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Genesis 26

26
Isaac Lies to Abimelech
1Once there was a time of hunger in the land. This was besides the time of hunger that happened during Abraham’s life. So Isaac went to the town of Gerar. He went to see Abimelech king of the Philistines. 2The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Don’t go down to Egypt. Live in the land where I tell you to live. 3Stay in this land, and I will be with you. I will bless you. I will give you and your descendants all these lands. I will keep the agreement I made to Abraham your father. 4I will give you many descendants. They will be as hard to count as the stars in the sky. And I will give them all these lands. Through your descendants all the nations on the earth will be blessed. 5I will do this because your father Abraham obeyed me. He did what I said. He obeyed my commands, my teachings and my rules.”
6So Isaac stayed in Gerar. 7Isaac’s wife Rebekah was very beautiful. The men of that place asked Isaac about her. Isaac said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to tell them she was his wife. He thought they might kill him so they could have her.
8Isaac lived there a long time. One day as Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out his window, he saw Isaac. Isaac was holding his wife Rebekah tenderly. 9Abimelech called for Isaac and said, “This woman is your wife. Why did you say she was your sister?”
Isaac said to him, “I was afraid you would kill me so you could have her.”
10Abimelech said, “What have you done to us? One of our men might have had physical relations with your wife. Then we would have been guilty of a great sin.”
11So Abimelech warned everyone. He said, “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death.”
Isaac Becomes Rich
12Isaac planted seed in that land. And that year he gathered a great harvest. The Lord blessed him very much. 13Isaac became rich. He gathered more wealth until he became a very rich man. 14He had many slaves and many flocks and herds. The Philistines envied him. 15So they stopped up all the wells the servants of Isaac’s father Abraham had dug. (They had dug them when Abraham was alive.) The Philistines filled those wells with dirt. 16And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave our country. You have become much more powerful than we are.”
17So Isaac left that place. He camped in the Valley of Gerar and lived there. 18Long before this time Abraham had dug many wells. After Abraham died, the Philistines filled them with dirt. So Isaac dug those wells again. He gave them the same names his father had given them. 19Isaac’s servants dug a well in the valley. From it a spring of water flowed. 20But the men who herded sheep in Gerar argued with Isaac’s servants. They said, “This water is ours.” So Isaac named that well Argue because they argued with him. 21Then Isaac’s servants dug another well. The people also argued about it. So Isaac named that well Fight. 22Isaac moved from there and dug another well. No one argued about this one. So he named that well Room Enough. Isaac said, “Now the Lord has made room for us. We will be successful in this land.”
23From there Isaac went to Beersheba. 24The Lord appeared to Isaac that night. The Lord said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Don’t be afraid because I am with you. I will bless you and give you many descendants. I will do this because of my servant Abraham.” 25So Isaac built an altar and worshiped the Lord there. He made a camp there, and his servants dug a well.
26Abimelech came from Gerar to see Isaac. Abimelech brought with him Ahuzzath, who advised him, and Phicol, the commander of his army. 27Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to see me? You were my enemy. You forced me to leave your country.”
28They answered, “Now we know that the Lord is with you. We will make a promise to you. And we would like you to make one to us. We would like to make an agreement with you. 29We did not hurt you. So promise you will not hurt us. And we were good to you, and we sent you away in peace. Now the Lord has blessed you.”
30So Isaac prepared food for them, and they all ate and drank. 31Early the next morning the men made a promise to each other. Then Isaac sent them away, and they left in peace.
32That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, “We found water in that well.” 33So Isaac named it Shibah# This name sounds like the Hebrew words for “seven” and “promise.” and that city is still called Beersheba even now.
34When Esau was 40 years old, he married two Hittite women. One was Judith daughter of Beeri. The other was Basemath daughter of Elon. 35These women brought much sorrow to Isaac and Rebekah.
