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Genesis 26

26
Isaac Deceives Abimelech
1A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived.
2The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. 3Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants,#26:3 Hebrew seed; also in 26:4, 24. just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. 4I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 5I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.” 6So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7When the men who lived there asked Isaac about his wife, Rebekah, he said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “They will kill me to get her, because she is so beautiful.” 8But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah.
9Immediately, Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, “She is obviously your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
“Because I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me,” Isaac replied.
10“How could you do this to us?” Abimelech exclaimed. “One of my people might easily have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin.”
11Then Abimelech issued a public proclamation: “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death!”
Conflict over Water Rights
12When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. 13He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. 14He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham.
16Finally, Abimelech ordered Isaac to leave the country. “Go somewhere else,” he said, “for you have become too powerful for us.”
17So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and settled down. 18He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them.
19Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. 20But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). 21Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). 22Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.”
23From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, 24where the Lord appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.” 25Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well.
Isaac’s Covenant with Abimelech
26One day King Abimelech came from Gerar with his adviser, Ahuzzath, and also Phicol, his army commander. 27“Why have you come here?” Isaac asked. “You obviously hate me, since you kicked me off your land.”
28They replied, “We can plainly see that the Lord is with you. So we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant. 29Swear that you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how the Lord has blessed you!”
30So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, and they ate and drank together. 31Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and they left him in peace.
32That very day Isaac’s servants came and told him about a new well they had dug. “We’ve found water!” they exclaimed. 33So Isaac named the well Shibah (which means “oath”). And to this day the town that grew up there is called Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”).
34At the age of forty, Esau married two Hittite wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon. 35But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah.
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Chapter 26
Isaac and Abimelech
1There was another famine in the land. This had happened before, when Abraham was alive. Now Isaac went to Gerar to visit Abimelech, the king of the Philistines. 2The Lord appeared to Isaac. He said, ‘Do not go to Egypt. Instead, live in the land that I will show to you. 3Stay in this land, and I will be with you. I will bless you. I will give these lands to you and your descendants. I made a strong promise to your father Abraham. I will make that promise become true. 4I will give you many descendants. They will be as many as the stars in the sky. And I will give these lands to them. Because of your descendants, I will bless everyone on the earth. #26:4 God made this promise become true when he sent Jesus Christ into the world. Through Jesus, God has blessed everyone on the earth. 5This will happen because Abraham obeyed me. He obeyed all my laws and rules, and he did what I told him to do.’
6So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7The men of Gerar asked Isaac about his wife. He told them, ‘She is my sister.’ He was afraid to say, ‘She is my wife.’ He thought that the men of Gerar might kill him because Rebekah was very beautiful. #26:7 See Genesis 12:11-14.
8Isaac stayed in Gerar for a long time. One day Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, looked down from his window. He saw that Isaac was kissing Rebekah. #26:8 Abimelech saw that Isaac and Rebekah were married. 9Abimelech called Isaac to come to him. He said, ‘Rebekah is your wife! Why did you say, “She is my sister”?’ Isaac replied, ‘I thought that someone might kill me because of her.’
10Abimelech said, ‘You have done a bad thing against us! One of my men might have had sex with your wife. Then we would have been guilty of a bad sin.’ 11So Abimelech told his people, ‘I will kill anyone who hurts this man, or his wife.’
12Isaac planted crops in the land and they grew very well. They made 100 times the amount of food that he had planted. This was because the Lord blessed him. #26:12 The Lord kept his promise. He blessed Isaac because he did not go to Egypt. He blessed him, even when Isaac did not tell the truth to the Philistines about Rebekah.
13Isaac became rich. His riches continued to grow so that he became a very important person. 14He had many sheep, goats and cows. He also had many servants in his house. He had so many servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15So they took dirt from the ground and they filled up Isaac's wells. When Abraham was alive, his servants had dug these wells to get water.
16Abimelech said to Isaac ‘You have become too powerful for us. Go and live somewhere else.’
17So Isaac moved away from that place. He put his tents in the Valley of Gerar and he stayed there. 18Isaac dug the dirt out of the wells that Abraham had dug. After Abraham died the Philistines had filled them with dirt. Isaac gave these wells the same names as his father had given them.
19Isaac's servants went to dig in the valley. They found another well there. It was full of fresh water. 20But the shepherds of Gerar quarrelled with Isaac's shepherds. They said, ‘The water belongs to us!’ So Isaac called that well Esek, because they quarrelled with him there. #26:20 Esek means quarrel.
21So Isaac's servants dug another well. But the shepherds of Gerar quarrelled about that one too. Isaac called that well Sitnah. #26:21 Sitnah means to go against someone.
22Isaac moved away from Sitnah and he dug another well. No one quarrelled with him about this well. So he called it Rehoboth. #26:22 Rehoboth means to have space or room. He said, ‘Now the Lord has given us a place to live. We will have many good things in this land.’
23From that place, Isaac went to Beersheba. 24That night the Lord appeared to him. The Lord said, ‘I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, because I am with you. I will bless you. I will give you many descendants because of my servant Abraham.’ #26:24 This is the promise that God gave to Abraham.
25Isaac built an altar there and he worshipped the Lord. He put up his tent there. His servants dug a well.
26During that time, Abimelech came from Gerar to visit Isaac. He came with Ahuzzath his officer and with Phicol the leader of his army. #26:26 Abimelech is a name for the kings of the Philistines. Phicol is a family name.
27Isaac asked them, ‘Why have you come to me? You hated me and you sent me away from you.’ 28They replied, ‘We saw that the Lord is with you. So we said to one another, “There should be a promise between us and you.” So, let us make a promise with you. 29Promise that you will not hurt us. We did not hurt you. We did only good to you. And we sent you away as friends. Now the Lord is blessing you.’
30Then Isaac made a large meal for them. And they all ate happily together. #26:30 Eating a meal together showed that they all agreed to keep the promise. 31Early the next morning, they promised each other to be friends. Then Isaac said ‘goodbye’ to them. They left as his friends.
32The same day, Isaac's servants came to him. They told him about a well that they had dug. They said, ‘We have found water!’ 33Isaac called the well Shibah. So the town is still called Beersheba. #26:33 Shibah means ‘promise’ or ‘seven’. Beersheba means either ‘Well of the promise’ or ‘Well of seven’.
34When Esau was 40 years old, he got married. He married Judith. She was the daughter of Beer the Hittite. He also married Basemath. She was the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35Esau's wives brought a lot of trouble to Isaac and Rebekah. #26:35 Esau married women from the land that he lived in (Canaan). He did not go back to his own relatives to find a wife.