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Genesis 20 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

20 1 Abraham dwelleth as a stranger in the land of Gerar. 2 Abimelech taketh away his wife. 3 God reproveth the king, 9 and the king Abraham. 14 Sarah is restored with great gifts. 17 Abraham prayeth, and the king and his are healed.

Afterward Abraham departed thence toward the South country and dwelled between Kadesh and [a]Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.

And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, [b]She is my sister. Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, [c]thou art but dead, because of the woman, which thou hast taken: for she is a man’s wife.

(Notwithstanding Abimelech had not yet come near her) And he said, Lord, wilt thou slay even [d]the righteous nation?

Said not he unto me, She is my sister? yea, and she herself said, He is my brother: with an upright [e]mind, and [f]innocent hands have I done this.

And God said unto him by a dream, I know that thou diddest this even with an upright mind, and I [g]kept thee also that thou shouldest not sin against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

Now then deliver the man his wife again: for he is a [h]Prophet, and he [i]shall pray for thee, that thou mayest live: but if thou deliver her not again, be sure that thou shalt die the death, thou, and all that thou hast.

Then Abimelech rising up early in the morning, called all his servants, and told all these things [j]unto them, and the men were sore afraid.

Afterward Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me, and on my [k]kingdom this great sin? thou hast done things unto me that ought not to be done.

10 So Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou that thou hast done this thing?

11 Then Abraham answered, Because I thought thus, Surely the [l]fear of God is not in this place, and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.

12 Yet in very deed she is my [m]sister: for she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she is my wife.

13 Now when God caused me to wander out of my father’s house, I said then to her, This is thy kindness that thou shalt show unto me in all places where we come, Say thou of me, He is my brother.

14 Then took Abimelech sheep and beeves, and men servants, and women servants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.

15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is [n]before thee, dwell where it pleaseth thee.

16 Likewise to Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is the [o]veil of thine eyes to all that are with thee, and to all others: and she was [p]thus reproved.

17 ¶ Then Abraham prayed unto God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife, and his women servants: and they bare children.

18 For the Lord [q]had shut up every womb of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.


  1. Genesis 20:1 Which was toward Egypt.
  2. Genesis 20:2 Abraham had now twice fallen into this fault: such is man’s frailty.
  3. Genesis 20:3 So greatly God detesteth the breach of marriage.
  4. Genesis 20:4 The infidels confessed that God would not punish but for just occasion: therefore, whensoever he punisheth, the occasion is just.
  5. Genesis 20:5 As one falling by ignorance, and not doing evil of purpose.
  6. Genesis 20:5 Not thinking to do any man harm.
  7. Genesis 20:6 God by his holy Spirit retaineth them that offend by ignorance, that they fall not into greater inconvenience.
  8. Genesis 20:7 That is, one, to whom God revealeth himself familiarly.
  9. Genesis 20:7 For the prayer of the godly is of force towards God.
  10. Genesis 20:8 Hebrew, in their ears.
  11. Genesis 20:9 The wickedness of the King bringeth God’s wrath upon the whole realm.
  12. Genesis 20:11 He showeth that no honesty can be hoped for, where the fear of God is not.
  13. Genesis 20:12 By sister, he meaneth his cousin germaine, and by daughter, Abraham’s niece, Gen. 11:29, for so the Hebrews use these words.
  14. Genesis 20:15 Or, is at thy commandment.
  15. Genesis 20:16 Such an head, as with whom thou mayest be preserved from all dangers.
  16. Genesis 20:16 God caused this heathen King to reprove her because she dissembled, seeing that God had given her an husband as her veil and defense.
  17. Genesis 20:18 Had taken away from them the gift of conceiving.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

Genesis 20 New International Version (NIV)

Abraham and Abimelek

20 Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelek king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.

But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”

Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.

Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will die.”

Early the next morning Abimelek summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid. Then Abimelek called Abraham in and said, “What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done. 10 And Abimelek asked Abraham, “What was your reason for doing this?”

11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”

14 Then Abimelek brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelek said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.”

16 To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels[a] of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”

17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again, 18 for the Lord had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.


  1. Genesis 20:16 That is, about 25 pounds or about 12 kilograms
New International Version (NIV)

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