Genesis 20:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 20:13, NIV: "And when God had me wander from my father's household, I said to her, 'This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, 'He is my brother.'''"

Genesis 20:13, ESV: "And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”"

Genesis 20:13, KJV: "And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother."

Genesis 20:13, NASB: "and it came about, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is the kindness which you will show to me: everywhere we go, say of me, 'He is my brother.'?’?'"

Genesis 20:13, NLT: "When God called me to leave my father's home and to travel from place to place, I told her, 'Do me a favor. Wherever we go, tell the people that I am your brother.''"

Genesis 20:13, CSB: "So when God had me wander from my father's house, I said to her: Show your loyalty to me wherever we go and say about me: 'He's my brother.'""

What does Genesis 20:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abraham continues his explanation to Abimelech about why he lied about Sarah being his sister. First, Abraham admitted he was afraid that someone would kill him to take Sarah. Next, he revealed that Sarah was, after all, his half-sister. Finally, he claims that telling this lie has been a strategy they have used ever since they began traveling away from the safety of their homeland. More specifically, Abraham says that he asked Sarah to participate in this lie as a kindness to him.

As details appear, it becomes harder for us to sympathize with Abraham in this situation. He is admitting, here, that he has repeatedly asked Sarah to put herself in harm's way in order to save his own life. In addition, this is only the second time Scripture has mentioned him doing this when coming to a new place (Genesis 12:12–13). So, is Abraham lying about it being their normal routine? Or has it happened in other places, as well? We don't know.

This is the end of Abraham's explanation to Abimelech, as unsatisfying as it must have been.