Genesis 20 Chapter Summary: Abimelech


Genesis 20 Chapter Summary: Abimelech

Genesis 20 Chapter Commentary: Abimelech


Genesis 20 tells the story of Abraham’s meeting with the king of Gerar, Abimelech, which takes place soon after Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed. Abraham informs Abimelech that his wife Sarah is actually his sister out of fear for his life. As a result, Abimelech accepts Sarah as one of his wives and brings her into his household.

But God intervenes and forewarns Abimelech in a dream that Sarah is in fact Abraham’s wife and that he is breaking the law by bringing her into his home. Abraham receives Sarah back from Abimelech, who also chastises him for lying to him.

Abimelech treats Abraham with warmth and generosity despite his dishonesty, giving him gifts and permission to reside in Gerar. Abraham concludes the chapter by pleading with God for Abimelech and his family’s recovery from the sterility they had suffered as a result of adopting Sarah.


What’s the Main Point?


This chapter serves as a reminder of the importance of honesty and trust in relationships, and highlights the mercy and grace of God even in the midst of human deceit and sin.


What Can We Learn from This Chapter?


We can take away numerous significant lessons from Genesis 20.

One lesson is the value of honesty and transparency in human relationships. Abraham made the unwise and perhaps dangerous choice to lie to Abimelech about the true nature of his connection with Sarah. This serves as a reminder that lying can ruin our relationships and lead to unneeded arguments.

This chapter also teaches us how important it is to accept responsibility for our mistakes. Abraham confesses his transgression and begs God and Abimelech’s pardon. His contrition serves as a reminder to us that, even when we err, we still have the ability to ask for forgiveness and make reparations.

The chapter also demonstrates God’s love and grace, as He steps in to save Sarah and Abimelech in spite of Abraham’s deceit. It serves as a reminder that even when we don’t deserve it, God is constantly keeping an eye on us and will take immediate action to keep us safe.

Last but not least, the account of Abimelech’s infertility and subsequent healing serves as a reminder of God’s strength and the value of prayer. Abraham prayed for Abimelech’s recovery, and God granted his request, proving that He is always open to hearing our prayers and willing to act on them.




Dear God, as we ponder the events surrounding Abraham and Abimelech in Genesis 20, we are reminded of the value of integrity, accountability, and the effectiveness of prayer. Help us to be honest with one another and to accept accountability for our deeds, even when we make mistakes. Give us the discernment to ask for pardon, make reparations, and to put our faith in your mercy and grace.

We also pray that you will grant healing and wholeness to individuals who are experiencing infertility or other health problems. May we have faith in your love and care for us, and may we continually pray to you, trusting that you hear us and are prepared to meet our needs. We ask all of this in your holy name. Amen.




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Featured image attribution:

Abimelech Rebuking Abraham. State 1. by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607–1677). This image is in the public domain. Cropped from original.


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