26
1A famine came over the land, not the same as the first famine, which had taken place when Avraham was alive. Yitz’chak went to G’rar, to Avimelekh king of the P’lishtim. 2Adonai appeared to him and said, “Don’t go down into Egypt, but live where I tell you. 3Stay in this land, and I will be with you and bless you, because I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants. I will fulfill the oath which I swore to Avraham your father — 4I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, I will give all these lands to your descendants, and by your descendants all the nations of the earth will bless themselves. 5All this is because Avraham heeded what I said and did what I told him to do — he followed my mitzvot, my regulations and my teachings.”
(ii) 6So Yitz’chak settled in G’rar. 7The men of the place asked him about his wife, and out of fear he said, “She is my sister.” He thought, “If I tell them she’s my wife, they might kill me in order to take Rivkah. After all, she is a beautiful woman.” 8But one day, after he had lived there a long time, Avimelekh king of the P’lishtim happened to be looking out of a window when he spotted Yitz’chak caressing Rivkah his wife. 9Avimelekh summoned Yitz’chak and said, “So she is your wife, after all! How come you said, ‘She is my sister’?” Yitz’chak responded, “Because I thought, ‘I could get killed because of her.’” 10Avimelekh said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people could easily have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!” 11Then Avimelekh warned all the people: “Whoever touches this man or his wife will certainly be put to death.”
12Yitz’chak planted crops in that land and reaped that year a hundred times as much as he had sowed. Adonai had blessed him.
(iii) 13The man became rich and prospered more and more, until he had become very wealthy indeed. 14He had flocks, cattle and a large household; and the P’lishtim envied him. 15Now the P’lishtim had stopped up and filled with dirt all the wells his father’s servants had dug during the lifetime of Avraham his father. 16Avimelekh said to Yitz’chak, “You must go away from us, because you have become much more powerful than we are.” 17So Yitz’chak left, set up camp in Vadi G’rar and lived there. 18Yitz’chak reopened the wells which had been dug during the lifetime of Avraham his father, the ones the P’lishtim had stopped up after Avraham died, and called them by the names his father had used for them. 19Yitz’chak’s servants dug in the vadi and uncovered a spring of running water. 20But the herdsmen of G’rar quarreled with Yitz’chak’s herdsmen, claiming, “That water is ours!” So he called the well ‘Esek [quarrel], because they quarreled with him. 21They dug another well and quarreled over that one too. So he called it Sitnah [enmity]. 22He went away from there and dug another well, and over that one they didn’t quarrel. So he called it Rechovot [wide open spaces] and said, “Because now Adonai has made room for us, and we will be productive in the land.”
(iv) 23From there Yitz’chak went up to Be’er-Sheva. 24Adonai appeared to him that same night and said, “I am the God of Avraham your father. Don’t be afraid, because I am with you; I will bless you and increase your descendants for the sake of my servant Avraham.” 25There he built an altar and called on the name of Adonai. He pitched his tent there, and there Yitz’chak’s servants dug a well.
26Then Avimelekh went to him from G’rar with his friend Achuzat and Pikhol the commander of his army. 27Yitz’chak said to them, “Why have you come to me, even though you were unfriendly to me and sent me away?” 28They answered, “We saw very clearly that Adonai has been with you; so we said, ‘Let there be an oath between us: let’s make a pact between ourselves and you 29that you will not harm us, just as we have not caused you offense but have done you nothing but good and sent you on your way in peace. Now you are blessed by Adonai.’”
(v) 30Yitz’chak prepared a banquet for them, and they ate and drank. 31The next morning, they got up early and swore to each other. Then Yitz’chak sent them on their way, and they left him peacefully. 32That very day Yitz’chak’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug, “We have found water.” 33So he called it Shiv‘ah [oath, seven], and for this reason the name of the city is Be’er-Sheva [well of seven, well of an oath] to this day.
34When ‘Esav was forty years old, he took as wives Y’hudit the daughter of Be’eri the Hitti and Basmat the daughter of Elon the Hitti. 35But they became a cause for embitterment of spirit to Yitz’chak and Rivkah.