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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
The Promise Reaffirmed to Isaac
1There was another famine in the land in addition to the one that had occurred in Abraham’s time.#Gn 12:10 And Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, at Gerar.#Gn 20:2 2The Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land that I tell you about; 3stay in this land as an alien, and I will be with you and bless you.#Gn 12:2; 26:24; 28:15; 31:3 For I will give all these lands to you and your offspring,#Gn 12:7; 13:15; 15:18 and I will confirm the oath that I swore to your father Abraham.#Gn 22:16–18; Ps 105:9 4I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky, I will give your offspring all these lands, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed#26:4 Or will consider themselves blessed by your offspring,#Gn 12:3; 18:18; Ac 3:25; Gl 3:8 5because Abraham listened to me and kept my mandate, my commands, my statutes, and my instructions.”#Lv 18:30; Dt 11:1 6So Isaac settled in Gerar.
Isaac’s Deception
7When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,”#Gn 12:13; 20:5 for he was afraid to say “my wife,” thinking,#Pr 29:25 “The men of the place will kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is a beautiful woman.”#Gn 24:16 8When Isaac had been there for some time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from the window and was surprised to see#26:8 Or and he looked and behold  — 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 answered him, “Because I thought I might die on account of her.”
10Then Abimelech said, “What have you done to us? One of the people could easily have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.”#Gn 20:8–10 11So Abimelech warned all the people, “Whoever harms this man or his wife will certainly be put to death.”
Conflicts over Wells
12Isaac sowed seed in that land, and in that year he reaped#26:12 Lit found a hundred times what was sown. The Lord blessed him,#Gn 24:1,35 13and the man became rich and kept getting richer until he was very wealthy. 14He had flocks of sheep, herds of cattle, and many slaves, and the Philistines were envious of him. 15Philistines stopped up all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham,#Gn 21:30 filling them with dirt. 16And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave us, for you are much too powerful for us.”#26:16 Or are more numerous than we are
17So Isaac left there, camped in the Gerar Valley, and lived there. 18Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham and that the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died. He gave them the same names his father had given them. 19Then Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of spring#26:19 Lit 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 = Argument because they argued with him.#Gn 21:25 21Then they dug another well and quarreled over that one also, so he named it Sitnah.#26:21 = Hostility 22He moved from there and dug another, and they did not quarrel over it. He named it Rehoboth#26:22 = Open Spaces and said, “For now the Lord has made space for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”
The Lord Appears to Isaac
23From there he went up to Beer-sheba, 24and the Lord appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham.#Gn 17:7–8; 24:12; Ex 3:6; Ac 7:32 Do not be afraid, for I am with you.#Gn 21:17; Ex 20:20; 2Kg 6:16; Is 41:10; 43:1,5 I will bless you and multiply your offspring because of my servant Abraham.”
25So he built an altar there,#Gn 8:20; 12:7; 13:18; 35:7; Ex 17:15; Jos 8:30 called on the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there. Isaac’s servants also dug a well there.#Gn 26:32
Covenant with Abimelech
26Now Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army.#Gn 21:22 27Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me? You hated me and sent me away from you.”
28They replied, “We have clearly seen how the Lord has been with you. We think there should be an oath between two parties — between us and you. Let us make a covenant with you: 29You will not harm us, just as we have not harmed you but have done only what was good to you, sending you away in peace. You are now blessed by the Lord.”#Gn 24:31; Ps 115:15
30So he prepared a banquet for them, and they ate and drank. 31They got up early in the morning and swore an oath to each other.#26:31 Lit swore, each man to his brother#Gn 21:31 Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace. 32On that same day Isaac’s servants came to tell him about the well they had dug, saying to him, “We have found water!” #Gn 26:19 33He called it Sheba.#26:33 Or Shibah Therefore the name of the city is still Beer-sheba#26:33 = Well of the Oath#Gn 21:30–31 today.
Esau’s Wives
34When Esau was forty years old, he took as his wives Judith daughter of Beeri the Hethite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hethite.#Gn 28:9; 36:2–3 35They made life bitter#26:35 Lit And they became bitterness of spirit for Isaac and Rebekah.#Gn 27:46