Abraham left there for the region of the Negeb, and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While staying in Gerar,
Abraham said of his wife Sarah, 'She is my sister,' and Abimelech the king of Gerar had Sarah brought to him.
But God visited Abimelech in a dream one night. 'You are to die,' he told him, 'because of the woman you have taken, for she is a married woman.'
Abimelech, however, had not gone near her; so he said, 'Lord, would you kill someone even if he is upright?
Did he not tell me himself, "She is my sister"? And she herself said, "He is my brother." I did this with a clear conscience and clean hands.'
'Yes, I know,' God replied in the dream, 'that you did this with a clear conscience and I myself prevented you from sinning against me. That was why I did not let you touch her.
Now send the man's wife back; for he is a prophet and can intercede on your behalf for your life. But understand that if you do not send her back, this means death for you and all yours.'
Early next morning, Abimelech summoned his full court and told them the whole story, at which the people were very much afraid.
Then summoning Abraham, Abimelech said to him, 'What have you done to us? What wrong have I done you, for you to bring such guilt on me and on my kingdom? You had no right to treat me like this.'
Abimelech then said to Abraham, 'What possessed you to do such a thing?'
'Because', Abraham replied, 'I thought there would be no fear of God here and that I should be killed for the sake of my wife.
Anyway, she really is my sister, my father's daughter though not my mother's, besides being my wife.
So when God made me wander far from my father's home I said to her, "There is an act of love you can do me: everywhere we go, say of me that I am your brother." '
Abimelech took sheep, cattle, men and women slaves, and presented them to Abraham, and gave him back his wife Sarah.
And Abimelech said, 'Look, my land is open to you. Settle wherever you please.'
To Sarah he said, 'Look, I am giving your brother a thousand pieces of silver. This will allay suspicions about you, as far as all the people round you are concerned; you have been completely vindicated.'
Abraham then interceded with God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave-girls, so that they could have children,
for Yahweh had made all the women of Abimelech's household barren on account of Sarah, Abraham's wife.