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Genesis 26

26
Isaac and Abimelek
Ge 12:10–20; 20:1–18
1#Ge 12:10There was a famine in the land, in addition to the first famine that was during the days of Abraham. Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2#Ge 12:1; 12:7The Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land of which I will tell you. 3#Ge 13:15; 28:15Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you; for I will give to you and all your descendants all these lands, and I will fulfill the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. 4#Ge 15:5; 22:17–18I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of the heavens and will give your descendants all these lands. By your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed,#Or will bless themselves. 5#Ge 22:16; 22:18because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” 6So Isaac lived in Gerar.
7#Ge 12:13; 20:2The men of the place asked him about his wife. And he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” thinking, “The men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful in appearance.”
8When he had been there a long time, Abim­elek the king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah his wife. 9Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, “She is surely your wife, so how is it you said, ‘She is my sister’?”
Then Isaac said to him, “Because I said, ‘I might die on account of her.’ ”
10Abimelek said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might have easily lain with your wife, and you might have brought guilt upon us!”
11#Ps 105:15Abimelek charged all his people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”
12#Ge 26:3; 24:1Then Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; the Lord blessed him. 13The man became rich and continued to prosper until he became very wealthy. 14#Ge 37:11; Ecc 4:4For he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great number of servants so that the Philistines envied him. 15#Ge 21:30For the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father by filling them with dirt.
16#Ex 1:9Abimelek said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much more powerful than we are.”
17So Isaac departed from there and pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18#Ge 21:31Isaac 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. He called their names after the names his father had called them.
19But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of running water there, 20#Ge 21:25the herdsmen of Gerar contended with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. 21They dug another well and quarreled over that also. So he called the name of it Sitnah. 22#Ge 17:6; Ex 1:7Then he moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called the name of it Rehoboth, for he said, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”
23He went up from there to Beersheba. 24#Ge 15:1; 17:7The Lord appeared to him that same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of My servant Abraham.”
25#Ge 13:18; Ps 116:17He built an altar there, called on the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.
26Then Abimelek went to him from Gerar, along with Ahuzzath, one of his friends, and Phicol the commander of his army. 27#Ge 26:16; Jdg 11:7Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me and have sent me away from you?”
28#Ge 21:22–23And they said, “We saw plainly that the Lord was 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, 29#Ge 24:31; Ps 115:15so that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you, and have done you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord.’ ”
30#Ge 19:3Then he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31They rose up early in the morning and swore an oath with one another. Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.
32That same day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well that they had dug and said to him, “We have found water.” 33#Ge 21:31And he called it Shibah. Therefore, the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.
34#Ge 36:2Esau was forty years old when he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite, 35and they brought grief to Isaac and to 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.