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Genesis 26

26
Chapter 26
Isaac and Abimelech
1There was another famine in the land. This had happened before, when Abraham was alive. Now Isaac went to Gerar to visit Abimelech, the king of the Philistines. 2The Lord appeared to Isaac. He said, ‘Do not go to Egypt. Instead, live in the land that I will show to you. 3Stay in this land, and I will be with you. I will bless you. I will give these lands to you and your descendants. I made a strong promise to your father Abraham. I will make that promise become true. 4I will give you many descendants. They will be as many as the stars in the sky. And I will give these lands to them. Because of your descendants, I will bless everyone on the earth. #26:4 God made this promise become true when he sent Jesus Christ into the world. Through Jesus, God has blessed everyone on the earth. 5This will happen because Abraham obeyed me. He obeyed all my laws and rules, and he did what I told him to do.’
6So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7The men of Gerar asked Isaac about his wife. He told them, ‘She is my sister.’ He was afraid to say, ‘She is my wife.’ He thought that the men of Gerar might kill him because Rebekah was very beautiful. #26:7 See Genesis 12:11-14.
8Isaac stayed in Gerar for a long time. One day Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, looked down from his window. He saw that Isaac was kissing Rebekah. #26:8 Abimelech saw that Isaac and Rebekah were married. 9Abimelech called Isaac to come to him. He said, ‘Rebekah is your wife! Why did you say, “She is my sister”?’ Isaac replied, ‘I thought that someone might kill me because of her.’
10Abimelech said, ‘You have done a bad thing against us! One of my men might have had sex with your wife. Then we would have been guilty of a bad sin.’ 11So Abimelech told his people, ‘I will kill anyone who hurts this man, or his wife.’
12Isaac planted crops in the land and they grew very well. They made 100 times the amount of food that he had planted. This was because the Lord blessed him. #26:12 The Lord kept his promise. He blessed Isaac because he did not go to Egypt. He blessed him, even when Isaac did not tell the truth to the Philistines about Rebekah.
13Isaac became rich. His riches continued to grow so that he became a very important person. 14He had many sheep, goats and cows. He also had many servants in his house. He had so many servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15So they took dirt from the ground and they filled up Isaac's wells. When Abraham was alive, his servants had dug these wells to get water.
16Abimelech said to Isaac ‘You have become too powerful for us. Go and live somewhere else.’
17So Isaac moved away from that place. He put his tents in the Valley of Gerar and he stayed there. 18Isaac dug the dirt out of the wells that Abraham had dug. After Abraham died the Philistines had filled them with dirt. Isaac gave these wells the same names as his father had given them.
19Isaac's servants went to dig in the valley. They found another well there. It was full of fresh water. 20But the shepherds of Gerar quarrelled with Isaac's shepherds. They said, ‘The water belongs to us!’ So Isaac called that well Esek, because they quarrelled with him there. #26:20 Esek means quarrel.
21So Isaac's servants dug another well. But the shepherds of Gerar quarrelled about that one too. Isaac called that well Sitnah. #26:21 Sitnah means to go against someone.
22Isaac moved away from Sitnah and he dug another well. No one quarrelled with him about this well. So he called it Rehoboth. #26:22 Rehoboth means to have space or room. He said, ‘Now the Lord has given us a place to live. We will have many good things in this land.’
23From that place, Isaac went to Beersheba. 24That night the Lord appeared to him. The Lord said, ‘I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, because I am with you. I will bless you. I will give you many descendants because of my servant Abraham.’ #26:24 This is the promise that God gave to Abraham.
25Isaac built an altar there and he worshipped the Lord. He put up his tent there. His servants dug a well.
26During that time, Abimelech came from Gerar to visit Isaac. He came with Ahuzzath his officer and with Phicol the leader of his army. #26:26 Abimelech is a name for the kings of the Philistines. Phicol is a family name.
27Isaac asked them, ‘Why have you come to me? You hated me and you sent me away from you.’ 28They replied, ‘We saw that the Lord is with you. So we said to one another, “There should be a promise between us and you.” So, let us make a promise with you. 29Promise that you will not hurt us. We did not hurt you. We did only good to you. And we sent you away as friends. Now the Lord is blessing you.’
30Then Isaac made a large meal for them. And they all ate happily together. #26:30 Eating a meal together showed that they all agreed to keep the promise. 31Early the next morning, they promised each other to be friends. Then Isaac said ‘goodbye’ to them. They left as his friends.
32The same day, Isaac's servants came to him. They told him about a well that they had dug. They said, ‘We have found water!’ 33Isaac called the well Shibah. So the town is still called Beersheba. #26:33 Shibah means ‘promise’ or ‘seven’. Beersheba means either ‘Well of the promise’ or ‘Well of seven’.
34When Esau was 40 years old, he got married. He married Judith. She was the daughter of Beer the Hittite. He also married Basemath. She was the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35Esau's wives brought a lot of trouble to Isaac and Rebekah. #26:35 Esau married women from the land that he lived in (Canaan). He did not go back to his own relatives to find a wife.
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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.