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Genesis 26

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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.
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Isaac Lies to Abimelech
1Now there was a famine. This was like the famine that happened during Abraham’s life. So Isaac went to the town of Gerar, to King Abimelech of the Philistines. 2The Lord spoke to Isaac and said, “Don’t go down to Egypt. Live in the land that I commanded you to live in. 3Stay in this land, and I will be with you. I will bless you. I will give you and your family all these lands. I will do what I promised to Abraham your father. 4I will make your family as many as the stars of heaven, and I will give all these lands to your family. Through your descendants#26:4 descendants Or “Descendant.” See Gal. 3:16. every nation on earth will be blessed. 5I will do this because your father Abraham obeyed my words and did what I said. He obeyed my commands, my laws, and my rules.”
6So Isaac settled in Gerar. 7His wife Rebekah was very beautiful. The men of that place asked Isaac about Rebekah. He said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to tell them Rebekah was his wife. He was afraid the men would kill him so that they could have her.
8After Isaac had lived there a long time, Abimelech looked out of his window and saw Isaac and his wife enjoying one another. 9Abimelech called for Isaac and said, “This woman is your wife. Why did you tell us that she was your sister?”
Isaac said to him, “I was afraid that you would kill me so that you could have her.”
10Abimelech said, “You have done a bad thing to us. One of our men might have had sex with your wife. Then he would be guilty of a great sin.”
11So Abimelech gave a warning to all the people. He said, “No one must hurt this man or this woman. If anyone hurts them, they will be killed.”
Isaac Becomes Rich
12Isaac planted fields in that place, and that year he gathered a great harvest. The Lord blessed him very much. 13Isaac became rich. He gathered more and more wealth until he became a very rich man. 14He had many flocks and herds of animals. He also had many slaves. All the Philistines were jealous of him. 15So they destroyed all the wells that Isaac’s father Abraham and his servants had dug many years before. They filled them with sand. 16Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave our country. You have become much more powerful than we are.”
17So Isaac left that place and camped near the little river of Gerar. He stayed there and lived. 18Long before this time, Abraham had dug many wells. After he died, the Philistines filled the wells with sand. So Isaac went back and dug those wells again. He gave them the same names his father had given them. 19Isaac’s servants also dug a well near the little river and found fresh water.#26:19 fresh water Or “an underground stream.” Literally, “living water.” 20But the men who herded sheep in the Valley of Gerar argued with Isaac’s servants. They said, “This water is ours.” So Isaac named that well Esek.#26:20 Esek This means “argument” or “fight.” He gave it that name because it was the place where they had argued with him.
21Then Isaac’s servants dug another well. But there was an argument over this well too. So Isaac named that well Sitnah.#26:21 Sitnah This means “hatred” or “being an enemy.”
22Isaac moved from there and dug another well. No one came to argue about this well. So Isaac named it Rehoboth.#26:22 Rehoboth This means “open place” or “crossroads.” He said, “Now the Lord has found a place for us. We will grow and be successful in this place.”
23From there Isaac went to Beersheba. 24The Lord spoke to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Don’t be afraid. I am with you, and I will bless you. I will make your family great. I will do this because of my servant Abraham.” 25So Isaac built an altar and worshiped the Lord in that place. He set up camp there, and his servants dug a well.
26Abimelech came from Gerar to see Isaac. He brought with him Ahuzzath, his advisor, and Phicol, the commander of his army.
27Isaac asked, “Why have you come to see me? You were not friendly to me before. You even forced me to leave your country.”
28They answered, “Now we know that the Lord is with you. We think that we should make an agreement. We want you to make a promise to us. 29We did not hurt you; now you should promise not to hurt us. We sent you away, but we sent you away in peace. Now it is clear that the Lord has blessed you.”
30So Isaac gave a party for them. They all ate and drank. 31Early the next morning each man made a promise and a vow. Then the men left in peace.
32On that day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. The servants said, “We found water in that well.” 33So Isaac named it Shibah.#26:33 Shibah A Hebrew word meaning “seven” or “oath.” And that city is still called Beersheba.#26:33 Beersheba This name means “well of the oath.”
Esau’s Wives
34When Esau was 40 years old, he married two Hittite women. One was Judith the daughter of Beeri. The other was Basemath the daughter of Elon. 35These marriages made Isaac and Rebekah very unhappy.