Genesis 20:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 20:5, NIV: "Did he not say to me, 'She is my sister,' and didn't she also say, 'He is my brother'? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.'"

Genesis 20:5, ESV: "Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.”"

Genesis 20:5, KJV: "Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this."

Genesis 20:5, NASB: "Did he himself not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.'"

Genesis 20:5, NLT: "Didn't Abraham tell me, 'She is my sister'? And she herself said, 'Yes, he is my brother.' I acted in complete innocence! My hands are clean.'"

Genesis 20:5, CSB: "Didn't he himself say to me, 'She is my sister'? And she herself said, 'He is my brother.' I did this with a clear conscience and clean hands.""

What does Genesis 20:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The conversation between God and Abimelech continues. God has said, flatly, that Abimelech would die from his current illness for taking a married woman for his wife. Abimelech responded that he had not yet had sex with Sarah. If a king had many wives and concubines, it's possible that Sarah might have been in his house for some time before he would have even approached her for the first time. Later information, regarding the barrenness of Abimelech's household, supports the idea that she had been there for quite some time (Genesis 20:17–18). Given that nothing has happened, Abimelech asks, would God kill innocent people?

Now Abimelech points out that Abraham himself said that Sarah was his sister. Abraham deceived him. Not only had Abimelech not yet slept with Sarah, he had acted with integrity in his heart. At least according to Abimelech's opinion, his intentions had only ever been appropriate.

The following verses show God's response to Abimelech, demonstrating once again that God's righteousness is impeccable. The situation can be resolved, if Abimelech is willing to follow God's plan.