Genesis 20

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English: Young's Literal Translation

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1 And Abraham journeyeth from thence toward the land of the south, and dwelleth between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourneth in Gerar;

2 and Abraham saith concerning Sarah his wife, `She is my sister;' and Abimelech king of Gerar sendeth and taketh Sarah.

3 And God cometh in unto Abimelech in a dream of the night, and saith to him, `Lo, thou [art] a dead man, because of the woman whom thou hast taken -- and she married to a husband.'

4 And Abimelech hath not drawn near unto her, and he saith, `Lord, also a righteous nation dost thou slay?

5 hath not he himself said to me, She [is] my sister! and she, even she herself, said, He [is] my brother; in the integrity of my heart, and in the innocency of my hands, I have done this.'

6 And God saith unto him in the dream, `Yea, I -- I have known that in the integrity of thy heart thou hast done this, and I withhold thee, even I, from sinning against Me, therefore I have not suffered thee to come against her;

7 and now send back the man's wife, for he [is] inspired, and he doth pray for thee, and live thou; and if thou do not send back, know that dying thou dost die, thou, and all that thou hast.'

8 And Abimelech riseth early in the morning, and calleth for all his servants, and speaketh all these words in their ears; and the men fear exceedingly;

9 and Abimelech calleth for Abraham, and saith to him, `What hast thou done to us? and what have I sinned against thee, that thou hast brought upon me, and upon my kingdom, a great sin? works which are not done thou hast done with me.'

10 Abimelech also saith unto Abraham, `What hast thou seen that thou hast done this thing?'

11 And Abraham saith, `Because I said, `Surely the fear of God is not in this place, and they have slain me for the sake of my wife;

12 and also, truly she is my sister, daughter of my father, only not daughter of my mother, and she becometh my wife;

13 and it cometh to pass, when God hath caused me to wander from my father's house, that I say to her, This [is] thy kindness which thou dost with me: at every place whither we come, say of me, He [is] my brother.'

14 And Abimelech taketh sheep and oxen, and servants and handmaids, and giveth to Abraham, and sendeth back to him Sarah his wife;

15 and Abimelech saith, `Lo, my land [is] before thee, where it is good in thine eyes, dwell;'

16 and to Sarah he hath said, `Lo, I have given a thousand silverlings to thy brother; lo, it is to thee a covering of eyes, to all who are with thee;' and by all this she is reasoned with.

17 And Abraham prayeth unto God, and God healeth Abimelech and his wife, and his handmaids, and they bear:

18 for Jehovah restraining had restrained every womb of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.

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Hop to Similar Bible Verses

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1 Samuel 25:26

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Job 4:13, 33:15, 17, 42:9

Psalms 7:9, 105:14

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Matthew 1:20

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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...

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...

land of
'The land of Rameses,' as in Genesis 47:11, signifies the inmost of the spiritual principle in the natural mind.

South
'South' denotes truth in light.

Kadesh
'Kadesh' denotes truths, and contention about truths.

Shur
'Shur,' or 'Assyria,' signifies the Lord's state when He first received instruction in matters of doctrine regarding charity and faith.

sojourneth
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...

Gerar
Gerar, as in Genesis 10:19, signifies those things which are revealed concerning faith.

saith
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...

Sarah
'Sarah' denotes truth joined to good. Sarai was called 'Sarah' so she would represent the divine intellectual principle by adding the 'H' from the name...

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...

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...

cometh
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...

dead
Death in the Bible represents spiritual death, or the destruction of everything that is good and all true beliefs in someone. This happens when people...

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...

woman
'Virgin' and 'woman,' in the Word, signify the affection of good.

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...

Near
'Near,' in the Word, signifies presence and conjunction. 'To be near' signifies being on internal levels. Near,' as in Genesis 19:20, signifies truth bordering upon...

righteous
The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...

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...

Slay
'To slay a man to his wounding,' means extinguishing faith, and 'to slay a young man to his hurt,' signifies extinguishing charity, as in Genesis...

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...

Integrity
'Integrity,' as in Genesis 20:5, signifies innocence and simplicity.

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.

Send
'To send' signifies revealing.

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...

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...

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

riseth
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...

early
Since the sun represents the Lord, the early morning and sunrise represent a state of enlightenment, with a new and clear understanding coming after a...

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

calleth
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.

Fear
Fear has various significations according to the thing which causes it. Fear signifies love. Fear, as in Gen 28:17, signifies a holy change.

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...

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...

upon
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

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...

Works
Works, emeralds, purple broidered work, fine linen, coral, and agate, (Ezek. 27:16), signify knowledges of good.

seen
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Place
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

Slain
'The slain' when referring to the Lord, as in Revelation 5, means the separation of everything from the divine. In denial of His divinity, He...

daughter
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

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,...

Pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

Wander
'To wander,' as in Amos 4:8, signifies inquiry. 'To wander blind in the streets,' as in Lamentations 4:14, means not knowing good and truth.

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.

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...

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...

Jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

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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