Genesis 20 – Abraham and Abimelech

Genesis 20

In chapter 20, Abraham and Sarah have left “the Oaks of Mamre” at Hebron, and have gone north to Gerar. God’s word does not tell us why they have relocated. But again, Abraham tells people (including Abimilech, the king of Gerar) that Sarah is his sister. Verse 5 tells us that Sarah had said that Abraham is her brother, so (as we have already seen) the two are not strangers to this lie. Abraham still has not learned to trust God. So the king took Sarah. But God has other plans, and appears to Abimilech in a dream and tells him he is a dead man for doing this because Abraham is a prophet (a reference to Abraham that we read for the first time). This got Abimilech’s attention, and he promptly returns Sarah to her husband.

Abimilech is not happy with Abraham for putting him in this position, and Abraham makes a half-baked excuse for it (verse 12). God has dealt strongly with Abimilech and his house; and after receiving the king’s generosity, Abraham prays for them and they are healed (vv 17-18).  But Abraham learns two things from this – that God is taking care of him, and that jumping to conclusions and judging people as evil before even knowing them (verse 11) is wrong.  We should learn these two things as well.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.


Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Schedules” page of my website at  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

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