Genesis 20:15
And Abimelech said, "Look, my land is before you. Settle wherever you please."
Abraham and Abimelech At GerarR.A. Redford Genesis 20:15, 16

I. THE UNIVERSALITY OF DIVINE GRACE. The varieties in moral state of nations a testimony to God's forbearing mercy. There was evidently a great contrast between such people as dwelt under Abimelech's rule and the cities of the plain, which helps us to see the extreme wickedness of the latter. It was probably no vain boast which the king-uttered when he spoke of "the integrity of his heart and innocency of his hands." Moreover, God appeared to him by dreams, and it is implied that he would have the greatest reverence for Jehovah's prophet. Abraham testified the same; although he declared that the fear of God was not in the place, still he sojourned in Gerar, and after Lot's experience he would not have done so unless he had believed it to be very different from Sodom.

II. THE CHARACTER OF GOD'S CHILDREN IS NOT THE GROUND OF THEIR ACCEPTANCE WITH HIM. It is strange that the Egyptian experience should not have taught the patriarch simply to trust in God. But the imperfect faith justifies; the grace of God alone sanctifies. The conduct of Abimelech is throughout honorable and straightforward. Abraham's equivocation is not excusable. It sprang from fear, and it was no sudden error, but a deliberate policy which betokened weakness, to say the least.

III. THE LORD BRINGS GOOD OUT OF EVIL. Abimelech's character is a bright spot in the terrible picture of evil and its consequences. By the discipline of Providence the errors and follies of men are made the opportunities for learning God's purposes and character. The contact of the less enlightened with the more enlightened, though it may humble both, gives room for Divine teaching and gracious bestowments. Again we are reminded "the prayer of a righteous man availeth much" not because he is himself righteous, but because he is the 'channel of blessing to others, chosen of God's free grace. - R.

And Abraham said, Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place.
The true fear of God was at that moment in Abimelech's heart, and not in Abraham's; it was Abimelech who was playing the Christian part, that of the child of the light and of the day; Abraham was for the moment the child of fear, darkness, night.


1. The first a heathen Roman can illustrate for us (Acts 22:27, 28). The thing has cost us much; we feel it is hard to believe that it can be widely shared. Abraham had made a terrible sacrifice to assure his calling. As for those easy, jovial, prosperous heathen, surely the fear of God was not there.

2. A second source of this harshness of judgment is the predominance in all of us of the natural aristocratic principle over the Christian principle of communion. Men naturally believe in election. But, with tale exceptions, they naturally believe themselves to he the elect. It is hard indeed to believe that a private possession gains instead of loses by being shared by all mankind.

II. THE HISTORIES OF SCRIPTURE ARE A PERPETUAL WARNING AGAINST NARROW AND SELFISH JUDGMENTS OF MEN. It is as if the Spirit had resolved that the virtues of those outside the pale should be kept clearly before the eyes of men. God is no respecter of persons, and He keeps hold in ways, of which we little dream, of the most unlikely human hearts.


1. Let your personal fellowship be based on the clear explicit manifestation of that which is in tune with your higher life and Christ's.

2. As for those who are without, believe that God is nearer to them than you wot of, and has more to do with them than you dream.

(J. B. Brown, B. A.)


1. Belief in a moral standard of right and wrong.

2. Belief in the moral relations of human society.

3. A sense of injured moral feeling in the presence of wrong.

4. A readiness to make restitution for faults committed against others.


1. For their mean subterfuges.

2. Their distrust of Providence.

3. Their religious prejudices.

(T. H. Leale.)

1. It is often strong in those who enjoy high religious privileges. Abraham thought himself so highly favoured of God that he was unwilling to admit that any goodness could be found among those who were less favoured.

2. The evils of it are great.

(1)It limits the power of the grace of God. He is not confined to one mode of making Himself known.

(2)It is a sin against charity.

(3)It issues in committing wrong against others.

