Abraham and Abimelech
1 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev1 region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident2 in Gerar, 2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her.
3 But God appeared3 to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “You are as good as dead4 because of the woman you have taken, for she is someone else’s wife.”5
4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord,6 would you really slaughter an innocent nation?7 5 Did Abraham8 not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said,9 ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience10 and with innocent hands!”
6 Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience.11 That is why I have kept you12 from sinning against me and why13 I did not allow you to touch her. 7 But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed14 he is a prophet15 and he will pray for you; thus you will live.16 But if you don’t give her back,17 know that you will surely die18 along with all who belong to you.”
8 Early in the morning19 Abimelech summoned20 all his servants. When he told them about all these things,21 they22 were terrified. 9 Abimelech 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?23 You have done things to me that should not be done!”24 10 Then Abimelech asked25 Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?”26
11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought,27 ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of28 my wife.’ 12 What’s more,29 she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife. 13 When God made me wander30 from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me:31 Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’”
14 So Abimelech gave32 sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 15 Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.”33
16 To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given a thousand pieces of silver34 to your ‘brother.’35 This is compensation for you so that you will stand vindicated before all who are with you.”36
17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children. 18 For the Lord37 had caused infertility to strike every woman38 in the household of Abimelech because he took39 Sarah, Abraham’s wife.