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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1 Abraham advanced from there into the southern land, and he lived between Kadesh and Shur. And he sojourned in Gerar.
2 And he said about his wife Sarah: "She is my sister." Therefore, Abimelech, the king of Gerar, sent for her and took her.
3 Then God came to Abimelech through a dream in the night, and he said to him: "Lo, you shall die because of the woman that you have taken. For she has a husband."
4 In truth, Abimelech had not touched her, and so he said: "Lord, would you put to death a people, ignorant and just?
5 Did he not say to me, 'She is my sister,' and did she not say, 'He is my brother?' In the sincerity of my heart and the purity of my hands, I have done this."
6 And God said to him: "And I know that you have acted with a sincere heart. And therefore I kept you from sinning against me, and I did not release you to touch her.
7 Now therefore, return his wife to the man, for he is a prophet. And he will pray for you, and you will live. But if you are not willing to return her, know this: you shall die a death, you and all that is yours."
8 And immediately Abimelech, rising up in the night, called all his servants. And he spoke all these words in their hearing, and all the men were very afraid.
9 Then Abimelech called also for Abraham, and he said to him: "What have you done to us? How have we sinned against you, so that you would bring so great a sin upon me and upon my kingdom? You have done to us what you ought not to have done."
10 And remonstrating him again, he said, "What did you see, so that you would do this?"
11 Abraham responded: "I thought to myself, saying: Perhaps there is no fear of God in this place. And they will put me to death because of my wife.
12 Yet, in another way, she is also truly my sister, the daughter of my father, and not the daughter of my mother, and I took her as a wife.
13 Then, after God led me out of my father's house, I said to her: 'You will show this mercy to me. In every place, to which we will travel, you will say that I am your brother.' "
14 Therefore, Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and men servants and women servants, and he gave them to Abraham. And he returned his wife Sarah to him.
15 And he said, "The land is in your sight. Dwell wherever it will please you."
16 Then to Sarah he said: "Behold, I have given your brother one thousand silver coins. This will be for you as a veil for your eyes, to all who are with you and wherever you will travel. And so, remember that you were taken."
17 Then when Abraham prayed, God healed Abimelech and his wife, and his handmaids, and they gave birth.
18 For the Lord had closed every womb of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, the wife of Abraham.