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Genesis 26

26
Isaac and Abimelek
1Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 3Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring#26:4 Or seed all nations on earth will be blessed,#26:4 Or and all nations on earth will use the name of your offspring in blessings (see 48:20) 5because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” 6So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.”
8When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9So Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.”
10Then Abimelek said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.”
11So Abimelek gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who harms this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”
12Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. 13The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.
16Then Abimelek said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.”
17So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar, where he settled. 18Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.
19Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. 20But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek,#26:20 Esek means dispute. because they disputed with him. 21Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah.#26:21 Sitnah means opposition. 22He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth,#26:22 Rehoboth means room. saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”
23From there he went up to Beersheba. 24That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”
25Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.
26Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28They answered, “We saw clearly that the Lord was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the Lord.”
30Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
32That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, “We’ve found water!” 33He called it Shibah,#26:33 Shibah can mean oath or seven. and to this day the name of the town has been Beersheba.#26:33 Beersheba can mean well of the oath and well of seven.
Jacob Takes Esau’s Blessing
34When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
26
The Promise Reaffirmed to Isaac
1There was another famine in the land in addition to the one that had occurred in Abraham’s time.#Gn 12:10 And Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, at Gerar.#Gn 20:2 2The Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land that I tell you about; 3stay in this land as an alien, and I will be with you and bless you.#Gn 12:2; 26:24; 28:15; 31:3 For I will give all these lands to you and your offspring,#Gn 12:7; 13:15; 15:18 and I will confirm the oath that I swore to your father Abraham.#Gn 22:16–18; Ps 105:9 4I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky, I will give your offspring all these lands, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed#26:4 Or will consider themselves blessed by your offspring,#Gn 12:3; 18:18; Ac 3:25; Gl 3:8 5because Abraham listened to me and kept my mandate, my commands, my statutes, and my instructions.”#Lv 18:30; Dt 11:1 6So Isaac settled in Gerar.
Isaac’s Deception
7When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,”#Gn 12:13; 20:5 for he was afraid to say “my wife,” thinking,#Pr 29:25 “The men of the place will kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is a beautiful woman.”#Gn 24:16 8When Isaac had been there for some time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from the window and was surprised to see#26:8 Or and he looked and behold  — Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.
9Abimelech sent for Isaac and said, “So she is really your wife! How could you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might die on account of her.”
10Then Abimelech said, “What have you done to us? One of the people could easily have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.”#Gn 20:8–10 11So Abimelech warned all the people, “Whoever harms this man or his wife will certainly be put to death.”
Conflicts over Wells
12Isaac sowed seed in that land, and in that year he reaped#26:12 Lit found a hundred times what was sown. The Lord blessed him,#Gn 24:1,35 13and the man became rich and kept getting richer until he was very wealthy. 14He had flocks of sheep, herds of cattle, and many slaves, and the Philistines were envious of him. 15Philistines stopped up all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham,#Gn 21:30 filling them with dirt. 16And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave us, for you are much too powerful for us.”#26:16 Or are more numerous than we are
17So Isaac left there, camped in the Gerar Valley, and lived there. 18Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham and that the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died. He gave them the same names his father had given them. 19Then Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of spring#26:19 Lit living water there. 20But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek#26:20 = Argument because they argued with him.#Gn 21:25 21Then they dug another well and quarreled over that one also, so he named it Sitnah.#26:21 = Hostility 22He moved from there and dug another, and they did not quarrel over it. He named it Rehoboth#26:22 = Open Spaces and said, “For now the Lord has made space for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”
The Lord Appears to Isaac
23From there he went up to Beer-sheba, 24and the Lord appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham.#Gn 17:7–8; 24:12; Ex 3:6; Ac 7:32 Do not be afraid, for I am with you.#Gn 21:17; Ex 20:20; 2Kg 6:16; Is 41:10; 43:1,5 I will bless you and multiply your offspring because of my servant Abraham.”
25So he built an altar there,#Gn 8:20; 12:7; 13:18; 35:7; Ex 17:15; Jos 8:30 called on the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there. Isaac’s servants also dug a well there.#Gn 26:32
Covenant with Abimelech
26Now Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army.#Gn 21:22 27Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me? You hated me and sent me away from you.”
28They replied, “We have clearly seen how the Lord has been with you. We think there should be an oath between two parties — between us and you. Let us make a covenant with you: 29You will not harm us, just as we have not harmed you but have done only what was good to you, sending you away in peace. You are now blessed by the Lord.”#Gn 24:31; Ps 115:15
30So he prepared a banquet for them, and they ate and drank. 31They got up early in the morning and swore an oath to each other.#26:31 Lit swore, each man to his brother#Gn 21:31 Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace. 32On that same day Isaac’s servants came to tell him about the well they had dug, saying to him, “We have found water!” #Gn 26:19 33He called it Sheba.#26:33 Or Shibah Therefore the name of the city is still Beer-sheba#26:33 = Well of the Oath#Gn 21:30–31 today.
Esau’s Wives
34When Esau was forty years old, he took as his wives Judith daughter of Beeri the Hethite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hethite.#Gn 28:9; 36:2–3 35They made life bitter#26:35 Lit And they became bitterness of spirit for Isaac and Rebekah.#Gn 27:46