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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.
26
Isaac and Rebekah visit Gerar
1When a famine gripped the land, a different one from the first famine that occurred in Abraham’s time, Isaac set out toward Gerar and toward King Abimelech of the Philistines. 2The LORD appeared to him and said, “Don’t go down to Egypt but settle temporarily in the land that I will show you. 3Stay in this land as an immigrant, and I will be with you and bless you because I will give all of these lands to you and your descendants. I will keep my word, which I gave to your father Abraham. 4I will give you as many descendants as the stars in the sky, and I will give your descendants all of these lands. All of the nations of the earth will be blessed because of your descendants. 5I will do this because Abraham obeyed me and kept my orders, my commandments, my statutes, and my instructions.”
6So Isaac lived in Gerar. 7When the men who lived there asked about his wife, he said, “She’s my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, The men who live there will kill me for Rebekah because she’s very beautiful. 8After Isaac had lived there for some time, the Philistines’ King Abimelech looked out his window and saw Isaac laughing together with his wife Rebekah.
9So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She’s your wife, isn’t she? How could you say, ‘She’s my sister’?”
Isaac responded, “Because I thought that I might be killed because of her.”
10Abimelech said, “What are you trying to do to us? Before long, one of the people would have slept with your wife; and you would have made us guilty.” 11Abimelech gave orders to all of the people, “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death!”
Isaac’s treaty with the Philistines
12Isaac planted grain in that land and reaped one hundred shearim#26.12 An unknown measure of grain that year because the LORD had blessed him. 13Isaac grew richer and richer until he was extremely wealthy. 14He had livestock, both flocks and cattle, and many servants. As a result, the Philistines envied him. 15The Philistines closed up and filled with dirt all of the wells that his father’s servants had dug during his father Abraham’s lifetime. 16Abimelech said to Isaac, “Move away from us because you have become too powerful among us.”
17So Isaac moved away from there, camped in the valley of Gerar, and lived there. 18Isaac dug out again the wells that were dug during the lifetime of his father Abraham. The Philistines had closed them up after Abraham’s death. Isaac gave them the same names his father had given them. 19Isaac’s servants dug wells in the valley and found a well there with fresh water. 20Isaac’s shepherds argued with Gerar’s shepherds, each claiming, “This is our water.” So Isaac named the well Esek#26.20 Or quarrel because they quarreled with him. 21They dug another well and argued about it too, so he named it Sitnah.#26.21 Or accusation 22He left there and dug another well, but they didn’t argue about it, so he named it Rehoboth#26.22 Or open spaces and said, “Now the LORD has made an open space for us and has made us fertile in the land.”
23Then he went up from Gerar to Beer-sheba. 24The LORD appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Don’t be afraid because I am with you. I will bless you, and I will give you many children for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 25So Isaac built an altar there and worshipped in the LORD’s name. Isaac pitched his tent there, and his servants dug a well.
26But Abimelech set out toward him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his ally and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27Isaac said to him, “Why have you come after me? You resented me and sent me away from you.”
28They said, “We now see that the LORD was with you. We propose that there be a formal agreement between us and that we draw up a treaty#26.28 Or covenant with you: 29you must not treat us badly since we haven’t harmed you and since we have treated you well at all times. Then we will send you away peacefully, for you are now blessed by the LORD.” 30Isaac prepared a banquet for them, and they ate and drank. 31They got up early in the morning, and they gave each other their word. Isaac sent them off, and they left peacefully.
32That day Isaac’s servants informed him about the well that they had been digging and said to him, “We found water.” 33He called it Shibah;#26.33 Or giving one’s word or seven therefore, the city’s name has been Beer-sheba#26.33 Or Well of giving one’s word or Well of seven until today.
Esau’s wives
34When Esau was 40 years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35They made life very difficult for Isaac and Rebekah.