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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 14–18
Verses 14–18

Here is, I. The kindness of a prince which Abimelech showed to Abraham. See how unjust Abraham’s jealousies were. He fancied that if they knew that Sarah was his wife they would kill him; but, when they did know it, instead of killing him they were kind to him, frightened at least to be so by the divine rebukes they were under. 1. He gives him his royal licence to dwell where he pleased in his country, courting his stay because he gives him his royal gifts (Gen. 20:14), sheep and oxen, and (Gen. 20:16) a thousand pieces of silver. This he gave when he restored Sarah, either, [1.] By way of satisfaction for the wrong he had offered to do, in taking her to his house: when the Philistines restored the ark, being plagued for detaining it, they sent a present with it. The law appointed that when restitution was made something should be added to it, Lev. 6:5. Or, [2.] To engage Abraham’s prayers for him; not as if prayers should be bought and sold, but we should endeavour to be kind to those of whose spiritual things we reap, 1 Cor. 9:11. Note, It is our wisdom to get and keep an interest with those that have an interest in heaven, and to make those our friends who are the friends of God. [3.] He gives to Sarah good instruction, tells her that her husband (her brother he calls him, to upbraid her with calling him so) must be to her for a covering of the eyes, that is, she must look at no other, nor desire to be looked at by any other. Note, Yoke-fellows must be to each other for a covering of the eyes. The marriage-covenant is a covenant with the eyes, like Job’s, Job 31:1.

II. The kindness of a prophet which Abraham showed to Abimelech: he prayed for him, Gen. 20:17, 18. This honour God would put upon Abraham that, though Abimelech had restored Sarah, yet the judgment he was under should be removed upon the prayer of Abraham, and not before. Thus God healed Miriam, when Moses, whom she had most affronted, prayed for her (Num. 12:13), and was reconciled to Job’s friends when Job, whom they had grieved, prayed for them (Job 42:8-10), and so did, as it were, give it under his hand that he was reconciled to them. Note, The prayers of good men may be a kindness to great men, and ought to be valued.