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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.
26
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.