Genesis 20:13 MEANING

Genesis 20:13
(13) When God caused me to wander.--According to rule, Elohim is construed with a verb singular for the true God, but with a verb plural for false gods. Here the verb is plural, and the same construction occurs in Genesis 35:7; Exodus 22:9; 2 Samuel 7:22 (but singular in 1 Chronicles 17:20); and Psalm 58:11 : moreover, in Joshua 24:19, Elohim is joined with an adjective (holy) in the plural. These exceptions may either be relics of a less strict use of the name Elohim, or they may be errors of copyists, misled by the ordinary rules of grammar. This latter view is confirmed by the fact that the Samaritan Pentateuch, both here and in Genesis 35:7, has the singular.

At every place.--The fact of this compact between Abraham and Sarah having been made so long before, would convince Abimelech that their conduct was not occasioned by anything which they had seen at Gerar (comp. Genesis 20:10).

Verse 13. - And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander (or to go on pilgrimages) from my father's house, - Elohim, usually construed with a singular verb, is here joined with a verb in the plural, as an accommodation to the polytheistic stand-point of Abimelech (Keil), as a proof that Elohim is to be viewed as a Pluralis Majes-taticus (Kalisch), as referring to the plurality of Divine manifestations which Abraham had received (Lange), as showing that Elohim here signifies angels (Calvin), or, most likely, as an instance of the literal meaning of the term as the supernatural powers (Murphy. Cf. Genesis 35:7; Exodus 22:8; 2 Samuel 7:23; Psalm 58:12 [Psalm 58:11] - that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt show unto me. The third plea which the patriarch presented for his conduct; it had no special reference to Abimelech, but was the result of an old compact formed between himself and Sarah. At every place whither he shall come, say of me, He is my brother (cf. Genesis 12:13).

20:9-13 See here much to blame, even in the father of the faithful. Mark his distrust of God, his undue care about life, his intent to deceive. He also threw temptation in the way of others, caused affliction to them, exposed himself and Sarah to just rebukes, and yet attempted an excuse. These things are written for our warning, not for us to imitate. Even Abraham hath not whereof to glory. He cannot be justified by his works, but must be indebted for justification, to that righteousness which is upon all and unto all them that believe. We must not condemn all as hypocrites who fall into sin, if they do not continue in it. But let the unhumbled and impenitent take heed that they do not sin on, thinking that grace may abound. Abimelech, being warned of God, takes the warning; and being truly afraid of sin and its consequences, he rose early to pursue the directions given him.And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house,.... In Ur of the Chaldees, from whence God called him to go forth; which laid him under an obligation to depart from thence, and move from place to place, and go he knew not where, as in Hebrews 11:8; or "the Gods", as it is in the plural number, and so the verb in construction with it; not the idol gods, the gods of the Gentiles, as the Targum of Jonathan, who interprets the words thus,"and it was when the worshippers of idols sought to cause men to err, and I went from my father's house;''but the true God, as Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Ben Melech acknowledge, and is by many Christian interpreters understood of the three Persons in the Godhead:

that I said unto her, this is thy kindness which thou shalt show unto me; this I shall take as a favour done me, as an instance of tender affection unto me:

at every place whither we shall come, say of me; or for the sake of me, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi, in order to save me from the hands of wicked men, whom he feared would slay him for her sake:

he is my brother; and so he hoped, instead of being ill used, he should meet with favour and friendship on her account, being thus nearly related to her: this he observes to Abimelech, to show that this was an old agreement, near thirty years ago, when they first set out on their travels, and was no new device and scheme which they pursued on account of him and his people in particular; but what they had formerly agreed upon should be said in all places wherever they came, and therefore there was no intention to affront Abimelech; only it supposed they might come into places where wicked men dwelt.

Courtesy of Open Bible