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1 And Abraham iourneyed from thence, toward the South-Countrey, and dwelled betweene Cadesh and Shur, and soiourned in Gerar.

2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: And Abimelech King of Gerar sent, and tooke Sarah.

3 But God came to Abimelech in a dreame by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken: for shee is a mans wife.

4 But Abimelech had not come neere her: and he said, LORD, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?

5 Said he not vnto me, She is my sister? and she, euen she herselfe said, Hee is my brother: in the integritie of my heart, and innocencie of my hands haue I done this.

6 And God saide vnto him in a dreame, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integritie of thy heart: for I also withheld thee from sinning against mee, therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

7 Now therefore restore the man his wife: for he is a Prophet, and he shal pray for thee, and thou shalt liue: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.

8 Therefore Abimelech rose earely in the morning, and called all his seruants, and told all these things in their eares: and the men were sore afraid.

9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said vnto him, What hast thou done vnto vs? and what haue I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me, and on my kingdome a great sinne? thou hast done deeds vnto mee that ought not to be done.

10 And Abimelech said vnto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?

11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the feare of God is not in this place: and they will slay mee for my wiues sake.

12 And yet indeed shee is my sister: she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and shee became my wife.

13 And it came to passe when God caused me to wander from my fathers house, that I said vnto her, This is thy kindnesse which thou shalt shew vnto me; at euery place whither wee shall come, say of me, He is my brother.

14 And Abimelech tooke sheepe and oxen, and men-seruants, and women seruants, and gaue them vnto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.

15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee; dwel where it pleaseth thee.

16 And vnto Sarah hee said, Behold, I haue giuen thy brother a thousand pieces of siluer: behold, he is to thee a couering of the eyes, vnto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus shee was reproued.

17 So Abraham prayed vnto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maid-seruants, and they bare children.

18 For the LORD had fast closed vp all the wombes of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abrahams wife.

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Commentary for Genesis 20

Abraham's sojourn at Gerar, Sarah is taken by Abimelech. (1-8) Abimelech's rebuke to Abraham. (9-13) Abimelech restores Sarah. (14-18)1-8 Crooked policy will not prosper: it brings ourselves and others into danger. God gives Abimelech notice of his danger of sin, and his danger of death for his sin. Every wilful sinner is a dead man, but Abimelech pleads ignorance. If our consciences witness, that, however we may have been cheated into a snare, we have not knowingly sinned against God, it will be our rejoicing in the day of evil. It is matter of comfort to those who are honest, that God knows their honesty, and will acknowledge it. It is a great mercy to be hindered from committing sin; of this God must have the glory. But if we have ignorantly done wrong, that will not excuse us, if we knowingly persist in it. He that does wrong, whoever he is, prince or peasant, shall certainly receive for the wrong which he has done, unless he repent, and, if possible, make restitution.

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.

14-18 We often trouble ourselves, and even are led into temptation and sin, by groundless suspicions; and find the fear of God where we expected it not. Agreements to deceive generally end in shame and sorrow; and restraints from sin, though by suffering, should be thankfully acknowledged. Though the Lord rebuke, yet he will pardon and deliver his people, and he will give them favour in the sight of those with whom they sojourn; and overrule their infirmities, when they are humbled for them, so that they shall prove useful to themselves and others.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Genesis 20

  • Evangelist Warren
    We develop in knowing the Voice of Our Holy Father. Discerning God's Will follows after accurately discerning His Voice. Alike Abraham's early beginnings, we establish the [FAITH] in God's Voice and TRUST His Promises by experiencing [intimate] challenges in His Presence. It was only in three chapters prior (Ch. 17) when Abram's name (destiny) was sealed as God's Chosen - Abr 'AH' am The Prophet!
  • Kieran88
    L.D. what i think Abraham is saying is, Abraham and Sarah have the same father meaning God. Abraham sees Sarah as a daughter of God. although there are many times people done mistakes and wasn't part of Gods plan. So, they could still be half brother and sister.
  • L.D
    I've read chapter 20 couple of times and there's a of verses that open my, there were a group at my place and we were talking about brother who would married their sisters. verse 12, Abraham said indeed she is the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother. Am a little confuse on verse 12, Question, Can a man marry a girl that is his sister from his mother's side but not sister by?
  • BSP
    Verse 6~Adultery is considered a sin against God. Jehovah God here warned Abimelech before he committed a grave sin.
  • A disciple
    "And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?And 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." Therefore one more great reason for us to be "More ready to hear, than to give the answer of fools." We are to be perfect toward all as our Father in heaven, and let God look on the hearts.
  • A disciple
    "And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her." There is a difference between walking in darkness and ignorance of facts. Walking in darkness suggests an evil will against receiving the truth; but one can be good and walk in integrity although ignorant.

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