Sarah Rescued from Abimelech
1From there Abraham traveled to the region of the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was staying in Gerar,#Gn 26:1,6 2Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.”#Gn 12:13; 26:7 So King Abimelech of Gerar had Sarah brought to him.
3But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “You are about to die because of the woman you have taken, for she is a married woman.”#20:3 Lit is possessed by a husband
4Now Abimelech had not approached her, so he said, “Lord, would you destroy a nation even though it is innocent? 5Didn’t he himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I did this with a clear conscience#20:5 Lit with integrity of my heart and clean#20:5 Lit cleanness of my hands.”
6Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you did this with a clear conscience.#20:6 Lit with integrity of your heart I have also kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I have not let you touch her. 7Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet,#1Sm 7:5; 2Kg 5:11; Jb 42:8 and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, know that you will certainly die, you and all who are yours.”
8Early in the morning Abimelech got up, called all his servants together, and personally#20:8 Lit in their ears told them all these things, and the men were terrified.
9Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said to him, “What have you done to us? How did I sin against you that you have brought such enormous guilt on me and on my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.”#Gn 12:19; 26:9 10Abimelech also asked Abraham, “What made you do this?”
11Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘There is absolutely no fear of God in this place.#Neh 5:15; Pr 16:6 They will kill me because of my wife.’ 12Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13So when God had me wander from my father’s house,#Gn 12:1 I said to her: Show your loyalty to me wherever we go and say about me, ‘He’s my brother.’”#Gn 12:13; 20:5
14Then Abimelech took flocks and herds and male and female slaves, gave them to Abraham, and returned his wife Sarah to him. 15Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you.#Gn 13:9; 34:10; 47:6 Settle wherever you want.”#20:15 Lit Settle in the good in your eyes 16And he said to Sarah, “Look, I am giving your brother one thousand pieces of silver. It is a verification of your honor#20:16 Lit a covering of the eyes to all who are with you. You are fully vindicated.”
17Then Abraham prayed to God,#Nm 12:13; 21:7; Jms 5:16 and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female slaves so that they could bear children, 18for the Lord had completely closed all the wombs in Abimelech’s household on account 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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