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King AbimelechBecomes Angry at Abraham & Confronts Him About ItWhat 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. What was your reason for doing this? (Bible Study Online Article Covers : Genesis 20:1-18)
In the last article, we'd taken a look at how Lot, and his daughters fared -- after the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. And it's also at this time, that we'd learned, that the daughters of Lot -- had became very concern, when it came to the preservation of their family bloodline.
Their concern stemmed from the fact, that there were no longer any suitable men around (that they knew of), after the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah had been destroyed.
So they came up with a plan, that involved getting their father drunk, so that they could lay with him -- in order to possibly preserve the family line through him:
"One day the older daughter said to the younger: 'Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father.'" -- Genesis 19:31,32
Bible Study OnlineTheir Plan - Seemed To Be Working?
Now the plan that the daughters of Lot had agreed to enact, seemed to be paying off, for they both would indeed get pregnant by their father.
And on top of that, they both would end up having sons. Know that the oldest daughter, would name her son, Moab -- which signified (of my father). And the younger daughter, would name her son, Ben-Ammi -- which signified (the son of my people).
Also know, that I'd also pointed out, that Moab would become the founder of the Moabites. And when it came to his cousin, Ben-Ammi, he would eventually become the founder of the Ammonites. Know personally, I believe that this little bit of information is crucial to know, being that both the Moabites, and the Ammonites -- would eventually become some of Israel's most bitter and hostile enemies:
"After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them." -- (1 Samuel 14:47)
Bible Study OnlineAbraham Relocates?
Be that as it may, it's time to move forward...
For we find, that the Sacred Record reveals to us, that after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham had decided to move away from the region that he'd dwelled in for the last 20 years -- that was simply known as "Mamre". For the Sacred Record would also inform us, that Abraham had headed south, and ended up -- dwelling in the desert region of the Negev, which was a place, located somewhere between Kadesh and Shur.
Now somewhere between him moving, and settling in the desert region of the Negev, we find that Abraham had stayed for some time -- in a Philistine town and district, that was known as "Gerar". Now the Holy Scriptures doesn't give an exact time frame, on how long Abraham had resided there.
Bible Study OnlineDeja Vu?
But nonetheless, we're now being told about the events, that had taken place during his stay at Gerar. For we would soon learn, that Abraham had again, placed himself (and his wife Sarah) in an uncomfortable and dangerous position -- just like he had done some time ago, with Pharaoh, back when he had first entered Egypt -- in order to avoid, and wait out the famine, that was wreaking havoc upon the land of Canaan.
Bible Study OnlineSimilar Situations -- Between Egypt & Gerar?
Now remember, when Abraham had first entered Egypt, he had a plan at that time -- when it came to him, and his wife, trying to survive from within the Egyptian kingdom: "As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, 'I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, "This is his wife." Then they will kill me and let you live.'" - Genesis 12:11,12
Now when it comes to this plan, that Abraham had came up with at that time, we now find him hatching a similar plan -- right before he enters the Philistine town. For Abraham would once again, lie and speak of Sarah, as if she was his sister -- instead of his wife. And just like Pharaoh had done before, Abimelech the king of Gerar, also believed this false story that Abraham had told him. And because of this, Abimelech sent for Sarah, and took her back to his palace. Also know, that it's at this point, that the Holy Scriptures would confirm -- that Abimelech did indeed, take Sarah against her will, in order for her to be his wife.
Bible Study OnlineNot As Detailed -- So We Can Only Assume?
Now, when we compare this situation in the Philistine town, with the similar ordeal -- that had happen, some time ago in Egypt. The first thing that I would like to point out, dealt with the fact, that Pharaoh was very attracted towards Sarah -- and especially, when it came to her beauty. But in this case, when it comes to Abimelech, we're not given these same kind of details on why he was attracted to Sarah -- so we can only assume, that the king was physically attracted to her, just like Pharaoh was.
Bible Study OnlineShe Doesn't Belong to You Abimelech!
