Genesis 20:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 20:12, NIV: "Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife."

Genesis 20:12, ESV: "Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife."

Genesis 20:12, KJV: "And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife."

Genesis 20:12, NASB: "Besides, she actually is my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife;"

Genesis 20:12, NLT: "And she really is my sister, for we both have the same father, but different mothers. And I married her."

Genesis 20:12, CSB: "Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife."

What does Genesis 20:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abraham continues to answer Abimelech's questions about why he lied about Sarah being his sister (Genesis 20:9). Now he reveals that it's not completely a lie. She is his half-sister, as well as being his wife. They share the same father and different mothers. Of course, even true statements, told with the intent to deceive and to disguise some other important truth, are still lies. Abraham was acting in fear for his own life, and he knew full well what he was doing.

Though God, in the Law of Moses, would later forbid marriage for those in that closeness of family, it was apparently not uncommon or disapproved of in Abraham's day. God never seems to have condemned Abraham or Sarah for it, either. In contrast, the relations between Lot and his daughters described in the previous chapter was apparently thought to be wrong both in Abraham's time and, later, under the Law of Moses.