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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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1And when a famine came in the land, after that barrenness which had happened in the days of Abraham, Isaac went to Abimelech, King of the Palestines, to Gerara.
2And the Lord appeared to him and said: Go not down into Egypt, but stay in the land that I shall tell thee.
3And sojourn in it, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee: for to thee and to thy seed I will give all these countries, to fulfill the oath which I swore to Abraham thy father.
4And I will multiply thy seed like the stars of heaven: and I will give to thy posterity all these countries. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.
5Because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my precepts and commandments, and observed my ceremonies and laws.
6So Isaac abode in Gerara.
7And when he was asked by the men of that place, concerning his wife, he answered: She is my sister. For he was afraid to confess that she was his wife, thinking lest perhaps they would like him because of her beauty.
8And when very many days were passed, and he abode there, Abimelech king of the Palestines, looking out through a window, saw him playing with Rebecca his wife.
9And calling for him, he said: It is evident she is thy wife. Why didst thou feign her to be thy sister? He answered: I feared lest I should die for her sake.
10And Abimelech said: Why hadst thou deceived us? Some man of the people might have lain with thy wife, and thou hadst brought upon us a great sin. And he commanded all the people, saying:
11He that shall touch this man's wife shall surely be put to death.
12And Isaac sowed in that land, and he found that same year a hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.
13And the man was enriched, and he went on prospering and increasing, till he became exceeding great.
14And he had possessions of sheep and of herds, and a very great family. Wherefore the Palestines, envying him,
15Stopped up at that time all the wells, that the servants of his father Abraham had digged, filling them up with earth:
16Insomuch that Abimelech himself said to Isaac: Depart from us, for thou art become much mightier than we.
17So he departed, and came to the torrent of Gerara, to dwell there.
18And he digged again other wells, which the servants of his father Abraham had digged, and which, after his death, the Palestines had of old stopped up. And he called them by the same names by which his father before had called them.
19And they digged in the torrent, and found living water.
20But there also the herdsmen of Gerara strove against the herdsmen of Isaac, saying: It is our water. Wherefore he called the name of the well, on occasion of that which had happened, Calumny.
21And they digged also another; and for that they quarreled likewise, and he called the name of it, Enmity.
22Going forward from thence, he digged another well, for which they contended not: therefore he called the name thereof, Latitude, saying: Now hath the Lord given us room, and made us to increase upon the earth.
23And he went up from that place to Bersabee,
24Where the Lord appeared to him that same night, saying: I am the God of Abraham thy father. Do not fear, for I am with thee: I will bless thee, and multiply thy seed, for my servant Abraham's sake.
25And he built there an altar: and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent. And he commanded his servants to dig a well.
26To which place when Abimelech, and Ochozath his friend, and Phicol chief captain of his soldiers, came from Gerara,
27Isaac said to them: Why are ye come to me, a man whom you hate, and have thrust out from you?
28And they answered: We saw that the Lord is with thee, and therefore we said: Let there be an oath between us, and let us make a covenant,
29That thou do us no harm, as we on our part have touched nothing of thine, nor have done any thing to hurt thee: but with peace have sent thee away, increased with the blessing of the Lord.
30And he made them a feast, and after they had eaten and drunk:
31Arising in the morning, they swore one to another: and Isaac sent them away peaceably to their own home.
32And, behold, the same day the servants of Isaac came, telling him of a well which they had digged, and saying: We have found water.
33Whereupon he called it, Abundance: and the name of the city was called Bersabee, even to this day.
34And Esau being forty years old, married wives, Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hethite, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon, of the same place.
35And they both offended the mind of Isaac and Rebecca.