Genesis 20:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 20:9, NIV: "Then Abimelek called Abraham in and said, 'What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.'"

Genesis 20:9, ESV: "Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done.”"

Genesis 20:9, KJV: "Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done."

Genesis 20:9, NASB: "Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, 'What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done.'"

Genesis 20:9, NLT: "Then Abimelech called for Abraham. 'What have you done to us?' he demanded. 'What crime have I committed that deserves treatment like this, making me and my kingdom guilty of this great sin? No one should ever do what you have done!"

Genesis 20:9, CSB: "Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said to him, "What have you done to us? How did I sin against you that you have brought such enormous guilt on me and on my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.""

What does Genesis 20:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abimelech appears to be rightfully angry. He calls Abraham before him and confronts him with very similar questions to those asked of Abraham by an Egyptian Pharaoh many years earlier (Genesis 12:18–19). Here, though, the questions have a more pointed tone. Abraham has lied and told Abimelech that Sarah is his sister, leaving out the full truth that they are actually married. When Abimelech took Sarah into his house as an additional wife, he was stricken with a disease and confronted by God in a dream (Genesis 20:3).

Abimelech wants to know what he has ever done to Abraham. It's a question asked by a reasonable person: Did I do something to deserve this terrible treatment from you? Unlike the Pharaoh, Abimelech also identifies this near-adultery as a great sin with consequences for himself and his whole kingdom. He seems to agree with God that adultery is wrong. He says clearly to Abraham: You shouldn't have done this.