Genesis 20:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 20:14, NIV: "Then Abimelek brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him."

Genesis 20:14, ESV: "Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him."

Genesis 20:14, KJV: "And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife."

Genesis 20:14, NASB: "Abimelech then took sheep and oxen and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned his wife Sarah to him."

Genesis 20:14, NLT: "Then Abimelech took some of his sheep and goats, cattle, and male and female servants, and he presented them to Abraham. He also returned his wife, Sarah, to him."

Genesis 20:14, CSB: "Then Abimelech took flocks and herds and male and female slaves, gave them to Abraham, and returned his wife Sarah to him."

What does Genesis 20:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

God had said to Abimelech that he and all those who were his would die if he failed to return Sarah to Abraham. They would live, however, when Abraham prayed for them (Genesis 20:7). Abimelech had taken Sarah as a wife, thanks to Abraham's lie that she was only his sister. Confronted by God in a dream, Abimelech had proclaimed his ignorance, and obeyed God's instructions to return her to her husband (Genesis 20:3–6).

Now, Abimelech does return Sarah, but he goes well beyond that. He also gives Abraham sheep, oxen, and servants, in addition to a large sum of silver mentioned in verse 16. Abimelech seems eager to clear away any hint of this potential sin and any scandal between him, Abraham, and Sarah.

This is not only a sign of good will from Abimelech, it is an important part of God protecting the promise he made to provide Abraham and Sarah with a natural-born son (Genesis 17:15–16). The fact that Abimelech, in no uncertain terms, never touched Sarah maintains the upcoming birth of Abraham's son, Isaac, as legitimate.