When Sarah Immeinu was abducted by the Egyptians and Avimelech's thugs, the reason why she was passed as Avraham Avinu's sister is because they might kill him if they knew he was her husband.

  1. Why did Avraham Avinu think that they would kill him? If anything they would steal Sarah Immeinu and that would be the end of the episode. What benefit would the bad guys get by killing him?
  2. Let's assume that those bad guys did kill the husband to steal the wife. What benefit would they have by killing the husband? If anything, they would be piling sin on top of more sin by stealing a married woman AND killing the husband.

What are your thoughts?

  • 2
    Hi @Fawaz - welcome to Mi Yodeya! I don't think it's a question of what benefit would they get from killing him or piling more sin on top of more sin. The unfortunate reality with these people was they didn't care. Your belief in the virtues of mankind is very praiseworthy, but remember the Torah has already taught of the sheer wickedness of the generation of the flood etc. For some people, sadly they have no such moral code and would not be bothered with such problems.
    – Dov
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 6:35
  • 3
    Your questions seem to be the same. I think the answer is kinda simple- they see a beautiful woman and they want to take her, but they wouldn’t want her husband interfering. If they stole her and kept the husband alive, what’s stopping him from taking revenge or forming a group to steal her back. They don’t want that, so presumably they’d kill him as opposed to leaving the “competition” alive. Also, these people have no morals and G-d was not yet really known, so why would they care to kill someone? Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 11:36
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    I believe the answer is clear. In addition to the previous two excellent points, Abimelech wanted to marry Sarah. He couldn't do so if she was already married, it would be illogical, beneath his dignity, and would create gossip amongst the people that the King's wife has another husband. Also, in their moral code, serving the petty needs of their King is a perfect excuse to steal and kill.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 12:43

1 Answer 1


Radak says that in those days, the only legal way to sleep with somebody's wife was to kill her husband on some pretext. The people believed they were sinning every time they slept with her, but killing her husband was only a one-time sin, if that. After that, the woman was a widow, and so was permissible.

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