Isaac and Abimelek
1There was very little food in the land. The same thing had been true earlier, in Abraham’s time. Isaac went to Abimelek in Gerar. Abimelek was the king of the Philistines. 2The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land where I tell you to live. 3Stay there for a while. I will be with you and give you my blessing. I will give all these lands to you and your children after you. And I will keep my word that I gave to your father Abraham. 4I will make your children after you as many as the stars in the sky. And I will give them all these lands. All nations on earth will be blessed because of your children. 5I will do all these things because Abraham obeyed me. He did everything I required. He kept my commands, my rules and my instructions.” 6So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7The men of that place asked him about his wife. He said, “She’s my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She’s my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me because of Rebekah. She’s a beautiful woman.”
8Isaac had been there a long time. One day Abimelek, the king of the Philistines, looked down from a window. He saw Isaac hugging and kissing his wife Rebekah. 9So Abimelek sent for Isaac. He said, “She’s really your wife, isn’t she? Why did you say she was your sister?”
Isaac answered him, “I thought I might lose my life because of her.”
10Then Abimelek said, “What have you done to us? What if one of the men slept with your wife? Then you would have made us guilty.”
11So Abimelek gave orders to all the people. He said, “Anyone who harms this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”
12Isaac planted crops in that land. That same year he gathered 100 times more than he planted. That was because the Lord blessed him. 13Isaac became rich. His wealth continued to grow until he became very rich. 14He had many flocks and herds and servants. Isaac had so much that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15So they stopped up all the wells the servants of his father Abraham had dug. They filled them with dirt.
16Then Abimelek said to Isaac, “Move away from us. You have become too powerful for us.”
17So Isaac moved away from there. He camped in the Valley of Gerar, where he made his home. 18Isaac opened up the wells again. They had been dug in the time of his father Abraham. The Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham died. Isaac gave the wells the same names his father had given them.
19Isaac’s servants dug wells in the valley. There they discovered fresh water. 20But the people of Gerar who took care of their own herds argued with the people who took care of Isaac’s herds. “The water is ours!” the people of Gerar said. So Isaac named the well Esek. That’s because they argued with him. 21Then Isaac’s servants dug another well. They argued about that one too. So he named it Sitnah. 22Isaac moved on from there and dug another well. But no one argued about that one. So he named it Rehoboth. He said, “Now the Lord has given us room. Now we will be successful in the land.”
23From there Isaac went up to Beersheba. 24That night the Lord appeared to him. He said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid. I am with you. I will bless you. I will increase the number of your children because of my servant Abraham.”
25Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. There he set up his tent. And there his servants dug a well.
26During that time, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar. His personal adviser, Ahuzzath, had come with him. So had his army commander, Phicol. 27Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me? You were angry with me and sent me away.”
28They answered, “We saw clearly that the Lord was with you. So we said, ‘There should be an agreement between us and you.’ We want to make a peace treaty with you. 29Give us your word that you won’t harm us. We didn’t harm you. We always treated you well. We sent you away peacefully. And now the Lord has blessed you.”
30Then Isaac had a feast prepared for them. They ate and drank. 31Early the next morning the men made a treaty with each other. Then Isaac sent the men of Gerar on their way. And they left peacefully.
32That day Isaac’s servants came to him. They told him about the well they had dug. They said, “We’ve found water!” 33So he named it Shibah. To this day the name of the town has been Beersheba.
Jacob Takes Esau’s Blessing
34When Esau was 40 years old, he got married to Judith. She was the daughter of Beeri the Hittite. Esau also married Basemath. She was the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35Isaac and Rebekah became very upset because Esau had married Hittite women.