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Who was Abimelek in the book of Genesis?


Genesis 20:1 - 18

ESV - 1 From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, "She is my sister." And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.

Clarify Share Report Asked February 20 2022 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
As indicated in Genesis 20, Abimelek was the king of Gerar (a Philistine town in what is now south central Israel). When Abraham and his wife Sarah journeyed to Gerar, Abraham instructed his wife Sarah to tell Abimelek that she was his sister.

(This was partially true, since Sarah was Abraham's half-sister. However, Abraham was afraid that, if he revealed the full truth of Sarah also being his wife, the king would kill him in order to have Sarah for his own.)

Under the impression that Sarah was only Abraham's sister, Abimelek sent for her, intending to make her another of his wives. However, as a result of this action, God made Abimelek's existing wife, as well as all the female slaves of Abimelek's household, to be infertile.

God also spoke to Abimelek in a dream and revealed the truth to him concerning Sarah also being Abraham's wife, saying that it was only the fact that Abimelek had not yet had sexual relations with Sarah that restrained God from killing Abimelek, and that if Abimelek did not return Sarah to Abraham, God would kill him.

Abimelek summoned Abraham and sternly rebuked him for not having been fully truthful with him. Abimelek then gave Abraham slaves and livestock, as well as a thousand shekels of silver, and also permission to settle anywhere of Abraham's choice in Abimelek's kingdom, in compensation for his actions. Abraham then prayed to God on Abimelek's behalf, and God made the women of Abimelek's household fertile once again.

February 22 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Abimelech, the Philistine king of Gerar, reigned in the time of Abraham (Genesis 20:1-18). Abimelech, also known as: Abimelek in the Hebrew: אֲבִימֶ֫לֶך

Meaning: my father a king, or father of a king. The definition of the noun is Abimelech = "Melek is father" or "my father is king".

This is the name of 5 biblical men; 4 were kings. This was the common name for Philistine kings, as was the name “Pharaoh” for Egyptian kings.

The covenant Abimelech made with Abraham is somewhat significant— It was proposed by Abimelech who, although knowing how Abraham had failed God, yet saw how favored he was of God (Gen. 21:22). H. Lockyer 

Abimelech was an official title rather than a personal name, so we cannot be sure that the Abimelech of this episode is the same man who previously rebuked Abraham. (Genesis 20:9-10). Abimelek severely rebuked Abe for having practiced deception upon him in pretending that Sarah was only his sister. The fact that he wanted assurance of Abraham’s fidelity indicates that the patriarch’s deception had led to a lack of trust on the part of his neighbors. They wanted assurance that Abraham would “play fair’’ with them because he was such a powerful man. Warren Wiersbe

February 26 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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