(20:2) "Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister."
Honest Abe does the same "she's my sister" routine again, for the same cowardly reason. And once again, the
king just couldn't resist Sarah -- even though by now she is over 90 years old.
(See Genesis 12:13-20 for the first, nearly
identical, episode, and 26:7 for another repeat with Isaac, Rebekah and
the same king Abimelech.)
God gets angry with king Abimelech, though
the king hasn't even touched Sarah. He says to the king, "Behold, thou art
but a dead man," and threatens to kill him and all of his people. To
compensate for the crime he never committed, Abimelech gives Abraham sheep,
oxen, slaves, silver, and land. Finally, after Abraham "prayed unto
God," God lifts his punishment to Abimelech, "for the Lord had fast
closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah."
(20:3) "God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man."
(20:4) "But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, LORD, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?"
(20:5) "Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother"
(20:6-7) "God said unto him in a dream ... if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine."
And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled
between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.
And Abraham said of
Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
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.
20:4But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, LORD, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
20:5Said 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.
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.
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
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
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.
And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done
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.
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.
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.
And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants,
and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.
And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it
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.
(20:18) "The LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah
God "closed all the wombs" because Abimelech believed Abe's lie. Are we punished for the sins of others?
So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and
his maidservants; and they bare children.
For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah