20 Now Abraham moved south to the Negeb and settled between Kadesh and Shur. One day, when visiting the city of Gerar, 2 he declared that Sarah was his sister! Then King Abimelech sent for her, and had her brought to him at his palace.
3 But that night God came to him in a dream and told him, “You are a dead man, for that woman you took is married.”
4 But Abimelech hadn’t slept with her yet, so he said, “Lord, will you slay an innocent man? 5 He told me, ‘She is my sister,’ and she herself said, ‘Yes, he is my brother.’ I hadn’t the slightest intention of doing anything wrong.”
6 “Yes, I know,” the Lord replied. “That is why I held you back from sinning against me; that is why I didn’t let you touch her. 7 Now restore her to her husband, and he will pray for you (for he is a prophet) and you shall live. But if you don’t return her to him, you are doomed to death along with all your household.”
8 The king was up early the next morning, and hastily called a meeting of all the palace personnel and told them what had happened. And great fear swept through the crowd.
9-10 Then the king called for Abraham. “What is this you’ve done to us?” he demanded. “What have I done that deserves treatment like this, to make me and my kingdom guilty of this great sin? Who would suspect that you would do a thing like this to me? Whatever made you think of this vile deed?”
11-12 “Well,” Abraham said, “I figured this to be a godless place. ‘They will want my wife and will kill me to get her,’ I thought. And besides, she is my sister—or at least a half sister (we both have the same father)—and I married her. 13 And when God sent me traveling far from my childhood home, I told her, ‘Have the kindness to mention, wherever we come, that you are my sister.’”
14 Then King Abimelech took sheep and oxen and servants—both men and women—and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him.
15 “Look my kingdom over, and choose the place where you want to live,” the king told him. 16 Then he turned to Sarah. “Look,” he said, “I am giving your ‘brother’ a thousand silver pieces as damages for what I did, to compensate for any embarrassment and to settle any claim against me regarding this matter. Now justice has been done.”
17 Then Abraham prayed, asking God to cure the king and queen and the other women of the household, so that they could have children; 18 for God had stricken all the women with barrenness to punish Abimelech for taking Abraham’s wife.