1Then Abraham journeyed from there to the land of the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was dwelling as an outsider in Gerar,
2Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for and took Sarah.
3But God came to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “Behold, you are as good as dead, because of the woman whom you have taken—since she is a married woman.”
4Now Abimelech had not come near her. So he said, “My Lord, will You slay a nation, even though innocent?
5Didn’t he say to me, ‘She’s my sister’? And she herself even said, ‘He’s my brother.’ I did this with integrity of my heart and guiltlessness of my hands.”
6Then God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I myself knew that you did this with integrity of your heart, so I, yes I Myself prevented you from sinning against Me. That is why I did not allow you to touch her.
7So now, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet. And let him pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, know that you will surely die—you and all who are yours.”
8Abimelech rose early in the morning, called all his servants and spoke all these words in their ears—and the men were very frightened.
9Then Abimelech called to Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us, and how have I sinned against you, that you brought great sin upon me and my kingdom? You’ve done to me things that should not be done!”
10Abimelech also said to Abraham, “What motivated you to do this thing?”
11Abraham said, “Because I thought, ‘There is certainly no fear of God in this place, so they’ll kill me, because of my wife.’
12And besides, she really is my sister. She’s my father’s daughter, though not my mother’s daughter. Then she became my wife.
13So when God made me wander away from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is your loyalty that you must show me: in every place we go, say of me, ‘He is my brother.’”
14Then Abimelech took sheep, cattle, male slaves and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and returned his wife Sarah to him.
15Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you. Dwell wherever it pleases you.”
16At the same time he said to Sarah, “Look, I’ve given a thousand shekels to your brother. Look, it is compensation for everything that happened—so to everyone with you, you are vindicated.”
17Then Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his female slaves so that they could bear children.
18For Adonai had completely locked up every womb in Abimelech’s household because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
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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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