Abraham and Abimelek
1Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, ‘She is my sister.’ Then Abimelek king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.
3But 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.’
4Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, ‘Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5Did 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.’
6Then 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. 7Now 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.’
8Early the next morning Abimelek summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid. 9Then 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.’ 10And Abimelek asked Abraham, ‘What was your reason for doing this?’
11Abraham replied, ‘I said to myself, “There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.” 12Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13And when God caused me to 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.’ ” ’
14Then Abimelek brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. 15And Abimelek said, ‘My land is before you; live wherever you like.’
16To Sarah he said, ‘I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offence against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.’
17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again, 18for the Lord had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.