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 Goes to Gerar
1Abraham left that place and traveled to the Negev. He settled in the city of Gerar, between Kadesh and Shur. While in Gerar, 2Abraham told people that Sarah was his sister. King Abimelech of Gerar heard this. Abimelech wanted Sarah, 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 yet slept with Sarah, so he said, “Lord, I am not guilty. Would you kill an innocent man? 5Abraham himself told me, ‘This woman is my sister,’ and she also said, ‘This man is my brother.’ I am innocent. I did not know what I was doing.”
6Then God said to Abimelech in a dream, “Yes, I know that you are innocent and that you did not know what you were doing. I saved you. I did not allow you to sin against me. I was the one who did not allow you to sleep with her. 7So give Abraham his wife again. He is a prophet. He will pray for you, and you will live. But if you don’t give Sarah back to him, I promise that you will die. And all your family will die with you.”
8So very early the next morning, Abimelech called all his servants and told them about the dream. The servants were very afraid. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “Why have you done this to us? What wrong did I do to you? Why did you lie and say that she was your sister? You brought great trouble to my kingdom. You should not have done this to me. 10What were you afraid of? Why did you do this to me?”
11Then Abraham said, “I thought no one in this place respected God. I thought someone would kill me to get Sarah. 12She is my wife, but she is also my sister. She is the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother. 13God led me away from my father’s house. He led me to wander to many different places. When that happened, I told Sarah, ‘Do something for me. Wherever we go, tell people you are my sister.’”
14So Abimelech gave Sarah back to Abraham. Abimelech also gave Abraham some sheep, cattle, and slaves. 15And Abimelech said, “Look all around you. This is my land. You may live any place you want.”
16Abimelech said to Sarah, “I gave your brother Abraham 1000 pieces of silver. I did this to show that I am very sorry. I want everyone to see that I did the right thing.”
17-18The Lord made all the women in Abimelech’s family not able to have children. God did this because Abimelech had taken Sarah, Abraham’s wife. But Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his servant girls.
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