Genesis 20:1-18 NIV
Abraham and Abimelech
1Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar,
2and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.
3But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”
4Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”
6Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die.”
8Early the next morning Abimelech summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid. 9Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said, “What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done.” 10And Abimelech asked Abraham, “What was your reason for doing this?”
11Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife.
13 And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ”
14Then Abimelech brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. 15And Abimelech said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.”
16To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekelsa of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”
17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, 18for the Lord had closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.
Abraham moved to Gerar 6 miles to the south from Mamre, either terrified by the destruction of Sodom or he was grieved at Lot’s incest with his daughters, of which we are not sure enough.
There again, Abimelech, the Philistine king of Gerar, like Pharaoh in Egypt, took Sarah, whom Abraham had again announced to be his sister, into his palace because he was charmed with the beauty of Sarah, a woman of 89 in her age.
When God caused me to wander - Here the word אלהים Elohim is used with a plural verb, (התעו hithu, ‘caused me to wander” Hiph`il causative verb form of Qal תָּעָה ‘wander’), which is not very usual in the Hebrew language, as this plural noun is generally joined with verbs in the singular number.
Because there is a departure from the general mode in this instance, some have contended that the word Elohim signifies “princes” in this place, and suppose it to refer to those in Chaldea, who expelled Abraham because he would not worship the fire. But the best critics allow that Elohim here signifies the True God. Abraham refers to his first call at Ur of Chaldea.