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 and Sarah at Gerar
1Abraham moved to the Southern Desert, where he settled between Kadesh and Shur. Later he went to Gerar, and while there 2#Gn 12.13; 26.7. he told everyone that his wife Sarah was his sister. So King Abimelech of Gerar had Sarah brought to him. 3But God came to Abimelech in a dream and said, “You have taken a married woman into your home, and for this you will die!”
4-5Abimelech said to the Lord, “Don't kill me! I haven't slept with Sarah. Didn't they say they were brother and sister? I am completely innocent.”
6Then God continued:
I know you are innocent. That's why I kept you from sleeping with Sarah and doing anything wrong. 7Her husband is a prophet. Let her go back to him, and his prayers will save you from death. But if you don't return her, you and all your people will die.
8Early the next morning Abimelech sent for his officials, and when he told them what had happened, they were frightened. 9Abimelech then called in Abraham and said:
Look what you've done to us! What have I ever done to you? Why did you make me and my nation guilty of such a terrible sin? 10What were you thinking when you did this?
I did it because I didn't think any of you respected God, and I was sure that someone would kill me to get my wife. 12Besides, she is my half sister. We have the same father, but different mothers. 13When God made us leave my father's home and start wandering, I told her, “If you really love me, then tell everyone that I am your brother.”
14After Abimelech had given Abraham some sheep, cattle, and slaves, he sent Sarah back 15and told Abraham he could settle anywhere in his country. 16Then he said to Sarah, “I have given your brother 1,000 pieces of silver as proof to everyone that you have done nothing wrong.”#20.16 as proof … wrong: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
17-18Meanwhile, God had kept Abimelech's wife and slaves from having children. But Abraham prayed, and God let them start having children again.
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