Genesis 20:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 20:1, NIV: "Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar,"

Genesis 20:1, ESV: "From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar."

Genesis 20:1, KJV: "And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar."

Genesis 20:1, NASB: "Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he lived for a time in Gerar."

Genesis 20:1, NLT: "Abraham moved south to the Negev and lived for a while between Kadesh and Shur, and then he moved on to Gerar. While living there as a foreigner,"

Genesis 20:1, CSB: "From there Abraham traveled to the region of the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was staying in Gerar,"

What does Genesis 20:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abraham moves his great household from the region around Mamre south toward the border of the land of Canaan. We're not told the reason for this move. They settle in Gerar, between Kadesh and Shur. Gerar was south of Gaza, near the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and within the borders of the Promised Land. Abraham travelled often throughout the land of Canaan during his lifetime.

The events of this chapter echo those of Genesis chapter 12, where Abraham succumbed to fear during his travels. There, Abraham lied about being married to Sarah, resulting in her being taken by the ruling Pharaoh as a wife. Only after God's intervention was the situation resolved. Here, strangely, Abraham seems to make exactly the same fearful mistake. Rather than simply acting in faith, and being honest, Abraham and Sarah once again try to scheme their way towards a goal. And, as happened in other cases, the scheme backfires (Genesis 12:13–15).