Genesis 20:6

6 In the dream God responded, “Yes, I know you are innocent. That’s why I kept you from sinning against me, and why I did not let you touch her.

Genesis 20:6 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 20:6

And God said unto him in a dream
The same dream continued: yea,
or "also" I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart;
not only thou knowest, but I, who know all things, know and acknowledge that this was so done by thee. Abimelech's plea is admitted, and a very great testimony borne to his integrity in this matter; and throughout the whole account he appears to be a man of great honour and uprightness, especially in this affair, if not a good man: for I also withheld thee from sinning against me;
for had he committed adultery with her, it had been not only a sin against her, and against her husband, but against God being contrary to his will revealed in the minds of men by the law and light of nature, before the law of Moses was given: and indeed all sin against the neighbour is ultimately against God, see ( Psalms 51:4 ) ; and now from the commission of this sin God restrained Abimelech, either by some impulse upon his mind not to take her to be his wife as yet, or by throwing some thing or other in the way of it, in his providence, or by inflicting some disease upon him, which rendered him incapable of it, ( Genesis 20:17 ) ; therefore suffered I thee not to touch her;
that is, to have carnal knowledge of her, see ( 1 Corinthians 7:1 ) ; as there is nothing done but what is done by divine permission, so many more evils would be committed than there are, were it not that men are restrained from them by the power and providence of God, not suffering them to do them; and in particular this sin was prevented, that it might not in any respect be a doubtful point whether Isaac, whom Sarah had now conceived, was a legitimate son of Abraham; and these expressions of Abimelech not coming near her, ( Genesis 20:4 ) ; and not touching her as here, are used for that purpose.

Genesis 20:6 In-Context

4 But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation?
5 Didn’t Abraham tell me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘Yes, he is my brother.’ I acted in complete innocence! My hands are clean.”
6 In the dream God responded, “Yes, I know you are innocent. That’s why I kept you from sinning against me, and why I did not let you touch her.
7 Now return the woman to her husband, and he will pray for you, for he is a prophet. Then you will live. But if you don’t return her to him, you can be sure that you and all your people will die.”
8 Abimelech got up early the next morning and quickly called all his servants together. When he told them what had happened, his men were terrified.
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