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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 camped 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 herdsmen of Gerar quarrelled 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 quarrelled 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 quarrelled 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 advisor 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
1There was a famine in the land, as bad as the famine during the time of Abraham. And Isaac went down to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, in Gerar.
2-5God appeared to him and said, “Don’t go down to Egypt; stay where I tell you. Stay here in this land and I’ll be with you and bless you. I’m giving you and your children all these lands, fulfilling the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. I’ll make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky and give them all these lands. All the nations of the Earth will get a blessing for themselves through your descendants. And why? Because Abraham obeyed my summons and kept my charge—my commands, my guidelines, my teachings.”
6So Isaac stayed put in Gerar.
7The men of the place questioned him about his wife. He said, “She’s my sister.” He was afraid to say “She’s my wife.” He was thinking, “These men might kill me to get Rebekah, she’s so beautiful.”
8-9One day, after they had been there quite a long time, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac fondling his wife Rebekah. Abimelech sent for Isaac and said, “So, she’s your wife. Why did you tell us ‘She’s my sister’?”
Isaac said, “Because I thought I might get killed by someone who wanted her.”
10Abimelech said, “But think of what you might have done to us! Given a little more time, one of the men might have slept with your wife; you would have been responsible for bringing guilt down on us.”
11Then Abimelech gave orders to his people: “Anyone who so much as lays a hand on this man or his wife dies.”
12-15Isaac planted crops in that land and took in a huge harvest. God blessed him. The man got richer and richer by the day until he was very wealthy. He accumulated flocks and herds and many, many servants, so much so that the Philistines began to envy him. They got back at him by throwing dirt and debris into all the wells that his father’s servants had dug back in the days of his father Abraham, clogging up all the wells.
16Finally, Abimelech told Isaac: “Leave. You’ve become far too big for us.”
17-18So Isaac left. He camped in the valley of Gerar and settled down there. Isaac dug again the wells which were dug in the days of his father Abraham but had been clogged up by the Philistines after Abraham’s death. And he renamed them, using the original names his father had given them.
19-24One day, as Isaac’s servants were digging in the valley, they came on a well of spring water. The shepherds of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s shepherds, claiming, “This water is ours.” So Isaac named the well Esek (Quarrel) because they quarreled over it. They dug another well and there was a difference over that one also, so he named it Sitnah (Accusation). He went on from there and dug yet another well. But there was no fighting over this one so he named it Rehoboth (Wide-Open Spaces), saying, “Now God has given us plenty of space to spread out in the land.” From there he went up to Beersheba. That very night God appeared to him and said,
I am the God of Abraham your father;
don’t fear a thing because I’m with you.
I’ll bless you and make your children flourish
because of Abraham my servant.
25Isaac built an altar there and prayed, calling on God by name. He pitched his tent and his servants started digging another well.
26-27Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his advisor and Phicol the head of his troops. Isaac asked them, “Why did you come to me? You hate me; you threw me out of your country.”
28-29They said, “We’ve realized that God is on your side. We’d like to make a deal between us—a covenant that we maintain friendly relations. We haven’t bothered you in the past; we treated you kindly and let you leave us in peace. So—God’s blessing be with you!”
30-31Isaac laid out a feast and they ate and drank together. Early in the morning they exchanged oaths. Then Isaac said good-bye and they parted as friends.
32-33Later that same day, Isaac’s servants came to him with news about the well they had been digging, “We’ve struck water!” Isaac named the well Sheba (Oath), and that’s the name of the city, Beersheba (Oath-Well), to this day.
34-35When Esau was forty years old he married Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, daughter of Elon the Hittite. They turned out to be thorns in the sides of Isaac and Rebekah.