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26
Isaac Lies to Abimelech
1Once there was a time of hunger in the land. This was besides the time of hunger that happened during Abraham’s life. So Isaac went to the town of Gerar. He went to see Abimelech king of the Philistines. 2The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Don’t go down to Egypt. Live in the land where I tell you to live. 3Stay in this land, and I will be with you. I will bless you. I will give you and your descendants all these lands. I will keep the agreement I made to Abraham your father. 4I will give you many descendants. They will be as hard to count as the stars in the sky. And I will give them all these lands. Through your descendants all the nations on the earth will be blessed. 5I will do this because your father Abraham obeyed me. He did what I said. He obeyed my commands, my teachings and my rules.”
6So Isaac stayed in Gerar. 7Isaac’s wife Rebekah was very beautiful. The men of that place asked Isaac about her. Isaac said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to tell them she was his wife. He thought they might kill him so they could have her.
8Isaac lived there a long time. One day as Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out his window, he saw Isaac. Isaac was holding his wife Rebekah tenderly. 9Abimelech called for Isaac and said, “This woman is your wife. Why did you say she was your sister?”
Isaac said to him, “I was afraid you would kill me so you could have her.”
10Abimelech said, “What have you done to us? One of our men might have had physical relations with your wife. Then we would have been guilty of a great sin.”
11So Abimelech warned everyone. He said, “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death.”
Isaac Becomes Rich
12Isaac planted seed in that land. And that year he gathered a great harvest. The Lord blessed him very much. 13Isaac became rich. He gathered more wealth until he became a very rich man. 14He had many slaves and many flocks and herds. The Philistines envied him. 15So they stopped up all the wells the servants of Isaac’s father Abraham had dug. (They had dug them when Abraham was alive.) The Philistines filled those wells with dirt. 16And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave our country. You have become much more powerful than we are.”
17So Isaac left that place. He camped in the Valley of Gerar and lived there. 18Long before this time Abraham had dug many wells. After Abraham died, the Philistines filled them with dirt. So Isaac dug those wells again. He gave them the same names his father had given them. 19Isaac’s servants dug a well in the valley. From it a spring of water flowed. 20But the men who herded sheep in Gerar argued with Isaac’s servants. They said, “This water is ours.” So Isaac named that well Argue because they argued with him. 21Then Isaac’s servants dug another well. The people also argued about it. So Isaac named that well Fight. 22Isaac moved from there and dug another well. No one argued about this one. So he named that well Room Enough. Isaac said, “Now the Lord has made room for us. We will be successful in this land.”
23From there Isaac went to Beersheba. 24The Lord appeared to Isaac that night. The Lord said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Don’t be afraid because I am with you. I will bless you and give you many descendants. I will do this because of my servant Abraham.” 25So Isaac built an altar and worshiped the Lord there. He made a camp there, and his servants dug a well.
26Abimelech came from Gerar to see Isaac. Abimelech brought with him Ahuzzath, who advised him, and Phicol, the commander of his army. 27Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to see me? You were my enemy. You forced me to leave your country.”
28They answered, “Now we know that the Lord is with you. We will make a promise to you. And we would like you to make one to us. We would like to make an agreement with you. 29We did not hurt you. So promise you will not hurt us. And we were good to you, and we sent you away in peace. Now the Lord has blessed you.”
30So Isaac prepared food for them, and they all ate and drank. 31Early the next morning the men made a promise to each other. Then Isaac sent them away, and they left in peace.
32That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, “We found water in that well.” 33So Isaac named it Shibah# This name sounds like the Hebrew words for “seven” and “promise.” and that city is still called Beersheba even now.
34When Esau was 40 years old, he married two Hittite women. One was Judith daughter of Beeri. The other was Basemath daughter of Elon. 35These women brought much sorrow to Isaac and Rebekah.