Genesis 20:17
Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maidservants, so that they could again bear children--
An Efficacious Interesting PrayerT. H. Leate.Genesis 20:17-18

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.

So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech.
Abraham's prayer for the doomed cities was not granted, but his prayer for Abimelech was answered in full. "God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maid-servants." But in the present instance we can see some reasons why it was likely that this prayer should be answered.

I. BECAUSE FAITH WAS MAINTAINED NOTWITHSTANDING PAST FAILURES. Persevering faith, which is superior to all discouragements, must be rewarded.

II. BECAUSE THE OBJECTS OF IT WERE DISPOSED TO RECEIVE THE BLESSING. The hindrances to the gracious effects of prayer lie in man's rebellious heart. There must be a Godward direction imparted to souls which are to be blest. God meets those who are looking towards Him. Abimelech and his household had this receptivity.

III. BECAUSE GOD DELIGHTS TO PUT HONOUR UPON HIS SERVANTS. God had entered into covenant with Abraham. He was God's prophet and faithful friend. God will set His visible marks of approval upon His own appointed means of blessing. Learn the importance of the prophet to mankind.

1. He makes known the will of God. He is a messenger who has received instructions from the Supreme Ruler of all mankind.

2. He is the human channel of spiritual blessings. He teaches men the way of righteousness, how they may find the chief good and reach true blessedness.

(T. H. Leate.).

Abimelech, Abraham, Sarah
Gerar, Kadesh-barnea, Negeb, Shur Desert
Abimelech, Abim'elech, Bare, Bear, Bore, Female, Girls, Handmaids, Healed, Healeth, Maids, Maidservants, Maid-servants, Prayed, Prayer, Prayeth, Servants, Slave, Slaves, Wife, Women-servants
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 20:17

     5297   disease

Genesis 20:1-18

     5076   Abraham, life of
     6183   ignorance, of God

Genesis 20:17-18

     5225   barrenness
     5733   pregnancy

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 20:17 NIV
Genesis 20:17 NLT
Genesis 20:17 ESV
Genesis 20:17 NASB
Genesis 20:17 KJV

Genesis 20:17 Bible Apps
Genesis 20:17 Parallel
Genesis 20:17 Biblia Paralela
Genesis 20:17 Chinese Bible
Genesis 20:17 French Bible
Genesis 20:17 German Bible

Genesis 20:17 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Genesis 20:16
Top of Page
Top of Page