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Genesis 20:9-11

Context
20:9 Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom? 1  You have done things to me that should not be done!” 2  20:10 Then Abimelech asked 3  Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?” 4 

20:11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought, 5  ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of 6  my wife.’

1 tn Heb “How did I sin against you that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin?” The expression “great sin” refers to adultery. For discussion of the cultural background of the passage, see J. J. Rabinowitz, “The Great Sin in Ancient Egyptian Marriage Contracts,” JNES 18 (1959): 73, and W. L. Moran, “The Scandal of the ‘Great Sin’ at Ugarit,” JNES 18 (1959): 280-81.

2 tn Heb “Deeds which should not be done you have done to me.” The imperfect has an obligatory nuance here.

3 tn Heb “And Abimelech said to.”

4 tn Heb “What did you see that you did this thing?” The question implies that Abraham had some motive for deceiving Abimelech.

5 tn Heb “Because I said.”

6 tn Heb “over the matter of.”



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