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Genesis 26

26
Isaac and Abimelech
1There was a famine in the land, besides #Gen. 12:10the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to #Gen. 20:1, 2Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar.
2Then the Lord appeared to him and said: #Gen. 12:7; 17:1; 18:1; 35:9“Do not go down to Egypt; live in #Gen. 12:1the land of which I shall tell you. 3#Gen. 20:1; Ps. 39:12; Heb. 11:9Dwell in this land, and #Gen. 28:13, 15I will be with you and #Gen. 12:2bless you; for to you and your descendants #Gen. 12:7; 13:15; 15:18I give all these lands, and I will perform #Gen. 22:16; Ps. 105:9the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. 4And #Gen. 15:5; 22:17; Ex. 32:13I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; #Gen. 12:3; 22:18; Gal. 3:8and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5#Gen. 22:16, 18because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”
6So Isaac dwelt in Gerar. 7And the men of the place asked about his wife. And #Gen. 12:13; 20:2, 12, 13he said, “She is my sister”; for #Prov. 29:25he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” because he thought, “lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she is #Gen. 12:11; 24:16; 29:17beautiful to behold.” 8Now it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, showing endearment to Rebekah his wife. 9Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Quite obviously she is your wife; so how could you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
Isaac said to him, “Because I said, ‘Lest I die on account of her.’ ”
10And Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might soon have lain with your wife, and #Gen. 20:9you would have brought guilt on us.” 11So Abimelech charged all his people, saying, “He who #Ps. 105:15touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”
12Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year #Matt. 13:8, 23; Mark 4:8a hundredfold; and the Lord #Gen. 24:1; 25:8, 11; 26:3; Job 42:12; Prov. 10:22blessed him. 13The man #Gen. 24:35; (Prov. 10:22)began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; 14for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines #Gen. 37:11; Eccl. 4:4envied him. 15Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells #Gen. 21:25, 30which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with earth. 16And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for #Ex. 1:9you are much mightier than we.”
17Then Isaac departed from there and pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. 18And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. #Gen. 21:31He called them by the names which his father had called them.
19Also Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there. 20But the herdsmen of Gerar #Gen. 21:25quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they quarreled with him. 21Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also. So he called its name Sitnah. 22And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall #Gen. 17:6; 28:3; 41:52; Ex. 1:7be fruitful in the land.”
23Then he went up from there to Beersheba. 24And the Lord #Gen. 26:2appeared to him the same night and said, #Gen. 17:7, 8; 24:12; Ex. 3:6; Acts 7:32“I am the God of your father Abraham; #Gen. 15:1do not fear, for #Gen. 26:3, 4I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.” 25So he #Gen. 12:7, 8; 13:4, 18; 22:9; 33:20built an altar there and #Gen. 21:33; Ps. 116:17called on the name of the Lord, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.
26Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath, one of his friends, #Gen. 21:22and Phichol the commander of his army. 27And Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, #Judg. 11:7since you hate me and have #Gen. 26:16sent me away from you?”
28But they said, “We have certainly seen that the Lord #Gen. 21:22, 23is with you. So we said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, between you and us; and let us make a covenant with you, 29that you will do us no harm, since we have not touched you, and since we have done nothing to you but good and have sent you away in peace. #Gen. 24:31; Ps. 115:15You are now the blessed of the Lord.’ ”
30#Gen. 19:3So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31Then they arose early in the morning and #Gen. 21:31swore an oath with one another; and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.
32It came to pass the same day that Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well which they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water.” 33So he called it Shebah. #Gen. 21:31; 28:10Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.
34#Gen. 28:8; 36:2When Esau was forty years old, he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35And #Gen. 27:46; 28:1, 8they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.
26
1There was a famine in the country—not the one that happened before in Abraham's time, but a later one. So Isaac moved to Gerar in the territory of Abimelech, king of the Philistines.
2The Lord appeared to Isaac and told him, “Don't go to Egypt—live in the country that I tell you to. 3Stay here in this country. I will be with you and I will bless you, because I'm going to give you and your descendants all these lands. I will keep the solemn promise that I swore to Abraham your father. 4I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and I will give them all these lands. All the nations of the earth will be blessed by your descendants, 5because Abraham did what I told him, and kept my requirements, my commands, my regulations, and my laws.”
6So Isaac stayed in Gerar. 7When the men there asked him about his wife, he told them, “She's my sister,” because he was afraid. He said to himself, “If I say she's my wife, the men here will kill me to get Rebekah, because she's so beautiful.” 8But later on, after he'd been there a while, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, happened to look out the window and saw Isaac lovingly fondling his wife Rebekah.
9Abimelech sent for Isaac and complained. “From what I saw she's clearly your wife!” he said. “Why on earth did you say, ‘She's my sister’?”
“Because I thought I'd be killed because of her,” Isaac replied.
10“Why would you do this to us?” Abimelech asked. “One of the men here might have slept with your wife, and you would have made us all guilty!”
11Abimelech issued orders to all the people, warning them, “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be executed.”
12Isaac sowed grain that year, and the Lord blessed him with a harvest that was a hundred times what he planted. 13He became a rich man, and his wealth steadily increased until he was very rich. 14He owned many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, as well as many slaves. He had so much that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15So the Philistines used dirt to block up all the wells his father Abraham's servants had dug.
16Then Abimelech told Isaac, “You have to leave our country, because you've become much too powerful for us.”
17So Isaac moved away and set up his tents in the Gerar Valley where he settled down. 18He unblocked the wells that had been dug in his father Abraham's time—the ones the Philistines had blocked after the death of Abraham. He gave them the same names his father had.
19Isaac's servants also dug a new well in the valley and found spring water. 20But the herdsmen from Gerar argued with Isaac's herdsmen, claiming, “That's our water!” So Isaac named the well, “Argument,” because they argued with him. 21He had another well dug, and they argued over that one too. He named the well, “Opposition.”#26:21. “Opposition”: The word is in fact the female form of the word, “satan,” meaning opponent or adversary. 22So they moved on from there and he had another well dug. This time there was no argument so he named the well, “Freedom,”#26:22. “Freedom”: literally, “wide/open space,” which is often used in Hebrew as a synonym for freedom, since people are then given room to move around. See for example Job 36:16; Psalms 118:5. saying, “Now the Lord has given us freedom to expand and be successful in this land.”
23From there he moved on to Beersheba. 24That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Don't be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and give you many descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.” 25Isaac built an altar and worshiped the Lord. He also set up his tent, and his servants dug a well there.
26Sometime later Abimelech came from Gerar to see Isaac, along with Ahuzzath his advisor, and Phicol the commander of his army.#26:26. See 21:22. In view of the length of time between these events it is unlikely that they are the same individuals. These were probably official titles rather than personal names. 27“Why have you come to see me?” Isaac asked them. “Previously you hated me and told me to leave!”
28“Now we realize that the Lord is with you,” they replied. “So we agreed that we should make a sworn agreement with you. 29You'll promise not to harm us in the same way we've never hurt you. You'll agree that we've always treated you well, and when we asked you to leave we did so kindly. Now look at how the Lord is blessing you!”
30So Isaac had a special meal prepared to celebrate the agreement. They ate and drank, 31and got up early in the morning and they each swore oaths to one other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left in peace.
32It was that very day when Isaac's servants who'd been digging a well came and told him, “We've found water!” 33So Isaac named the well, “Oath,” and that's why the name of the town is “Well of the Oath” (Beersheba) to this day.
34When Esau was 40, he married Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite, as well as Basemath, daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35They caused Isaac and Rebekah a great deal of grief.