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And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

20:12 my sister. Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister. In the early centuries after the Dispersion, close marriages were often necessary, with very small tribal populations. This may have been especially desirable in godly families, in order to preserve faithfulness to God’s revelation and His purposes. As noted before, this situation was not harmful genetically until many harmful mutations could have accumulated in the nation’s genetic pool. By the time of Moses, this had apparently become a problem, and laws against incest were established.

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