View Genesis 20 in the note window.
We have here,
- Abraham's sin in denying his wife, and Abimelech's sin thereupon
in taking her, ver. 1, 2.
- God's discourse with Abimelech in a dream upon this occasion;
wherein he shews him his error, ver. 3.
accepts his plea, ver. 4, 5, 6.
and directs him to make restitution, ver. 7.
- Abimelech's discourse with Abraham; wherein he chides him for
the cheat he had put upon him, ver. 8, 9, 10.
and Abraham excuses it as well as he can, ver. 11, 12, 13.
- The good issue of the story; in which Abimelech restores Abraham
his wife, ver. 14, 15, 16.
and Abraham by prayer prevails with God for the removal of the
judgment Abimelech was under, ver. 17, 18.
1: And Abraham sojourned in Gerar - We are not told upon what
occasion he removed, whether terrified by the destruction of Sodom, or,
as some of the Jewish writers say, because he was grieved at Lot's
incest with his daughters, and the reproach which the Canaanites cast
upon him for his kinsman's sake. The king of Gerar sent and took her - To
his house, in order to the taking of her to his bed.
3: But God came to Abimelech in a dream - It appears by this that God
revealed himself by dreams, which evidenced themselves to be divine and
supernatural, not only to his servants the prophets, but even to those
that were out of the pale of the church; but then usually it was with some
regard to God's own people.
4: Wilt thou slay also a righteous nation - Not such a nation as
6: I withheld thee from sinning against me - It is God that restrains
men from doing the ill they would do; it is not from him that there is sin,
but it is from him that there is not more sin, either by his influence on
mens minds checking their inclination to sin, or by his providence taking
away the opportunity. It is a great mercy to be hindered from committing
sin, which God must have the glory of whoever is the instrument.
9: Thou hast done deeds that ought not to be done - Equivocation and
dissimulation, however they may be palliated, are very ill things, and by no
means to be admitted in any case. He takes it as a very great injury to
himself and his family, that Abraham had thus exposed them to sin,
What have I offended thee? - If I had been thy worst enemy, thou couldst
not have done me a worse turn, nor taken a more effectual course to be
avenged on me. Note, We ought to reckon, that those do us the greatest
dislikedness in the world, that any way tempt us or expose us to sin, though
they may pretend friendship, and offer that which is grateful enough to
the corrupt nature. He challenges him to assign any just cause he had to
suspect them as a dangerous people for an honest man to live among.
10: What sawest thou that thou hast done this thing - What reason
hadst thou to think, that if we had known her to be thy wife, thou wouldst
have been exposed to any danger by it?
11: I thought surely the fear of God is not in this place, and they
will slay me - There are many places and persons that have more of the
fear of God in them than we think they have; perhaps they are not called by
our name, they do not wear our badges, they do not tie themselves to that
which we have an opinion of; and therefore we conclude they have not the
fear of God in their hearts!
13: When God caused me to wander from my father's house - Then we
settled this matter. It may be, that God denied Abraham and Sarah
the blessing of children so long to punish them for this sinful compact
they had made to deny one another: if they will not own their marriage, why
should God own it? But we may suppose, that alter this reproof they agreed
never to do so again, and then presently we read, (Ge 21:1,2), that
16: Thy brother is to thee a covering of the eyes - Thou must look at
no other, nor desire to be looked at by any other. Yoke - fellows must be to
each other for a covering of the eyes. The marriage - covenant is a covenant
with the eyes, like Job's, (Job 31:1).