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Abraham and Abimelech

1Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident in Gerar,

2Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her.

3But God appeared to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken, for she is someone else’s wife.”

4Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord, would you really slaughter an innocent nation?

5Did Abraham not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience and with innocent hands!”

6Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience. That is why I have kept you from sinning against me and why I did not allow you to touch her.

7But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed he is a prophet and he will pray for you; thus you will live. But if you don’t give her back, know that you will surely die along with all who belong to you.”

8Early in the morning Abimelech summoned all his servants. When he told them about all these things, they were terrified.

9Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done!”

10Then Abimelech asked Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?”

11Abraham replied, “Because I thought, ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of my wife.’

12What’s more, she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife.

13When God made me wander from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me: Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’”

14So Abimelech gave sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him.

15Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.”

16To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given a thousand pieces of silver to your ‘brother.’ This is compensation for you so that you will stand vindicated before all who are with you.”

17Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children.

18For the Lord had caused infertility to strike every woman in the household of Abimelech because he took Sarah, Abraham’s wife.


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