Abimelech in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
a-bim'-e-lek ('abhimelekh, "father of a king"): A name borne
by five Old Testament persons.
(1) The name of two kings of Philistia; the first was a
contemporary of Abraham, the second, probably son of the
former, was king in the days of Isaac. It is quite possible
that Abimelech was the royal title rather than the personal
name, since in the title of Ps 34 we find it applied to the
king of Gath, elsewhere known by his personal name, Achish
(1 Sam 27:2,3). Shortly after the destruction of Sodom
Abraham journeyed with his herds and flocks into the extreme
Southeast country of Israel (Gen 20). While sojourning at
Gerar, the city of Abimelech, king of the Philistine
country, he made believe that Sarah was his sister (Gen
20:2), and Abimelech took her, intending to make her one of
his wives. But God rebuked him in a dream, besides sending
barrenness on the women of his household (Gen 20:3,17).
After Abimelech had reproved Abraham most justly for the
deception, he dealt generously with him, loading him with
presents and granting him the liberty of the land (Gen
20:14,15). When contention had arisen between the servants
of the two men over the wells of water the two men made a
covenant at a well, which took its name, Beersheba, from
this fact of covenantmaking (Gen 21:31,32)...