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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.
26
Confirming the Covenant with Isaac
1Now there was a famine in the land—aside from the previous famine that happened in Abraham’s days. So Isaac went to King Abimelech of the Philistines, to Gerar.
2Then Adonai appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Dwell in the land about which I tell you.
3Live as an outsider in this land and I will be with you and bless you—for to you and to your seed I give all these lands—and I will confirm my pledge that I swore to Abraham your father.
4I will multiply your seed like the stars of the sky and I will give your seed all these lands. And in your seed all the nations of the earth will continually be blessed,
5because Abraham listened to My voice and kept My charge, My mitzvot, My decrees, and My instructions.”
6So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7Now the men of the place asked about his wife. So he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “my wife”—“or else the men of the place would kill me on account of Rebekah, because she’s good looking.”
8Now after he had been there for a long time, King Abimelech of the Philistines peered down through the window and saw, behold, Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.
9So Abimelech called Isaac and said, “So in fact she’s your wife! Now how could you say, ‘She’s my sister’?” Isaac said to him, “Because I said, ‘Or else I might die because of her.’”
10Then Abimelech said, “What is it that you’ve done to us? One of the people could have easily slept with your wife and you would’ve brought guilt on us.”
11So Abimelech commanded all the people saying, “Whoever touches this man or his wife will surely die!”
Adonai Blesses Isaac
12Then Isaac sowed in that land and in that year reaped a hundredfold. Adonai blessed him
13and the man became great and continued to become greater until he became very great.
14He acquired livestock of sheep and livestock of cattle, and numerous servants. Then the Philistines envied him.
15All the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham the Philistines stopped up and filled with dirt.
16So Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much more powerful than us.”
17So Isaac departed from there, camped in the Valley of Gerar and dwelled there.
18Then Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham—the Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham’s death. He gave them the same names that his father had given them.
19Then Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of living water there.
20But the shepherds of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s shepherds saying, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Quarrel, because they quarreled with him.
21Then he dug another well and they quarreled over it too, so he named it Accusation.
22Then he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he named it Wide Spaces and said, “Because now Adonai has created wide spaces for us and we will be fruitful in the land.”
23He went up from there to Beer-sheba.
24Adonai appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you, and I will bless you and multiply your seed for the sake of Abraham my servant.”
25So he built an altar there and called on the Name of Adonai. He pitched his tent there and Isaac’s servants hollowed out a well there.
Covenant of Isaac and Abimelech
26Now Abimelech went to him from Gerar along with Achuzzat his friend and Phicol the commander of his army.
27Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me and sent me away from you?”
28They said, “We’ve clearly seen that Adonai has been with you. So we said, ‘Let there now be an agreement between us—between us and you—and let us make a covenant with you:
29that you will do us no harm, just as we haven’t touched you and just as we did nothing to you but good, and sent you away in shalom. You are now blessed by Adonai.”
30Then he made a feast for them and they ate and drank.
31Then they got up early in the morning and made a pledge, each to his brother. Then Isaac sent them away and they departed from him in shalom.
32Now it happened that on that day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well that they dug, and said to him, “We’ve found water.”
33So he called it Pledge. That is why the city’s name is Beer-sheba to this day.
34When Esau was 40 years old, he took as wife Judith the daughter of Be-eri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite.
35But they caused a bitterness of spirit for Isaac and Rebekah.