Abraham and Abimelech

20 And Abraham journeyed from (A)there to the South, and dwelt between (B)Kadesh and Shur, and (C)stayed in Gerar. Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, (D)“She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and (E)took Sarah.

But (F)God came to Abimelech (G)in a dream by night, and said to him, (H)“Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is [a]a man’s wife.”

But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, (I)will You slay a righteous nation also? Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ (J)In the [b]integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.”

And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For (K)I also withheld you from sinning (L)against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; (M)for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, (N)know that you shall surely die, you (O)and all who are yours.”

So Abimelech rose early in the morning, called all his servants, and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were very much afraid. And Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I [c]offended you, (P)that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me (Q)that ought not to be done.” 10 Then Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you have in view, that you have done this thing?”

11 And Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely (R)the fear of God is not in this place; and (S)they will kill me on account of my wife. 12 But indeed (T)she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And it came to pass, when (U)God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is your kindness that you should do for me: in every place, wherever we go, (V)say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ”

14 Then Abimelech (W)took sheep, oxen, and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham; and he restored Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “See, (X)my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.” 16 Then to Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; (Y)indeed this [d]vindicates you (Z)before all who are with you and before everybody.” Thus she was [e]rebuked.

17 So Abraham (AA)prayed to God; and God (AB)healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children; 18 for the Lord (AC)had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

Isaac Is Born(AD)

21 And the Lord (AE)visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah (AF)as He had spoken. For Sarah (AG)conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, (AH)at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—(AI)Isaac.[f] Then Abraham (AJ)circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, (AK)as God had commanded him. Now (AL)Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, (AM)“God has [g]made me laugh, and all who hear (AN)will laugh with me.” She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? (AO)For I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Hagar and Ishmael Depart(AP)

So the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned.

And Sarah saw the son of Hagar (AQ)the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, (AR)scoffing.[h] 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, (AS)“Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.” 11 And the matter was very [i]displeasing in Abraham’s sight (AT)because of his son.

12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for (AU)in Isaac your seed shall be called. 13 Yet I will also make (AV)a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your [j]seed.”

14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and [k]a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and (AW)sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. 15 And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs. 16 Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.” So she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept.

17 And (AX)God heard the voice of the lad. Then the (AY)angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, “What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for (AZ)I will make him a great nation.”

19 Then (BA)God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. 20 So God (BB)was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, (BC)and became an archer. 21 He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran; and his mother (BD)took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

A Covenant with Abimelech

22 And it came to pass at that time that (BE)Abimelech and Phichol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, (BF)“God is with you in all that you do. 23 Now therefore, (BG)swear[l] to me by God that you will not deal falsely with me, with my offspring, or with my posterity; but that according to the kindness that I have done to you, you will do to me and to the land in which you have dwelt.”

24 And Abraham said, “I will swear.”

25 Then Abraham rebuked Abimelech because of a well of water which Abimelech’s servants (BH)had seized. 26 And Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, nor had I heard of it until today.” 27 So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them (BI)made a [m]covenant. 28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.

29 Then Abimelech asked Abraham, (BJ)“What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves?”

30 And he said, “You will take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that (BK)they may be my witness that I have dug this well.” 31 Therefore he (BL)called that place [n]Beersheba, because the two of them swore an oath there.

32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba. So Abimelech rose with Phichol, the commander of his army, and they returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and (BM)there called on the name of the Lord, (BN)the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines many days.


  1. Genesis 20:3 Lit. married to a husband
  2. Genesis 20:5 innocence
  3. Genesis 20:9 sinned against
  4. Genesis 20:16 Lit. is a covering of the eyes for you to all
  5. Genesis 20:16 Or justified
  6. Genesis 21:3 Lit. Laughter
  7. Genesis 21:6 Lit. made laughter for me
  8. Genesis 21:9 Lit. laughing
  9. Genesis 21:11 distressing
  10. Genesis 21:13 descendant
  11. Genesis 21:14 A water bottle made of skins
  12. Genesis 21:23 take an oath
  13. Genesis 21:27 treaty
  14. Genesis 21:31 Lit. Well of the Oath or Well of the Seven

Bible Gateway Recommends