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Genesis 26

26
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 and Abimelech
1And there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine which was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, to Gerar. 2And Yahweh appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land which I will show to you. 3Dwell as an alien in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you, for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham you father. 4And I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and I will give to your descendants all these lands. And all nations of the earth will be blessed through your offspring, 5because Abraham listened to my voice and kept my charge: my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
6So Isaac settled in Gerar. 7When the men of the place asked concerning his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking#Or “lest” “the men of the place will kill me on account of Rebekah, for she was beautiful.”#Literally “good of appearance” 8And it happened that, when he had been there a long time,#Literally “when the days there were long to him” Abimelech the king of the Philistines looked through the window, and saw—behold—Isaac was fondling Rebekah his wife. 9And Abimelech called Isaac#Or “to Isaac” and said, “Surely she is your wife. Now why did you say ‘She is my sister’?” And Isaac said to him, “Because I thought I would die on account of her.” 10And Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have slept with your wife! Then you would have brought guilt upon us!” 11Then Abimelech instructed all the people, saying, “The one who touches this man or his wife shall certainly die.”
12And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in that same year a hundredfold, and Yahweh blessed him. 13And the man became wealthier and wealthier#Literally “became great and went, going and became great” until he was exceedingly wealthy. 14And he possessed sheep and cattle and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him. 15And the Philistines stopped up all the wells that the servants of his father had dug in the days of Abraham his father. They filled them with earth. 16And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you have become much too powerful for us.” 17So Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar, and settled there. 18And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after the death of Abraham. And he gave#Or “called” to them the same names#Literally “names as names” which his father had given#Or “called” them. 19And when the servants of Isaac dug in the valley, they found a well of fresh water there. 20Then the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with the herdsmen of Isaac, saying, “The water is ours.” And he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. 21And they dug another well, and they quarreled over it also. And he called its name Sitnah. 22Then he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. And he called its name Rehoboth, and said, “Now Yahweh has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” 23And from there he went up to Beersheba. 24And Yahweh 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 make your descendants numerous for the sake of my servant Abraham.” 25And he built an altar there and called on the name of Yahweh. And he pitched his tent there, and the servants of Isaac dug a well there. 26Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his friend and Phicol his army commander. 27And Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me? You hate me and sent me away from you.” 28And they said, “We see clearly that Yahweh has been with you, so we thought#Or “said” let there be an oath between us—between us and you—and let us make#Literally “cut” a covenant with you 29that you may not do us harm just as we have not touched you, but have only done good to you and sent you away in peace. You are now blessed by Yahweh.” 30So he made a meal for them, and they ate and drank. 31And they arose early in the morning and each one swore to the other,#Or “to his brother” and Isaac sent them away. And they left him in peace. 32And it happened that on that same day the servants of Isaac came and told him about the well that they had dug. And they said, “We have found water!” 33And he called it Sheba. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba unto this day.
34And when Esau was forty years old he took as wife Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35And they made life bitter#Literally “they caused bitterness of spirit” for Isaac and Rebekah.