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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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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.