Nonetheless, we now find, that later that night -- while Abimelech is sleeping, the Lord comes and visits him in a dream: "[Abimelech] you are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken, she is a married woman," the Lord would tell the king.
Now understand, Abimelech had not yet, touched Sarah. And also keep in mind, that the king did not know, that she was Abraham's wife. And because of this mishap, Abimelech would plead his case before the Lord: "Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Did 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." -- Genesis 20:4,5
And after hearing this, the Lord would somewhat agree with Abimelech. But He would still warn, and instruct the king, on what he needed to do next: "Yes I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I didn't let you touch her. Now 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." -- Genesis 20:6,7
Bible Study OnlineThe Judgment?
And although Abimelech had been lied to, know that he wasn't completely cleared of wrongdoing, for there was still a judgment that was placed on him -- because after all, he did take Sarah against her will. So keep in mind, that although Abimelech was cleared of taking Sarah as being another man's wife, he wasn't cleared -- for taking Sarah against her will, with the intentions of making her his wife by force.
This is why, in the end, Abraham would have to pray for Abimelech -- so that the king, could be saved from God's judgment. Understand, that just because Abimelech was deceived by Abraham, it did not make him completely innocent of his actions. Plus, God knew the king's true heart, and this is why the Lord told him -- that if he did not return Sarah immediately, he would surely die along with his entire household.
Bible Study OnlineWhy Abraham -- Why Me?
Now early the next morning, after Abimelech had awakened, he summoned all of his royal officials to come before him. And it's at this time, that the king had told his royal officials, about his divine visitation from the Lord -- and how he'd learned, that Abraham had deceived him. And after the king's officials had heard the story that Abimelech had told them, they'd become very much afraid.
Now a short while later, Abimelech would call Abraham to come, and be before him. And once Abraham had made it into his presence, the king asked him: "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. What was your reason for doing this?"
Bible Study OnlineAbimelech It Wasn't Personal?
Now after hearing what Abimelech had to say, Abraham responded by saying: "I said to myself, 'There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.' Besides she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. 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."'" -- Genesis 20:11-13
Now when it comes to Abraham's statement to Abimelech, notice how it would be in the defense, of what he had done against the king? For Abraham wanted Abimelech to know, that he did not do any of these things, as a personal attack towards him. For he wanted the king to know, that he and his wife Sarah, had this understanding and arrangement -- no matter where they had went.
Bible Study OnlineThe Taker Becomes the Giver?
So after hearing this, the king brought sheep, and cattle -- along with male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham. Abimelech would also return Sarah back to her rightful place, and he told Abraham: "My land is before you; live wherever you like." Then Abimelech would turn his attention specifically towards Sarah, in which he tells her: "I'm giving your brother a thousand shekels of sliver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated."
Now real quick, notice how Abimelech was being sarcastic towards Sarah, when he called Abraham her "brother?" : "I'm giving your brother a thousand shekels of sliver." For this remark, clearly shows, that Abimelech was still very angry with them -- even though, at the moment, he's showering Abraham and Sarah with gifts.
Bible Study OnlineAbraham Intercedes for Abimelech?
Be that as it may...
We now find Abraham praying to God on Abimelech's behalf. For we find that Abraham, is asking the Lord to heal Abimelech and his wife, and his female servants -- so they could, once again, have children. For you must understand, that the Lord had made every woman in Abimelech's household, barren. And all of this had happened to Abimelech's household, because he had taken Abraham's wife Sarah against her will.
So once again, we find that the Lord had allowed the wicked, to be punished behind Abraham's fear of being killed -- behind his wife Sarah. For Abraham would once again, be spared, and blessed -- by the Almighty God, just like he had been, while he was back in Egypt some time ago.
In the next Bible Study Online Article:
Okay, so we now know what had happened to Abraham, when he ran into Abimelech -- while he was relocating from the region of Mamre, after the cites of Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. However, in the next article we begin to move forward, and it's at this time -- we'll get an update, when it comes to the "promise seed" that the Lord had foretold to Abraham and Sarah some time ago.
May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support
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