Genesis 20:10
And Abimelech said to Abraham, What saw you, that you have done this thing?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) What sawest thou?—Some modern commentators explain the Hebrew as meaning, What purpose hadst thou? What didst thou look for? But the old rendering is probably right. Abimelech first denies by indignant questions that he had been guilty of any wrong towards Abraham, and then asks what he had seen in the conduct of himself and people to justify such mistrust of them. Throughout, the king speaks as a man conscious that his citizens so respected the rights of a stranger and of marriage, that Sarah would have been perfectly safe had Abraham openly said that she was his wife.

20:9-13 See here much to blame, even in the father of the faithful. Mark his distrust of God, his undue care about life, his intent to deceive. He also threw temptation in the way of others, caused affliction to them, exposed himself and Sarah to just rebukes, and yet attempted an excuse. These things are written for our warning, not for us to imitate. Even Abraham hath not whereof to glory. He cannot be justified by his works, but must be indebted for justification, to that righteousness which is upon all and unto all them that believe. We must not condemn all as hypocrites who fall into sin, if they do not continue in it. But let the unhumbled and impenitent take heed that they do not sin on, thinking that grace may abound. Abimelech, being warned of God, takes the warning; and being truly afraid of sin and its consequences, he rose early to pursue the directions given him.Abimelek retraces his steps, and rectifies his conduct. He makes known his dream to his assembled court, who are filled with astonishment and apprehension. He then calls Abraham, and in bold and manly style remonstrates with him for leading him into error and sin. Abraham is apparently silent from confusion and self-condemnation. Abimelek, after a pause, demands of him his reason for so doing. Abraham now replies with great simplicity and candor. He had said within himself, "The fear of God is not in this place." This is another indication that polytheism was setting in. He concluded that his life would be in danger on account of his wife, and resorted to his wonted expedient for safety. He had learned to trust in the Lord in all things; but he did not think this inconsistent with using all lawful means for personal security, and he was not yet fully alive to the unlawfulness of his usual pretence. He pleads also in extenuation that she is in reality his sister (see Genesis 12:19-20). "Caused me to wander." The verb here is not necessarily plural. But if it be, it is only an instance of the literal, meaning of אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym, the Eternal Supernatural Powers, coming into view. "Thy kindness." The old compact of Abraham with Sarah tended to palliate his conduct in the eyes of Abimelek, as he would see that it had no special reference to himself.9. Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said … What hast thou done?—In what a humiliating plight does the patriarch now appear—he, a servant of the true God, rebuked by a heathen prince. Who would not rather be in the place of Abimelech than of the honored but sadly offending patriarch! What a dignified attitude is that of the king—calmly and justly reproving the sin of the patriarch, but respecting his person and heaping coals of fire on his head by the liberal presents made to him. What levity or miscarriage didst thou discern in us which moved thee to deal thus with us? And Abimelech said unto Abraham,.... Continuing his discourse with him:

what sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? he desires to know what he had observed, either in him or his people, that gave him any reason to conclude that they were a lustful people, and would stick at nothing to gratify their lusts, which put him upon taking such a method to secure his life, lest they should kill him for his wife's sake.

And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. What sawest thou] i.e. “what hadst thou in view?” An unusual use of the verb “to see.” Cf. Psalm 66:18, “if I regard (lit. ‘see’) iniquity in my heart.” Some scholars prefer, by a slight alteration of the text, the reading, “what didst thou fear?” yarêtha for ra’îtha (Bacher).Verse 10. - And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, - either, What hadst thou in view? (Knobel, Delitzsch, Keil, Murphy, et alii), or, What didst thou see? Didst thou see any of my people taking the wives of strangers and murdering their husbands? (Rosenmüller, 'Speaker's Commentary') - that thou hast done this thing? Abimelech, who had not yet come near her, because God had hindered him by illness (Genesis 20:6 and Genesis 20:17), excused himself on the ground that he had done no wrong, since he had supposed Sarah to be Abraham's sister, according to both her husband's statement and her own. This plea was admitted by God, who told him that He had kept him from sinning through touching Sarah, and commanded him to restore the woman immediately to her husband, who was a prophet, that he might pray for him and save his life, and threatened him with certain death to himself and all belonging to him in case he should refuse. That Abimelech, when taking the supposed sister of Abraham into his harem, should have thought that he was acting "in innocence of heart and purity of hands," i.e., in perfect innocence, is to be fully accounted for, from his undeveloped moral and religious standpoint, by considering the customs of that day. But that God should have admitted that he had acted "in innocence of heart," and yet should have proceeded at once to tell him that he could only remain alive through the intercession of Abraham, that is to say, through his obtaining forgiveness of a sin that was deserving of death, is a proof that God treated him as capable of deeper moral discernment and piety. The history itself indicates this in the very characteristic variation in the names of God. First of all (Genesis 20:3), Elohim (without the article, i.e., Deity generally) appears to him in a dream; but Abimelech recognises the Lord, Adonai, i.e., God (Genesis 20:4); whereupon the historian represents האלהים (Elohim with the article), the personal and true God, as speaking to him. The address of God, too, also shows his susceptibility of divine truth. Without further pointing out to him the wrong which he had done in simplicity of heart, in taking the sister of the stranger who had come into his land, for the purpose of increasing his own harem, since he must have been conscious of this himself, God described Abraham as a prophet, whose intercession alone could remove his guilt, to show him the way of salvation. A prophet: lit., the God-addressed or inspired, since the "inward speaking" (Ein-sprache) or inspiration of God constitutes the essence of prophecy. Abraham was προφήτης as the recipient of divine revelation, and was thereby placed in so confidential a relation to God, that he could intercede for sinners, and atone for sins of infirmity through his intercession.
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