Abimelech, Abraham, Sarah
Gerar, Kadesh-barnea, Negeb, Shur Desert
Abimelech, Abim'elech, Behold, Dwell, Please, Pleases, Pleaseth, Seems, Settle, Whatever, Wherever
1. Abraham sojourns at Gerar.
2. Denies his wife, who is taken by Abimelech.
3. Abimelech is reproved for her in a dream.
9. He rebukes Abraham.
14. Restores Sarah;
16. and reproves her.
17. Abimelech and his family are healed at Abraham's prayer.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Genesis 20:1-16

     6206   offence

Genesis 20:1-18

     5076   Abraham, life of
     6183   ignorance, of God

The Sick Person Ought Now to Send for Some Godly and Religious Pastor.
In any wise remember, if conveniently it may be, to send for some godly and religious pastor, not only to pray for thee at thy death--for God in such a case hath promised to hear the prayers of the righteous prophets, and elders of the church (Gen. xx. 7; Jer. xviii. 20; xv. 1; 1 Sam. xii. 19, 23; James v. 14, 15, 16)--but also upon thy unfeigned repentance to declare to thee the absolution of thy sins. For as Christ hath given him a calling to baptize thee unto repentance for the remission of thy
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Ascalon. Gerar. The Story of the Eighty Witches.
'Ascalon,' in the Samaritan interpreter, is the same with 'Gerar,' Genesis 21. The word Gerar, among the Talmudists, seems to have passed into 'Gerariku.' "Wherefore (say they) have they not determined of that country, which is in Gerariku? Because it is ill to dwell in. How far? To the river of Egypt. But behold, Gaza is pleasant to dwell in," &c. In the author of Aruch it is, Gardiki. "Bereshith Rabbah (saith he) renders Gardiki." 'The king of Gerar,' Genesis 20:2, with the Jerusalem Targumist,
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:12). In our last chapter we considered at some length the much debated and difficult question of the human will. We have shown that the will of the natural man is neither Sovereign nor free but, instead, a servant and slave. We have argued that a right conception of the sinner's will-its servitude-is essential to a just estimate of his depravity and ruin. The utter corruption and degradation of human nature is something which
Arthur W. Pink—The Sovereignty of God

And to Holy David Indeed it Might More Justly be Said...
22. And to holy David indeed it might more justly be said, that he ought not to have been angry; no, not with one however ungrateful and rendering evil for good; yet if, as man, anger did steal over him, he ought not to have let it so prevail, that he should swear to do a thing which either by giving way to his rage he should do, or by breaking his oath leave undone. But to the other, set as he was amid the libidinous frenzy of the Sodomites, who would dare to say, "Although thy guests in thine own
St. Augustine—Against Lying

The Interpretation of the Early Narratives of the Old Testament
[Sidenote: Importance of regarding each story as a unit] Of all the different groups of writings in the Old Testament, undoubtedly the early narratives found in the first seven books present the most perplexing problems. This is primarily due to the fact that they have been subject to a long process of editorial revision by which stories, some very old and others very late and written from a very different point of view, have been closely joined together. While there is a distinct aim and unity
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

Meditations against Despair, or Doubting of God's Mercy.
It is found by continual experience, that near the time of death, when the children of God are weakest, then Satan makes the greatest nourish of his strength, and assails them with his strongest temptations. For he knows that either he must now or never prevail; for if their souls once go to heaven, he shall never vex nor trouble them any more. And therefore he will now bestir himself as much as he can, and labour to set before their eyes all the gross sins which ever they committed, and the judgments
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Annunciation to Joseph of the Birth of Jesus.
(at Nazareth, b.c. 5.) ^A Matt. I. 18-25. ^a 18 Now the birth [The birth of Jesus is to handled with reverential awe. We are not to probe into its mysteries with presumptuous curiosity. The birth of common persons is mysterious enough (Eccl. ix. 5; Ps. cxxxix. 13-16), and we do not well, therefore, if we seek to be wise above what is written as to the birth of the Son of God] of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed [The Jews were usually betrothed ten or twelve months
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Genesis 20:15 NIV
Genesis 20:15 NLT
Genesis 20:15 ESV
Genesis 20:15 NASB
Genesis 20:15 KJV

Genesis 20:15 Bible Apps
Genesis 20:15 Parallel
Genesis 20:15 Biblia Paralela
Genesis 20:15 Chinese Bible
Genesis 20:15 French Bible
Genesis 20:15 German Bible

Genesis 20:15 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Genesis 20:14
Top of Page
Top of Page