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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 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.