20 Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the [a]South country (the Negeb) and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; and he lived temporarily in Gerar.
2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister. And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah [into his harem].
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said, Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken [as your own], for she is a man’s wife.
4 But Abimelech had not come near her, so he said, Lord, will you slay a people who are just and innocent?
5 Did not the man tell me, She is my sister? And she herself said, He is my brother. In integrity of heart and innocency of hands I have done this.
6 Then God said to him in the dream, Yes, I know you did this in the integrity of your heart, for it was I Who kept you back and spared you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not give you occasion to touch her.
7 So now restore to the man his wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not restore her [to him], know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.
8 So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things; and the men were exceedingly filled with reverence and fear.
9 Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, What have you done to us? And how have I offended you that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me what ought not to be done [to anyone].
10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, What did you see [in us] that [justified] you in doing such a thing as this?
11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely there is no reverence or fear of God at all in this place, and they will slay me because of my wife.
12 But truly, she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father but not of my mother; and she became my wife.
13 When God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, This kindness you can show me: at every place we stop, say of me, He is my brother.
14 Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham and restored to him Sarah his wife.
15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before you; dwell wherever it pleases you.
16 And to Sarah he said, Behold, I have given this brother of yours a thousand pieces of silver; see, it is to compensate you [for all that has occurred] and to vindicate your honor before all who are with you; before all men you are cleared and compensated.
17 So Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his female slaves, and they bore children,
18 For the Lord had closed fast the wombs of all in Abimelech’s household because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
Genesis 20:1“Primitive geographic expressions such as ‘the South country (the Negeb)’ (Gen. 12:9; 13:1, 3; 20:1; 24:62) and ‘the east country’ (Gen. 25:6) are used in the time of Abraham... After the time of Genesis they have well-known and well-defined names; I submit that they were written down in early days, and that no writer after Moses could have used such archaic expressions as these” (P. J. Wiseman, New Discoveries in Babylonia About Genesis).
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