Genesis 20
International Standard Version

Abraham and Abimelech

1Abraham traveled from there to the Negeva and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was living in Gerar as an outsider, 2because Abraham kept saying about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister,” King Abimelech of Gerar summoned them and took Sarah into his household.b

3But God came to Abimelech in a dream during the night and spoke to him, “Pay attention! You’re about to die, because the woman you have taken is a man’s wife!”

4Now Abimelech had not yet come near her, so he asked, “LORD, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5Didn’t he say to me, ‘She’s my sister’? And she also said, ‘He’s my brother.’ I did this with pure intentions and clean hands.”

6Then God replied to him in the dream, “I know that you did this with pure intentions, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore, I didn’t allow you to touch her. 7Now then, return the man’s wife. As a matter of fact, he’s a prophet and can intercede for you so you’ll live. But if you don’t return her, be aware that you and all who are yours will certainly die.”

8So Abimelech got up early the next morning, summoned all his servants, and told them all these things. The men became terrified.

9Then Abimelech called Abraham and asked him, “What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought such great sin against me and my kingdom? You’ve done things to me that ought not to have been done.”

10Abimelech also asked Abraham, “What could you have been thinking when you did this?”

11“I thought that there’s no fear of God in this place,” Abraham replied, “and that they would kill me because of my wife. 12Besides, she really is my sister—she’s my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter—so she could become my wife. 13When God caused me to journey from my father’s house, I asked her to do me this favor and say,c ‘He’s my brother.’”

14So Abimelech took some sheep and oxen, and some male and female servants, gave them to Abraham, returned his wife Sarah to him, 15and said, “Look! My land is available to you, so settle wherever you please.”

16Abimelech also told Sarah, “Look! I am giving your brother 1,000 pieces of silver to vindicated you in the eyes of all who are with you. As a result, you will be completely vindicated.”

17Then Abraham interceded with God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants so they could bear children, 18since the LORD had made all the women barrene in Abimelech’s household on account of Abraham’s wife Sarah.

a 20:1 i.e. the southern regions of the Sinai peninsula; cf. Josh 10:40
b 20:2 The Heb. lacks into his household
c 20:13 Lit. say about me
d 20:16 Lit. to serve as a cloak for
e 20:18 Lit. had closed all the wombs

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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