Genesis 20:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 20:17, NIV: "Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again,"

Genesis 20:17, ESV: "Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children."

Genesis 20:17, KJV: "So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children."

Genesis 20:17, NASB: "Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his female slaves, so that they gave birth to children."

Genesis 20:17, NLT: "Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants, so they could have children."

Genesis 20:17, CSB: "Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female slaves so that they could bear children,"

What does Genesis 20:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abraham's earlier lie had caused king Abimelech to take Sarah as a wife, not realizing she was actually married to Abraham (Genesis 20:2–3). After being confronted by God and stricken with an illness, king Abimelech returned Sarah to Abraham, untouched, along with gifts of herds, cattle, servants, choice land, and a great amount of silver (Genesis 20:16). In return, Abraham fulfilled his obligation. He prayed to God for Abimelech's healing. God healed Abimelech, as well as returning to Abimelech's wife and female slaves the ability to bear children again. God restored what He had taken from Abimelech and his household after Abimelech returned what he had taken, in innocence, from Abraham.

More specifically, God healed after Abraham prayed. Why did God require the middle step of another person's prayer before taking action? God often works that way, especially through his prophets in the Old Testament and in the church today. God stands ready to exercise His power in response to the prayers of His people. He wants us to ask; He acts when we do (James 5:17–18).