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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Abraham and Abimelech
1Abraham left Hebron and traveled to southern Canaan. He stayed awhile between Kadesh and Shur. Then he moved to Gerar. 2Abraham 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. God said, “You will die. That woman you took is married.”
4But Abimelech had not slept with 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 that you did not realize what you were doing. So I did not allow you to sin against me. I did not allow you to sleep with 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 will die. And all your family will surely die.”
8So early the next morning, Abimelech called all his officers. He told them everything that had happened in the dream. They were very much afraid. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham to him. Abimelech 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. I thought 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. 13God told me to leave my father’s house and wander in many different places. When that happened, 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. Abimelech also gave Sarah, his wife, back to him. 15And Abimelech said, “Look around you at my land. You may live anywhere you want.”
16Abimelech said to Sarah, “I gave your brother Abraham 25 pounds of silver. I did this 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. Now they could have children. 18The Lord had kept all the women in Abimelech’s house from having children. This was God’s punishment on Abimelech for taking Abraham’s wife Sarah.
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