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Genesis 26

26
God’s Promise to Isaac
(Genesis 12:1–9)
1Now there was another famine in the land, subsequent to the one that had occurred in Abraham’s time. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines at Gerar.
2The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Settle in the land where I tell you. 3Stay in this land as a foreigner, and I will be with you and bless you. For I will give all these lands to you and your offspring, and I will confirm the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. 4I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed, 5because Abraham listened to My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”
Isaac Deceives Abimelech
6So Isaac settled in Gerar. 7But when the men of that place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister.” For he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” since he thought to himself, “The men of this place will kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is so beautiful.”
8When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from the window and was surprised to see Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9Abimelech sent for Isaac and said, “So she is really your wife! How could you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
Isaac replied, “Because I thought I might die on account of her.”
10“What is this you have done to us?” asked Abimelech. “One of the people could easily have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” 11So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, “Whoever harms this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”
Isaac’s Prosperity
12Now Isaac sowed seed in the land, and that very year he reaped a hundredfold. And the Lord blessed him, 13and he became richer and richer, until he was exceedingly wealthy. 14He owned so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15So the Philistines took dirt and stopped up all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham.
16Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Depart from us, for you are much too powerful for us.”
17So Isaac left that place and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died. And he gave these wells the same names his father had given them.
19Then Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of fresh water #26:19 Or flowing water or living water there. 20But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek,#26:20 Esek means contention. because they contended with him.
21Then they dug another well and quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah.#26:21 Sitnah means enmity or hostility.
22He moved on from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. He named it Rehoboth #26:22 Rehoboth means broad places or open spaces. and said, “At last the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”
23From there Isaac went up to Beersheba, 24and that night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of My servant Abraham.”
25So Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord, and he pitched his tent there. His servants also dug a well there.
Isaac’s Covenant with Abimelech
26Later, Abimelech came to Isaac from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army.
27“Why have you come to me?” Isaac asked them. “You hated me and sent me away.”
28“We can plainly see that the Lord has been with you,” they replied. “We recommend that there should now be an oath between us and you. Let us make a covenant with you 29that you will not harm us, just as we have not harmed you but have done only good to you, sending you on your way in peace. And now you are blessed by the Lord.”
30So Isaac prepared a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31And they got up early the next morning and swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace.
32On that same day, Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. “We have found water!” they told him. 33So he called it Shibah,#26:33 Shibah can mean oath or seven. and to this day the name of the city is Beersheba.#26:33 Beersheba means well of seven or well of the oath.
Esau’s Wives
34When Esau was forty years old, he took as his wives Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35And they brought grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

Genesis 26

26
1There was a famine in the land, as bad as the famine during the time of Abraham. And Isaac went down to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, in Gerar.
2-5God appeared to him and said, “Don’t go down to Egypt; stay where I tell you. Stay here in this land and I’ll be with you and bless you. I’m giving you and your children all these lands, fulfilling the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. I’ll make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky and give them all these lands. All the nations of the Earth will get a blessing for themselves through your descendants. And why? Because Abraham obeyed my summons and kept my charge—my commands, my guidelines, my teachings.”
6So Isaac stayed put in Gerar.
7The men of the place questioned him about his wife. He said, “She’s my sister.” He was afraid to say “She’s my wife.” He was thinking, “These men might kill me to get Rebekah, she’s so beautiful.”
8-9One day, after they had been there quite a long time, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac fondling his wife Rebekah. Abimelech sent for Isaac and said, “So, she’s your wife. Why did you tell us ‘She’s my sister’?”
Isaac said, “Because I thought I might get killed by someone who wanted her.”
10Abimelech said, “But think of what you might have done to us! Given a little more time, one of the men might have slept with your wife; you would have been responsible for bringing guilt down on us.”
11Then Abimelech gave orders to his people: “Anyone who so much as lays a hand on this man or his wife dies.”
12-15Isaac planted crops in that land and took in a huge harvest. God blessed him. The man got richer and richer by the day until he was very wealthy. He accumulated flocks and herds and many, many servants, so much so that the Philistines began to envy him. They got back at him by throwing dirt and debris into all the wells that his father’s servants had dug back in the days of his father Abraham, clogging up all the wells.
16Finally, Abimelech told Isaac: “Leave. You’ve become far too big for us.”
17-18So Isaac left. He camped in the valley of Gerar and settled down there. Isaac dug again the wells which were dug in the days of his father Abraham but had been clogged up by the Philistines after Abraham’s death. And he renamed them, using the original names his father had given them.
19-24One day, as Isaac’s servants were digging in the valley, they came on a well of spring water. The shepherds of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s shepherds, claiming, “This water is ours.” So Isaac named the well Esek (Quarrel) because they quarreled over it. They dug another well and there was a difference over that one also, so he named it Sitnah (Accusation). He went on from there and dug yet another well. But there was no fighting over this one so he named it Rehoboth (Wide-Open Spaces), saying, “Now God has given us plenty of space to spread out in the land.” From there he went up to Beersheba. That very night God appeared to him and said,
I am the God of Abraham your father;
don’t fear a thing because I’m with you.
I’ll bless you and make your children flourish
because of Abraham my servant.
25Isaac built an altar there and prayed, calling on God by name. He pitched his tent and his servants started digging another well.
26-27Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his advisor and Phicol the head of his troops. Isaac asked them, “Why did you come to me? You hate me; you threw me out of your country.”
28-29They said, “We’ve realized that God is on your side. We’d like to make a deal between us—a covenant that we maintain friendly relations. We haven’t bothered you in the past; we treated you kindly and let you leave us in peace. So—God’s blessing be with you!”
30-31Isaac laid out a feast and they ate and drank together. Early in the morning they exchanged oaths. Then Isaac said good-bye and they parted as friends.
32-33Later that same day, Isaac’s servants came to him with news about the well they had been digging, “We’ve struck water!” Isaac named the well Sheba (Oath), and that’s the name of the city, Beersheba (Oath-Well), to this day.
34-35When Esau was forty years old he married Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, daughter of Elon the Hittite. They turned out to be thorns in the sides of Isaac and Rebekah.