Genesis 20:11

11 Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘This is a godless place. They will want my wife and will kill me to get her.’

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 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

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 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!
10 Whatever possessed you to do such a thing?”
11 Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘This is a godless place. They will want my wife and will kill me to get her.’
12 And she really is my sister, for we both have the same father, but different mothers. And I married her.
13 When God called me to leave my father’s home and to travel from place to place, I told her, ‘Do me a favor. Wherever we go, tell the people that I am your brother.’”