Genesis 20

Abraham misled king Abimelech saying that Sarah was his sister
 1 ¶ And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.
.2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
  1 - Abraham journeyed He had been near Hebron ge1318, ge1413, ge1801. See south edge of Canaan map. He was a witness for the true God and the move would allow the light to shine in a new place. He would live there for some 20 years.
  Kadesh About 80 mi./130 km. SW of Hebron (in the desert). Shur was near Kadesh. See Egypt-Sinai map.
  2 - My sister This deception was strange. No sin is ultimately rational. Abraham had been a man of faith and the Lord had blessed his military advances. He should have learned from the same trouble he had created in Egypt ge1210.
  2 - Abimelech The name could have been a title. It means "my father the king."
.3 ¶ But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife. 
 4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
 5 Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. 
 6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
 7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
  3 - God came We cannot help but be impressed by that, in this heathen land, Abimelech was faithful even though he didn't know the true God. I believe there are true hearts in every nation. See on ro0119.
  3 - Thou But a dead man Literally "going to die." Reading near the end of the chapter we find out that Abimelech would cease to have descendants.
  4 - Not come near this was providential because Isaac was soon to be born and could have been considered Abimelec's son.
  5-7 - The man had a true heart an example of many who will be saved with little understanding of the plan of salvation.
 8 ¶ Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid.
.9 Then 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 kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.
 10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
  9 - Sin Implies a law ro0707.
 11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.
 12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
 13 And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.
  12 - She is my sister Abraham was afraid and excused his lie. The statement was true in that she was his half sister but false in implying that she was not his wife. What Abimelech understood was thus false.
 14 ¶ And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.
 15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee. 
 16 And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.
 17 So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.
 18 For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.
  16 - Thy brother This was Abraham's false identity.
  16 - He is ... covering The sentence may have several different meanings. From the context, and choosing "it," an optional reading instead of "he," and understanding the "covering" to mean forgiveness, we conclude that this was Abimelech's polite way to say that he considered the matter settled.
  16 - Thus she was reproved The sentence is also confusing. Some question the Masoretic pointing. See topics.
 ...and with all this, you are justified. (MKJV)
 ...and before every one you are righted. (RSV)
 ...before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated. (NIV)
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