me: at every place we stop, say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ” 14Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen and male and female slaves, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him [as God commanded]. 15So Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; settle wherever you please.” 16Then to Sarah he said, “Look, I have given this brother of yours a #Perhaps about three years’ or a thousand days’ wages.thousand pieces of silver; it is to compensate you [for all that has happened] and to vindicate your honor before all who are with you; before all men you are cleared and compensated.” 17So Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, and they again gave birth to children, 18for the Lord had securely closed the wombs of all [the women] in Abimelech’s household because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
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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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