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Genesis 26

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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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The Lord’s First Promise to Isaac
1There was a famine in the land in addition to the earlier one during Abraham’s time. So Isaac went to King Abimelech of the Philistines in Gerar.
2The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Don’t go to Egypt. Stay where I tell you. 3Live here in this land for a while, and I will be with you and bless you. I will give all these lands to you and your descendants. I will keep the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. 4I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and give all these lands to your descendants. Through your descendant all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 5I will bless you because Abraham obeyed me and completed the duties, commands, laws, and instructions I gave him.” 6So Isaac lived in Gerar.
Isaac and Rebekah at Gerar
7When the men of that place asked about his wife, Isaac answered, “She’s my sister.” He was afraid to say “my wife.” He thought that the men of that place would kill him to get Rebekah, because she was an attractive woman. 8When he had been there a long time, King Abimelech of the Philistines looked out of his window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.
9Abimelech called for Isaac and said, “So she’s really your wife! How could you say, ‘She’s my sister’?”
Isaac answered him, “I thought I would be killed because of her.”
10Then Abimelech said, “What have you done to us! One of the people might have easily gone to bed with your wife, and then you would have made us guilty of sin.” 11So Abimelech ordered his people, “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death.”
12Isaac planted ⌞crops⌟ in that land. In that same year he harvested a hundred times as much as he had planted because the Lord had blessed him. 13He continued to be successful, becoming very rich. 14Because he owned so many flocks, herds, and servants, the Philistines became jealous of him. 15So the Philistines filled in all the wells that his father’s servants had dug during his father Abraham’s lifetime.
16Finally, Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us! You’ve become more powerful than we are.”
17So Isaac moved away. He set up his tents in the Gerar Valley and lived there. 18He dug out the wells that had been dug during his father Abraham’s lifetime. The Philistines had filled them in after Abraham’s death. He gave them the same names that his father had given them.
19Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a spring-fed well. 20The herders from Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herders, claiming, “This water is ours!” So Isaac named the well Esek [Argument], because they had argued with him. 21Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one too. So Isaac named it Sitnah [Accusation]. 22He moved on from there and dug another well. They didn’t quarrel over this one. So he named it Rehoboth [Roomy] and said, “Now the Lord has made room for us, and we will prosper in this land.”
The LORD’s Second Promise to Isaac
23He went from there to Beersheba. 24That night the Lord appeared to Isaac, and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. I will bless you and increase the number of your descendants for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 25So Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. He also pitched his tent in that place, and his servants dug a well there.
Isaac’s Agreement with Abimelech
26Abimelech, his friend Ahuzzath, and Phicol, the commander of his army, came from Gerar to see Isaac. 27Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me and sent me away from you?”
28They answered, “We have seen that the Lord is with you. So we thought, ‘There should be a solemn agreement between us.’ We’d like to make an agreement with you 29that you will not harm us, since we have not touched you. We have done only good to you and let you go in peace. Now you are blessed by the Lord.”
30Isaac prepared a special dinner for them, and they ate and drank. 31Early the next morning they exchanged oaths. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left peacefully.
32That same day Isaac’s servants came and told him about a well they had dug. They said to him, “We’ve found water.” 33So he named it Shibah [Oath]. That is why the name of the city is still Beersheba today.
Esau’s Marriages
34When Esau was 40 years old, he married Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite. He also married Basemath, daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35These women brought Isaac and Rebekah a lot of grief.