1And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the land of the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. 2And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
3But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, because of the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife. 4Now Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay even a righteous nation? 5Said he not himself unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and the innocency of my hands have I done this. 6And God said unto him in the dream, Yea, I know that in the integrity of thy heart thou hast done this, and I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. 7Now therefore restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
8And Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and wherein have I sinned against thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done. 10And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? 11And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake. 12And moreover she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife: 13and it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.
14And Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and menservants and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. 15And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee. 16And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, it is for thee a covering of the eyes to all that are with thee; and in respect of all thou art righted. 17And Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children. 18For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.
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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.