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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 20

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Abraham at Gerar. * 1Abraham journeyed on to the region of the Negeb, where he settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he stayed in Gerar, 2he said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent and took Sarah. 3But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are about to die because of the woman you have taken, for she has a husband.” 4Abimelech, who had not approached her, said: “O Lord, would you slay a man even though he is innocent? 5He himself told me, ‘She is my sister,’ and she herself also stated, ‘He is my brother.’ I did it in good faith and with clean hands.” 6God answered him in the dream: “Yes, I know you did it in good faith. In fact, it was I who kept you from sinning against me; that is why I did not let you touch her. 7Therefore, return the man's wife—as a spokesman* he will intercede for you—that your life may be saved. If you do not return her, you can be sure that you and all who are yours will certainly die.”

8Early the next morning Abimelech called all his court officials and informed them of everything that had happened, and the men were horrified. 9Then Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him: “How could you do this to us! What wrong did I do to you that you should have brought such monstrous guilt on me and my kingdom? You have treated me in an intolerable way. 10What were you afraid of,” he asked him, “that you should have done such a thing?” 11“I was afraid,” answered Abraham, “because I thought there would surely be no fear of God in this place, and so they would kill me on account of my wife. 12Besides, she is in truth my sister, but only my father's daughter, not my mother's; and so she became my wife. i Gn 12, 13 . 13When God sent me wandering from my father's house, I asked her: ‘Would you do me this favor? In whatever place we come to, say that I am your brother.’ ”

14Then Abimelech took flocks and herds and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham; and after he restored his wife Sarah to him, 15he said, “Here, my land lies at your disposal; settle wherever you please.” 16To Sarah he said: “See, I have given your brother a thousand shekels of silver.* Let that serve you as a vindication before all who are with you; your honor has been preserved with everyone.” 17Abraham then interceded with God, and God restored health to Abimelech, that is, to his wife and his maidservants, so that they could bear children; 18for God had tightly closed every womb in Abimelech's household on account of Abraham's wife Sarah.

Notes:

i: Gn 12, 13 .

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