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Abraham and Abimelech

20 Abraham left Hebron and traveled to southern Canaan. He stayed awhile between Kadesh and Shur. Then he moved to Gerar. Abraham told people that his wife Sarah was his sister. Abimelech king of Gerar heard this. So he sent some servants to take her. But one night God spoke to Abimelech in a dream. God said, “You will die. That woman you took is married.”

But Abimelech had not slept with Sarah. So he said, “Lord, would you destroy an innocent nation? Abraham himself told me, ‘This woman is my sister.’ And she also said, ‘He is my brother.’ I am innocent. I did not know I was doing anything wrong.”

Then God said to Abimelech in the dream, “Yes, I know that you did not realize what you were doing. So I did not allow you to sin against me. I did not allow you to sleep with her. Give Abraham his wife back. He is a prophet. He will pray for you, and you will not die. But if you do not give Sarah back, you will die. And all your family will surely die.”

So early the next morning, Abimelech called all his officers. He told them everything that had happened in the dream. They were very much afraid. Then Abimelech called Abraham to him. Abimelech said, “What have you done to us? What wrong did I do against you? Why did you bring this trouble to my kingdom? You should not have done these things to me. 10 What were you thinking that caused you to do this?”

11 Then Abraham answered, “I thought no one in this place respected God. I thought someone would kill me to get Sarah. 12 And it is true that she is my sister. She is the daughter of my father. But she is not the daughter of my mother. 13 God told me to leave my father’s house and wander in many different places. When that happened, I told Sarah, ‘You must do a special favor for me. Everywhere we go tell people I am your brother.’”

14 Then Abimelech gave Abraham some sheep, cattle and male and female slaves. Abimelech also gave Sarah, his wife, back to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “Look around you at my land. You may live anywhere you want.”

16 Abimelech said to Sarah, “I gave your brother Abraham 25 pounds of silver. I did this to make up for any wrong that people may think about you. I want everyone to know that you are innocent.”

17 Then Abraham prayed to God. And God healed Abimelech, his wife and his servant girls. Now they could have children. 18 The Lord had kept all the women in Abimelech’s house from having children. This was God’s punishment on Abimelech for taking Abraham’s wife Sarah.

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