Genesis 21:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 21:23, NIV: "Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you now reside as a foreigner the same kindness I have shown to you.'"

Genesis 21:23, ESV: "Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my descendants or with my posterity, but as I have dealt kindly with you, so you will deal with me and with the land where you have sojourned.”"

Genesis 21:23, KJV: "Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned."

Genesis 21:23, NASB: "so now, swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my offspring or with my descendants, but according to the kindness that I have shown to you, you shall show to me and to the land in which you have resided.'"

Genesis 21:23, NLT: "'Swear to me in God's name that you will never deceive me, my children, or any of my descendants. I have been loyal to you, so now swear that you will be loyal to me and to this country where you are living as a foreigner.'"

Genesis 21:23, CSB: "Swear to me by God here and now, that you will not break an agreement with me or with my children and descendants. As I have been loyal to you, so you will be loyal to me and to the country where you are a resident alien.""

What does Genesis 21:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abimelech, king of Gerar, approached Abraham in hopes of formalizing their relationship in his kingdom. Abimelech understood that Abraham's God was powerful and was committed to blessing Abraham in all he did. Abimelech wanted to have a good relationship with Abraham and share in that blessing.

To that end, Abimelech came with a request that Abraham would swear to several things by God. First, he asked Abraham to swear not to be deceptive with him or his descendants or even those who would come after. Abimelech pictured a long relationship between his own people and Abraham's people in the land of his kingdom.

Abimelech had reason to be wary of Abraham's deceptiveness. Abraham's lie about not being married to Sarah had nearly cost Abimelech his life when God struck him with an illness after taking Sarah for his own wife (Genesis 20:3–11).

On the positive side, Abimelech also asked Abraham to swear to deal kindly with him and with the land, in the same way that Abimelech had already been kind to Abraham.

The following verse contains Abraham's reply.