Genesis Chapter 20

(Genesis 20:1)
And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.
  • Gerar was at the time Canaanite territory
  • Gerar is still in Israel today, just west of Beersheba
  • Isaac would later go here to live (Genesis 26:6)
(Genesis 20:2)
And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
  • He repeats the behavior he practiced in Egypt with pharoah
  • This taking of another man's wife and killing him was a custom for many ancient cultures worldwide
  • God would have protected them both, so this is a lack of faith

(Genesis 12:10-13)
And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.

(Genesis 20:3)
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.
  • This is the epitome of Divine Intervention!
  • This is a direct death threat from the One who can both give and take life
  • Job experienced this power and sovereignty
(Job 1:21)
And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

(Genesis 20:4)
But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
  • Apparently either God said to him, "Not only you, but your people" or Abimelech thinks (or realizes) that with him gone, so goes the nation
  • Abimelech also states that his nation is rightous
  • Again, the sovereignty of God did not allow Abimelech to even touch her yet (v.6)
(Genesis 20:5)
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.
  • He would have done this in ignorance and innocence, but now he is accountable, since God told him the whole situation
  • This is something he woulod have LIKED Abraham to tell him first, though.
(Genesis 20:6)
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.
  • God is telling Abimelech, "I did my part for you in protecting, sparing you, being merciful to you"
  • God is affirming that this man has some integrity
  • God can speak to unbelievers-basically anyone He wants to
(Genesis 20:7)
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.
  • This is the only verse where Abraham is called prophet
  • The prayer is not what will spare Abimelech; it is God Himself, using that prayer
  • Prayer or no prayer, God will spare Abimelech. God simply wants us to pray and ask
  • It is certain that God will tell Abraham to pray for Abimelech, since Abraham is presumably not a witness to this conversation
PROPH'ET, n. [L. propheta.]
  1. One that foretells future events; a predicter; a foreteller.
  2. In Scripture, a person illuminated, inspired or instructed by God to announce future events; as Moses, Elijah, David, Isaiah, etc.
  3. An interpreter; one that explains or communicates sentiments. Exo 7.
  4. One who pretends to foretell; an imposter; as a false prophet. Acts 13.

    Of the prophets, among the Israelites, a school or college in which young men were educated and qualified for public teachers. These students were called sons of the prophets.
(Luke 1:70)
As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:

(Luke 13:28)
There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

(Genesis 20:8)
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.
  • Step one, top priority: deal with the problem with his people
  • "There is sin in the camp and it will affect everyone of us"
  • While Abimelech did this in innocence, he now was accountable to God because he now knew it was sin
  • While Abimelech did this in innocence, it would spread immediately to affect everyone
(Genesis 20:9)
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.
  • Step two, second priority: deal with Abraham
  • He reminds Abraham that Abraham "did this to us", not just "did this to me"
(Genesis 20:10)
And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
  • What did you see in me? In us?
  • Did you see weakness? Gullibility?
  • Did you see us as a threat to your wife and marriage?
(Genesis 20:11)
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.
  • Um, yes he did see all of those things, by his own admission
(Genesis 20:12)
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.
(Genesis 20:13)
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.
(Genesis 20:14)
And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.
(Genesis 20:15)
And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.
(Genesis 20:16)
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.
(Genesis 20:17)
So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.
(Genesis 20:18)
For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.
Genesis Chapter 21


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