Abraham Deceives Abimelech
1 Abraham moved to the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was living in Gerar, 2 Abraham told everyone that his wife Sarah was his sister. So King Abimelech of Gerar sent men to take Sarah. 3 God 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!” 4 Abimelech hadn’t come near her, so he asked, “Lord, will you destroy a nation even if it’s innocent? 5 Didn’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. 7 Give 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.”
8 Early in the morning Abimelech called together all his officials. He told them about all of this, and they were terrified. 9 Then 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.” 10 Abimelech also asked Abraham, “What were you thinking when you did this?”
11 Abraham said, “I thought that because there are no God-fearing people in this place, I’d be killed because of my wife. 12 Besides, she is my sister—my father’s daughter but not my mother’s. She is also my wife. 13 When 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.’ ”
14 Then Abimelech took sheep, cattle, and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 15 Abimelech said, “Look, here’s my land. Live anywhere you like.” 16 He 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.”
17 Abraham 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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