While living in Gerar, Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, as his sister. So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to his palace.
But that night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “You are a dead man, for that woman you have taken is already married!”
But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, “God, will you destroy an innocent nation? Abraham told me she was his sister and she agreed. I’m innocent.”
God responded, “I know. That’s why I kept you from sinning and sleeping with her. Now return her 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 and all your people will die.” (What did he do to deserve this? Why aren’t Abraham and Sarah punished for lying?)
Abimelech told his people what had happened and they were terrified. Then asked Abraham, “What have you done to us? 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! Why?”
Abraham replied, “I thought this was a godless place. I thought you’d want my wife and would kill me. And she really is my sister, for we have the same father. And I married her. I asked her to tell you she was my sister.”
Then Abimelech presented Abraham with some sheep, goats, cattle and servants, along with Sarah. Then Abimelech said, “Look over my land and choose any place you want to live.” And he told Sarah, “I’m giving your brother (air quotes) 1,000 pieces of silver as compensation for any wrong I’ve done to you. Your reputation is cleared.” (Sounds a little like Stockholm Syndrome.)
Then Abraham prayed to God and he healed Abimelech, his wife and female servants so they could have children. Because when Abimelech took Sarah, God had made them all infertile.