Abimelech in Love by Patrick Henry Reardon

Abimelech in Love

Abimelech, the king of Gerar, had an appreciative eye for handsome women. True, this trait brought him briefly to grief on one occasion, but they say he learned from the experience.

The incident began when some newcomers, Abraham and Sarah, settled in the neighborhood. When Sarah was introduced as Abraham’s sister, poor Abimelech at one glance felt himself going all gooey inside. At the sight of this beautiful, apparently unmarried woman, the king’s ardently smitten heart started to flutter like a leaf in the breeze. With a single look at the lady (a look that sober minds judged, nonetheless, injudiciously long), Abimelech found his knees shaky and his throat dry. This lovely Sarah was surely meant for him, the king had no doubt.

And, being the king, Abimelech was accustomed to getting what he wanted. Indeed, royal courting and romancing were uncomplicated in those days; Abimelech simply sent over to Abraham’s place and had Sarah removed to the royal palace. It all happened very fast. In fact, the story so far is contained in just one Bible verse (Gen. 20:2).

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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).

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