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 Deceives Abimelech
1Abraham moved to the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was living in Gerar, 2Abraham told everyone that his wife Sarah was his sister. So King Abimelech of Gerar sent men to take Sarah. 3God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You’re going to die because of the woman that you’ve taken! She’s a married woman!” 4Abimelech hadn’t come near her, so he asked, “Lord, will you destroy a nation even if it’s innocent? 5Didn’t he tell me himself, ‘She’s my sister,’ and didn’t she even say, ‘He’s my brother’? I did this in all innocence and with a clear conscience.”
6“Yes, I know that you did this with a clear conscience,” God said to him in the dream. “In fact, I kept you from sinning against me. That’s why I didn’t let you touch her. 7Give the man’s wife back to him now, because he’s a prophet. He will pray for you, and you will live. But if you don’t give her back, you and all who belong to you are doomed to die.”
8Early in the morning Abimelech called together all his officials. He told them about all of this, and they were terrified. 9Then Abimelech called for Abraham and asked him, “What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you that you would bring such a serious sin on me and my kingdom? You shouldn’t have done this to me.” 10Abimelech also asked Abraham, “What were you thinking when you did this?”
11Abraham said, “I thought that because there are no God-fearing people in this place, I’d be killed because of my wife. 12Besides, she is my sister—my father’s daughter but not my mother’s. She is also my wife. 13When God had me leave my father’s home and travel around, I said to her, ‘Do me a favor: Wherever we go, say that I’m your brother.’ ”
14Then Abimelech took sheep, cattle, and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 15Abimelech said, “Look, here’s my land. Live anywhere you like.” 16He said to Sarah, “Don’t forget, I’ve given your brother 25 pounds of silver. This is to silence any criticism against you from everyone with you. You’re completely cleared.”
17Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female slaves so that they could have children. 18(The Lord had made it impossible for any woman in Abimelech’s household to have children because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.)
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