The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Genesis 20

Gen 20:1

Gen 20: Abraham intercedes for Gentiles. Lesson: "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe" (Pro 29:25).

GERAR: To the sw of Canaan; south of Gaza and of Philistia. Abraham left the Land of Promise. Reasons? Destruction of Sodom, doubt about Lot, influx of new peoples, need for better land?

Gen 20:2

ABIMELECH: "My father/king".

AND TOOK HER: Obviously, Sarah would not have gone willingly; therefore Abimelech, though he protests, must bear some guilt. Sarah was at Abimelech's court for a considerable time (v 18). Although 90 years old, Sarah had been rejuvenated, to bear Isaac the child of promise, and had probably regained her earlier physical attractiveness (WAbr 94). But cp Gen 12:14: even before promise of seed, Sarah had been quite attractive (because of fair skin, in ct to the Egyptians, a mark of distinction and beauty?).

Gen 20:3

"He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings: 'Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm' " (Psa 105:14,15). Note that both Abraham (v 7) and Sarah (Gen 21:6,10) are "prophets".

Gen 20:4

LORD: Orig "Yahweh" altered to "Adonai" by Sopherim (Comp 32).

INNOCENT: "Righteous" in AV, but this is better.

Gen 20:7

PROPHET: The Heb word for "prophet" is nabiy (= inspired man). Rt means "to speak by inspiration (in prediction or simple discourse)"; one to whom anything is secretly communicated. In this latter sense Abraham was definitely a prophet. So was Sarah: Psa 105:14,15. In the sense of Abraham predicting the future, later events indicate that he did so on occasion (Gen 22:8,14). Also cp Gen 18:17 with Amos 3:7.

Gen 20:12

SHE REALLY IS MY SISTER: Sarah was Abraham's niece (Gen 11:29n). In general, note use of "brother" for "nephew" (Gen 14:14): Tes 66:4.

DAUGHTER: Or poss "grand-daughter". Or poss adopted by Abraham's father as a practical matter of bestowing an inheritance upon her.

Gen 20:16

A present is offered for the expiation of some fault, but so large that Abim would be shown to be an honorable man who dealt honorably with Sarah.

TO COVER THE OFFENSE AGAINST YOU (A COVERING OF THE EYES): A hint that Sarah and all women with her might best be veiled from prying eyes. Also, "covering of eyes" sym marriage (Gen 24:65). Thus, a reproof to Abraham and Sarah. 'By this means equip yourself with a costly veil to tell all the world that you are married!' (WAbr).

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