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.
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Berĕshith (Genesis) 26
1And there was a scarcity of food in the land, besides the first scarcity of food which was in the days of Aḇraham. And Yitsḥaq went to Aḇimeleḵ, sovereign of the Philistines, in Gerar.
2And יהוה appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Mitsrayim, live in the land which I command you.
3“Sojourn in this land. And I shall be with you and bless you, for I give all these lands to you and your seed. And I shall establish the oath which I swore to Aḇraham your father.
4And I shall increase your seed like the stars of the heavens, and I shall give all these lands to your seed. And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,”
5because Aḇraham obeyed My voice and guarded My Charge: My commands, My laws, and My Torot.”#Torot - plural of Torah, teaching.
6And Yitsḥaq dwelt in Gerar.
7And when the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister.” For he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me for Riḇqah, because she is good-looking.”
8And it came to be, when he had been there a long time, that Aḇimeleḵ sovereign of the Philistines looked through a window, and he watched and saw Yitsḥaq playing with Riḇqah his wife.
9So Aḇimeleḵ called Yitsḥaq and said, “See, truly she is your wife! So how could you say, ‘She is my sister’?” And Yitsḥaq said to him, “Because I said, ‘Lest I die on account of her.’ ”
10And Aḇimeleḵ said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people had almost lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.”
11And Aḇimeleḵ commanded all his people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife shall certainly be put to death.”
12And Yitsḥaq sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold, and יהוה blessed him.
13And the man grew great and went forward until he became very great.
14And he came to have possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great body of servants, and the Philistines envied him.
15And the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Aḇraham his father, and filled them with dirt.
16And Aḇimeleḵ said to Yitsḥaq, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.”
17So Yitsḥaq went from there and pitched his tent in the wadi Gerar, and dwelt there.
18And Yitsḥaq dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Aḇraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Aḇraham. And he called them by the names which his father had called them.
19But when Yitsḥaq’s servants dug in the wadi and found a well of running water there,
20the herdsmen of Gerar strove with Yitsḥaq’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” And he called the name of the well Ěseq, because they strove with him.
21And they dug another well, and they strove over that one too, and he called its name Sitnah.
22And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not strive over it. And he called its name Reḥoḇoth, and said, “For now יהוה has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”
23And from there he went up to Be’ĕrsheḇa.
24And יהוה appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the Elohim of your father Aḇraham. Do not fear, for I am with you, and shall bless you and increase your seed for My servant Aḇraham’s sake.”
25And he built a slaughter-place there, and called on the Name of יהוה, and he pitched his tent there, and the servants of Yitsḥaq dug a well there.
26And Aḇimeleḵ came to him from Gerar, with Aḥuzzath, one of his friends, and Piḵol the commander of his army.
27And Yitsḥaq said to them, “Why have you come to me, seeing you have hated me and have sent me away from you?”
28But they said, “We have clearly seen that יהוה is with you. And we said, ‘Please, let there be an oath between us, between you and us. And let us make a covenant with you,
29that you do no evil to us, as we have not touched you, and as we have done only good toward you, and have sent you away in peace. You are now blessed by יהוה.’ ”
30And he made them a feast, and they ate and drank.
31And they rose early in the morning and swore an oath with one another. And Yitsḥaq let them go, and they departed from him in peace.
32And on the same day it came to be that the servants of Yitsḥaq came and informed him about the well which they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water.”
33So he called it Shiḇah. Therefore the name of the city is Be’ĕrsheḇa to this day.
34And when Ěsaw was forty years old, he took as wives Yehuḏith the daughter of Be’ĕri the Ḥittite, and Basemath the daughter of Ělon the Ḥittite.
35And they were a bitterness of spirit to Yitsḥaq and Riḇqah.
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