And Abraham journeyed from there toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.…
The answer of God admits his plea of ignorance, and suggests that he was not charged with having yet sinned, but threatened with death in case he persisted now that he was informed of the truth. It is intimated, however, that if he had come near her he should in so doing have sinned against God, whether he had signed against Abraham or not; and this perhaps owing to her being in a state of pregnancy, of which, in that case, he could not have been ignorant. We see in this account —
1. That absolute ignorance excuses from guilt; but this does not prove that all ignorance does so, or that it is in itself excusable. Where the powers and means of knowledge are possessed, and ignorance arises from neglecting to make use of them, or from aversion to the truth, it so far from excusing that it is in itself sinful.
2. That great as the wickedness of men is upon the face of the earth, it would be much greater, were it not that God by His providence in innumerable instances "withholds " them from it. The conduct of intelligent beings is influenced by motives; and all motives which are presented to the mind are subject to His disposal.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.