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.
Abraham and Abimelech
1Abraham moved from Mamre to the southern part of Canaan and lived between Kadesh and Shur. Later, while he was living in Gerar, 2#Gen 12.13; 26.7he said that his wife Sarah was his sister. So King Abimelech of Gerar had Sarah brought to him. 3One night God appeared to him in a dream and said: “You are going to die, because you have taken this woman; she is already married.”
4But Abimelech had not come near her, and he said, “Lord, I am innocent! Would you destroy me and my people? 5Abraham himself said that she was his sister, and she said the same thing. I did this with a clear conscience, and I have done no wrong.”
6God replied in the dream, “Yes, I know that you did it with a clear conscience; so I kept you from sinning against me and did not let you touch her. 7But now, give the woman back to her husband. He is a prophet, and he will pray for you, so that you will not die. But if you do not give her back, I warn you that you are going to die, you and all your people.”
8Early the next morning Abimelech called all his officials and told them what had happened, and they were terrified. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham and asked, “What have you done to us? What wrong have I done to you to make you bring this disaster on me and my kingdom? No one should ever do what you have done to me. 10Why did you do it?”
11Abraham answered, “I thought that there would be no one here who has reverence for God and that they would kill me to get my wife. 12She really is my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not of my mother, and I married her. 13So when God sent me from my father's house into foreign lands, I said to her, ‘You can show how loyal you are to me by telling everyone that I am your brother.’ ”
14Then Abimelech gave Sarah back to Abraham, and at the same time he gave him sheep, cattle, and slaves. 15He said to Abraham, “Here is my whole land; live anywhere you like.” 16He said to Sarah, “I am giving your brother a thousand pieces of silver as proof to all who are with you that you are innocent; everyone will know that you have done no wrong.”
17-18Because of what had happened to Sarah, Abraham's wife, the LORD had made it impossible for any woman in Abimelech's palace to have children. So Abraham prayed for Abimelech, and God healed him. He also healed his wife and his slave women, so that they could have children.
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Good News Bible. Scripture taken from the Good News Bible (r) (Today's English Version Second Edition, UK/British Edition). Copyright © 1992 British & Foreign Bible Society. Used by permission.