Genesis, 20

Abraham moves to Gerar and tells everyone that Sarah is his sister, for fear that they will kill him to take her as a wife. King Abimelech takes Sarah but God intervenes and he returns her.

Genesis, 20


Bible version

Abraham and Sarah's Deception

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.
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.
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?
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.
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.


Genesis chapter 20 is a fascinating chapter that reveals a lot about the character of Abraham. In this chapter, Abraham is faced with a difficult situation when he travels to Gerar and is forced to lie about his relationship with Sarah. He tells the king of Gerar, Abimelech, that Sarah is his sister instead of his wife. This lie is motivated by fear, as Abraham is afraid that if Abimelech knew Sarah was his wife, he would take her away from him. Abimelech does take Sarah, but God intervenes and warns Abimelech in a dream that Sarah is Abraham’s wife. Abimelech returns Sarah to Abraham and gives him gifts as a sign of his repentance. Abraham is then able to explain the truth to Abimelech, and Abimelech is understanding and forgiving. This chapter reveals a lot about Abraham’s character. He is a man of faith, but he is also a man of fear. He is willing to take risks, but he is also willing to lie to protect himself and his family. This chapter also reveals God’s character. He is a God of justice and mercy, as He intervenes to protect Sarah and then forgives Abimelech for his mistake. Overall, Genesis chapter 20 is a powerful chapter that reveals a lot about the characters of Abraham and God. It is a reminder that God is a God of justice and mercy, and that He is willing to forgive us when we make mistakes.

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Assuming a reader with an average reading speed of 300 WPM reads the Genesis, chapter 20 it would take approximately 2 minutes to finish.

There are 18 verses in Genesis, chapter 20.