The Bible in Its Traditions

Genesis 20:1–18

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And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the land of the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar.

Abraham advanced from there into the southern land, and he lived between Kadesh and Shur. And he sojourned in Gerar.

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And Abraham said of Sarah his wife: 'She is my sister.' And Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.

And Abraam said concerning Sarrha his wife, She is my sister, for he feared to say, She is my wife, lest at any time the men of the city should kill him for her sake. So Abimelech king of Gerara sent and took Sarrha.

And he said about his wife Sarah: “She is my sister.” Therefore, Abimelech, the king of Gerar, sent for her and took her.

But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him: 'Behold, thou shalt die, because of the woman whom thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.'

And God came to Abimelech by night in sleep, and said, Behold, thou diest for the woman, whom thou hast taken, whereas she has lived with a husband.

Then God came to Abimelech through a dream in the night, and he said to him: “Lo, you shall die because of the woman that you have taken. For she has a husband.”

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Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said: 'Lord, wilt Thou slay even a righteous nation?

But Abimelech had not touched her, and he said, Lord, wilt thou destroy an ignorantly sinning and just nation?

In truth, Abimelech had not touched her, and so he said: “Lord, would you put to death a people, ignorant and just?

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Said he not himself unto me: She is my sister? and she, even she herself said: He is my brother. In the simplicity of my heart and the innocency of my hands have I done this.'

Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and did she not say, ‘He is my brother?’ In the sincerity of my heart and the purity of my hands, I have done this.”

Behold, he said, She is my sister; and she herself also said, He is my brother; in the innocence of my heart and purity of my hands have I done this.

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And God said unto him in the dream: 'Yea, I know that in the simplicity of thy heart thou hast done this, and I also withheld thee from sinning against Me. Therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

And God said to him in sleep, Yea, I knew that thou didst this with a pure heart, and I spared thee, so that thou shouldest not sin against me, therefore I suffered thee not to touch her.

And God said to him: “And I know that you have acted with a sincere heart. And therefore I kept you from sinning against me, and I did not release you to touch her.

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Now therefore restore the man's 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.'

But now return the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live; but if thou restore her not, know that thou shalt die and all thine.

Now therefore, return his wife to the man, for he is a prophet. And he will pray for you, and you will live. But if you are not willing to return her, know this: you shall die a death, you and all that is yours.”

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And 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.

And immediately Abimelech, rising up in the night, called all his servants. And he spoke all these words in their hearing, and all the men were very afraid.

Therefore Abimeleck rose early in the morning and called all of his servants and told them all these words; and the men were exceedingly afraid.

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Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him: 'What hast thou done unto us? and wherein have I sinned against 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.'

Then Abimelech called also for Abraham, and he said to him: “What have you done to us? How have we sinned against you, so that you would bring so great a sin upon me and upon my kingdom? You have done to us what you ought not to have done.”

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10  And Abimelech said unto Abraham: 'What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?'

10  And remonstrating him again, he said, “What did you see, so that you would do this?”

10  And Abimeleck said to Abraham, What induced you to do this thing?

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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.

11  And Abraam said, Why I said, Surely there is not the worship of God in this place, and they will slay me because of my wife.

11  Abraham responded: “I thought to myself, saying: Perhaps there is no fear of God in this place. And they will put me to death because of my wife.

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12  And moreover she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and so she became my wife.

12  For truly she is my sister by my father, but not by my mother, and she became my wife.

12  Yet, in another way, she is also truly my sister, the daughter of my father, and not the daughter of my mother, and I took her as a wife.

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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 show unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me: He is my brother.'

13  Then, after God led me out of my father’s house, I said to her: ‘You will show this mercy to me. In every place, to which we will travel, you will say that I am your brother.’ ”

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14  And Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and men-servants and women-servants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.

14  And Abimelech took a thousand pieces of silver, and sheep, and calves, and servants, and maid-servants, and gave them to Abraam, and he returned him Sarrha his wife.

14  Therefore, Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and men servants and women servants, and he gave them to Abraham. And he returned his wife Sarah to him.

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15  And Abimelech said: 'Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee.'

15  And he said, “The land is in your sight. Dwell wherever it will please you.”

15  Then Abimeleck said to Abraham, Behold, my land is before you; dwell wherever you please.

16  And unto Sarah he said: 'Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver; behold, it is for thee a covering of the eyes to all that are with thee; and before all men thou art righted.'

16  Then to Sarah he said: “Behold, I have given your brother one thousand silver coins. This will be for you as a veil for your eyes, to all who are with you and wherever you will travel. And so, remember that you were taken.”

16  And to Sarah he said, Behold, I have given a thousand pieces of silver to your brother; behold, it is given for you, because you have been humbled in the eyes of my people, and because of the other things for which I have reproved you.

17  And Abraham prayed unto God; and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maid-servants; and they bore children.

17  Then when Abraham prayed, God healed Abimelech and his wife, and his handmaids, and they gave birth.

17  So Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimeleck and his wife and his maidservants, and they bore children.

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18  For YHWH had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.

18  Because the Lord had fast closed from without every womb in the house of Abimelech, because of Sarrha Abraam’s wife.

18  For the Lord had closed every womb of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, the wife of Abraham.