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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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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.