Genesis 20

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English: Douay-Rheims

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1 Abraham removed from thence to the south country, and dwelt between Cedes and Sur, and sojourned in Gerara.

2 And he said of Sara his wife: She is my sister. So Abimelech the king of Oerara sent, and took her.

3 And God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and he said to him: Lo thou shalt die for the woman thou hast taken: for she hath a husband.

4 Now Abimelech had not touched her, and he said : Lord, wilt thou slay a nation, that is ignorant and justl

5 Did not he say to me : She is my sister: and she say, He is my brother? in the simplicity of my heart, and cleanness of my hands have I done this.

6 And God said to him: And I know that thou didst it with a sincere heart: and therefore I withheld thee from sinning against me, and I suffered 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: but if thou wilt not restore her, know that thou shalt surely die, thou and all that are thins.

8 And Abimelech forthwith rising up in the night, called all his servants: and spoke all these words in their hearing, and all the men were exceedingly afraid.

9 And Abimelech called also for Abraham, and said to him: What hast thou done to us? what have we offended thee in, that thou hast brought upon me and upon my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done to us what thou oughtest not to do.

10 And again he expostulated with him, and said, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this?

11 Abraham answered: I thought with myself, saying: Perhaps there is not the fear of God in this place: and they will kill me for the sake of my wife:

12 Howbeit, otherwise also she is truly my sister, the daughter of my father, and not the daughter of my mother, and I took her to wife.

13 And after God brought me out of my father's house, I said to her: I Thou shalt do me this kindness: In every place, to which we shall come, thou shalt say that I am thy brother.

14 And Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and servants and handmaids, and gave to Abraham: and restored to him Sara, his wife.

15 And said: The land is before you, dwell wheresoever it shall please thee.

16 And to Sara he said: Behold I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: this shall serve thee for a covering of thy eyes to all that are with thee, and whithersoever thou shalt go: and remember thou wast taken.

17 And when Abraham prayed, God healed Abimelech and his wife, and his handmaids, and they bore children:

18 For the Lord had closed up every womb of the house of Abimelech on ac- count of Sara, Abraham's wife.

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Word/Phrase Explanations

Abraham
Abraham (or Abram, as he is named in the beginning of his story) is one of the major characters in the story of the sacred...

removed
As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...

South
'South' denotes truth in light.

Country
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

sojourned
There is a long history of using travel to round out an education, from the 19th-century “world tours” taken by Oxford and Cambridge graduates to...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

wife
The Lord calls people who are in truth from the good of charity from Him 'sisters,' as in Matthew 12:50. The Lord calls people who...

Abimelech
Abimelech, his companion Ahusath, and Phicol, the chief captain of his army (Gen 26:26), represent the doctrinals of faith as grounded in the literal sense...

king
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

Sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Dream
A dream, as in Genesis 20:3,signifies being somewhat obscure.

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

die
'To perish,' or 'die,' relates to damnation, or the state in hell.

woman
The word "woman" is used a number of different ways in the Bible – as a simple description, as someone connected to a man ("his...

husband
In general, men are driven by intellect and women by affections, and because of this men in the Bible generally represent knowledge and truth and...

Slay
'To slay' or 'to kill' in the Word, means destroying souls, which is spiritually killing.

nation
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

Brother
There are two ways "brother" is used in the Bible, ways that are still reflected in modern language. One denotes an actual blood relationship; the...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

hands
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

know
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

touch
Imagine having your mother touch your cheek. Then imagine having your spouse or someone you love romantically touch your cheek. Then imagine having a baby...

restore
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

man
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

prophet
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

pray
When people pray in the Bible, it means they are opening up their internal states. When it is the Lord praying, or a figure who...

rising up
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

servants
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

Words
'Words,' as in Exodus 34:28, signify everything pertaining to doctrine.

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

upon
Over' or 'upon' in the Word, signifies being within, because the highest part in successive order becomes inmost in simultaneous order. This is why the...

kingdom
In the most general sense, a kingdom in the Bible represents a church. In a more specific sense, a kingdom represents a church in regards...

sin
In the Word three terms are used to mean bad things that are done. These three are transgression, iniquity, and sin, and they are here...

thought
Those who are 'anxious' are not content with their own lot, and do not trust the Divine, but only themselves. They only look to worldly...

Fear of God
Fear of God, as used in the Word, signifies worship, either grounded in fear, or in the good of faith, or in the good of...

fear
Fear of the unknown and fear of change are both common ideas, and together cover a broad spectrum of the fears we tend to have...

place
'A room' or 'place' denotes state.

kill
The Lord is love itself, and that love is the ultimate source of all energy and thus of all life. It follows, then, that the...

daughter
Marriages among people – both in the Bible and in life – represent spiritual marriage. Women represent the desire to be good and to do...

Father
Father, son, mother, and daughter, as in Luke 12:51, 53: By father against son, and by son against the father, is understood evil against truth,...

mother
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

sheep
It’s pretty easy for most people to read the Bible and get a sense for what “sheep” means without any help. They are simple, peaceful,...

Oxen
'Oxen' or 'calves' signify the affections of the natural mind.

Land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

thousand
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

Pieces
'Broken into pieces' denotes the way good not from the Lord will be dissipated.

Silver
'Silver,' in the internal sense of the Word, signifies truth, but also falsity. 'Silver' means the truth of faith, or the truth acquired from selfhood,...

Covering
A covering of precious stones (Ezek. 28:4, 13) signifies the truths of intelligence.

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

Remember
'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

closed
There are only a couple of references in the Writings to "close" used as a verb, and both stem from Amos 9:11, which talks about...

Womb
'Womb,' as in Genesis 49:25, signifies the conjunction of good and truth. The term 'belly' is used where truths are being discussed, and the term...


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