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Genesis 26

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.

Genesis 26

26
Isaac Settles in Gerar
1Now there was a famine in the land [of Canaan], besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to #This is not the Abimelech of ch 20. Abimelech may actually be a dynastic title, like Caesar or Pharaoh, instead of a proper name. The events recounted in chapters 20 and 26 are separated by almost a hundred years.Abimelech king of the Philistines. 2The Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I will tell you. 3Live temporarily [as a resident] in this land and I will be with you and will bless and favor you, for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, and I will establish and carry out the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. 4I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of the heavens, and will give to your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, 5because Abraham listened to and obeyed My voice and [consistently] kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”
6So Isaac stayed in Gerar. 7The men of the place asked him about his wife, and he said, “She is my #When Abraham used this ploy, it was a half-truth; when Isaac said this it was a complete lie. At this time Isaac was at least seventy-five years old; Rebekah’s age at this time is not known.sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife”—thinking, “the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, since she is very beautiful.” 8It happened when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac #The name “Isaac” is based on the Hebrew verb translated “caressing,” whose primary meaning is “to laugh” (cf 17:19).caressing Rebekah his wife. 9Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, “See here, Rebekah is in fact your wife! How did you [dare to] say to me, ‘She is my sister’?” And Isaac said to him, “Because I thought I might be killed because of her [desirability].” 10Abimelech said, “What is this that you have done to us? One of the men [among our people] might easily have been intimate with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us [before God].” 11Then Abimelech commanded all his people, “Whoever touches this man [Isaac] or his wife [Rebekah] shall without exception be put to death.”
12Then Isaac planted [seed] in that land [as a farmer] and reaped in the same year a hundred times [as much as he had planted], and the Lord blessed and favored him. 13And the man [Isaac] became great and gained more and more until he became very wealthy and extremely distinguished; 14he owned flocks and herds and a great household [with a number of servants], and the Philistines envied him. 15Now all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines stopped up by filling them with dirt. 16Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from here, because you are far too powerful for us.” 17So Isaac left that region and camped in the Valley of Gerar, and settled there.
Quarrel over the Wells
18Now Isaac again dug [and reopened] the wells of water which had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, because the Philistines had filled them up [with dirt] after the death of Abraham; and he gave the wells the same names that his father had given them. 19But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of flowing [spring] water, 20the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours!” So Isaac named the well Esek (quarreling), because they quarreled with him. 21Then his servants dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so Isaac named it Sitnah (enmity). 22He moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over that one; so he named it Rehoboth (broad places), saying, “For now the Lord has made #I.e. broad places.room for us, and we shall be #Lit fruitful.prosperous in the land.”
23Then he went up from there to Beersheba. 24The Lord appeared to him the same night and said,
“I am the God of Abraham your father;
Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
I will bless and favor 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 [in prayer]. He pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.
Covenant with Abimelech
26Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath, his [close friend and confidential] adviser, and Phicol, the commander of his army. 27Isaac said to them, “Why have you [people] come to me, since you hate me and have sent me away from you?” 28They said, “We see clearly that the Lord has been with you; so we said, ‘There should now be an oath between us [with a curse for the one who breaks it], that is, between you and us, and let us make a covenant (binding agreement, solemn promise) with you, 29that you will not harm us, just as we have not touched you and have done nothing but good to you and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed and favored of the Lord!’ ” 30Then Isaac held a [formal] banquet (covenant feast) for them, and they ate and drank. 31They got up early in the morning and swore oaths [pledging to do nothing but good to each other]; and Isaac sent them on their way and they left him in peace. 32Now on the same day, Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug, saying, “We have found water.” 33So he named the well #This could mean “oath” or “overflow, abundance.” Likewise, the name Beersheba could mean “well of abundance,” or “well of the oath,” or “seven wells.”Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.
34When Esau was forty years old he married Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite as his wives; 35and they were a #Lit bitterness of spirit.source of grief to [Esau’s parents] Isaac and Rebekah.