Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac
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 2he told everyone that his wife Sarah was his sister. So King Abimelech of Gerar had Sarah brought to him.#Gn 12.13; 26.7. 3But God came to Abimelech in a dream and said, “You have taken a married woman, 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.”
6God spoke to Abimelech in another dream and said:
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, you will tell everyone that I am your brother.”
14Abimelech gave Abraham some sheep, cattle, and slaves. He sent Sarah back 15and told Abraham that he could settle anywhere in his country. 16Then he said to Sarah, “I have given your brother a thousand 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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Berĕshith (Genesis) 20
1And Aḇraham set out from there to the land of the South, and dwelt between Qaḏĕsh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar.
2And Aḇraham said concerning Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Aḇimeleḵ sovereign of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
3But Elohim came to Aḇimeleḵ in a dream by night, and said to him, “See, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”
4However, Aḇimeleḵ had not come near her, and he said, “יהוה, would You kill a righteous nation also?
5Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and in the innocence of my hands I have done this.
6And Elohim said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart, and so I kept you from sinning against Me. For this reason I did not let you touch her.
7And now, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and let him pray for you and you live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall certainly die, you and all that are yours.
8So Aḇimeleḵ rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and spoke all these words in their hearing. And the men were greatly frightened.
9And Aḇimeleḵ called Aḇraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? In what have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my reign a great sin? You have done matters to me that should not be done.”
10And Aḇimeleḵ said to Aḇraham, “What did you have in view, that you have done this matter?”
11And Aḇraham said, “Only because I said to myself, the fear of Elohim is not in this place, and they shall kill me for the sake of my wife.
12“And yet, she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.
13And it came to be, when Elohim caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is your loving-commitment that you should do for me: in every place, wherever we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ”
14Then Aḇimeleḵ took sheep, and cattle, and male and female servants, and gave them to Aḇraham. And he returned Sarah his wife to him.
15And Aḇimeleḵ said, “See, my land is before you, dwell wherever it is good in your eyes.”
16And to Sarah he said, “See, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. See, it is to you a covering of eyes before all who are with you and before all others, and you are cleared before everyone.”
17And Aḇraham prayed to Elohim, and Elohim healed Aḇimeleḵ, and his wife, and his female servants, so they bore children,
18for יהוה had closed up all the wombs of the house of Aḇimeleḵ because of Sarah, Aḇraham’s wife.
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