Genesis 20:11

11 Abraham said, "I did it because I thought, 1There is no fear of God at all in this place, and 2they will kill me because of my wife.

Genesis 20:11 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 20:11

And Abraham said
In defence of himself, as well as he could: because I thought;
within himself, concluding from the general depravity of the Canaanites, that this was the case of the inhabitants of Gerar: surely the fear of God [is] not in this place;
this is a certain truth, which he thought might be depended upon, and taken for granted, since so it was everywhere: or "only" F5, as the word used signifies; this was the only thing he had to plead, that he verily thought with himself that there was no true religion and godliness in Gerar: that the inhabitants of it were without any fear of God before their eyes, or in their hearts; and he knew, where this is the case, there is nothing to restrain from the commission of the grossest sins: and they will slay me for my wife's sake;
that they might marry her, see ( Genesis 12:12 ) .


F5 (qr) "tantum", Montanus; so Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius; so the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, and Ben Melech.

Genesis 20:11 In-Context

9 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."
10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, "What did you see, that you did this thing?"
11 Abraham said, "I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.
12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.
13 And when God caused me to wander from my father's house, I said to her, 'This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, He is my brother.'"

Cross References 2

  • 1. Proverbs 16:6
  • 2. Genesis 12:12; Genesis 26:7