1Abraham traveled towards the Negev, staying between Kadesh and Shur. After that he moved on to live in Gerar. 2During his time there, when Abraham told people about his wife Sarah, he said, “She's my sister.” So Abimelech,#20:2. “Abimelech” means “my father is the king,” or “my father is Molech,” a Canaanite god. This may well have been a formal title rather than a personal name (see also 26:8). king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her to become one of his wives.#20:2. “To become one of his wives”: supplied for clarity.
3But God appeared to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “Listen! You're going to die because the woman you've taken is already married—she has a husband.”
4Abimelech hadn't touched Sarah, and he asked, “Lord, do you kill good people? 5Didn't Abraham tell me himself, ‘She's my sister,’ and didn't Sarah also say, ‘He's my brother’? I did this in all innocence—my conscience is clear!”
6God told him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this in all innocence, so I prevented you from sinning against me. That's why I didn't let you touch her. 7Send the man's wife back to him. He's a prophet. He will pray for you, and you will live. But if you don't send her back to him, you should know for sure that you and all your family will die.”
8Abimelech got up early in the morning and called all his servants together. He explained everything that had happened, and they were all terrified. 9Then Abimelech summoned Abraham and asked him “What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you should treat me like this, bringing this terrible sin on me and my kingdom? You've done things to me that no one should ever do!”
10Then Abimelech asked Abraham “What were you thinking when you did this?”
11“Well, I thought to myself, ‘Nobody respects God in this place. They'll kill me just to get my wife,’” Abraham replied. 12“Anyway, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father but not my mother, and I married her. 13Since my God made me move far away from my family home, I told her, ‘If you really love me, then wherever you go with me you must tell people: He's my brother.’”
14Then Abimelech gave Abraham gifts of sheep, cattle, and male and female slaves, and returned his wife Sarah to him. 15Abimelech told him, “Look over my land. You can choose to live anywhere you like.” 16Abimelech also told Sarah, “Notice that I'm giving your brother a thousand pieces of silver. This is to compensate you for the wrong done to you in the eyes of everyone with you, and to make sure that your name is publicly cleared.”
17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female slaves, so that they could have children again. 18For the Lord had made all the women unable to have children because Abraham's wife, Sarah, had been taken.#20:18. “Had been taken”: supplied for clarity.
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Dr. Jonathan Gallagher. Released under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Version 4.3. For corrections send email to email@example.com
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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