Genesis 26
International Standard Version Par ▾ 

Isaac Lives in Philistia for a While

1Later on, a famine swept through the land. This famine was different from the previous famine that had occurred earlier, during Abraham’s lifetime. So Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, at Gerar.

2That’s when the LORD appeared to Isaac.a “You are not to go down to Egypt,” he said. “Instead, you are to settle down in an area within this land where I’ll tell you. 3Remain in this land, and I’ll be with and bless you by giving all these lands to you and to your descendants in fulfillment of my solemn promise that I made to your father Abraham. 4I’ll cause you to have as many descendants as the stars of the heavens, and I’ll certainly give all these lands to your descendants. Later on, through your descendants all the nations of the earth will bless one another. 5I’m going to do this because Abraham did what I told him to do. He kept my instructions, commands, statutes, and laws.”

6So Isaac lived in Gerar.

Isaac Lies about His Wife

7Later on, the men of that place asked about his wife, so he replied, “She’s my sister,” because he was afraid to call her “my wife.” He kept thinking, “…otherwise, the men around here will kill me on account of Rebekah, since she’s very beautiful.”

8After he had been there awhile, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out through a window and saw Isaac caressingb his wife Rebekah.

9So Abimelech called Isaac and confronted him. “She is definitely your wife!” he accused him, “So why did you claim, ‘She’s my sister?’”

Isaac responded, “Because I had thought ‘…otherwise, I’ll die on account of her.’”

10“What have you done to us?” Abimelech asked. “Any minute now, one of the people could have had sex with your wife and you would have caused all of us to be guilty.” 11So he issued this order to everyone: “Whoever touches this man or his wife is to be executed.”

Isaac Grows Wealthy

12Isaac received a 100-fold return on what he planted that year in the land he received,c because the LORD blessed him. 13Hed became very wealthy and lived a life of wealth,e becoming more and more wealthy. 14He owned so many sheep, cattle, and servants that the Philistines eventually became envious of him. 15Theyf filled in with sand all of the wells that Isaac’sg father Abraham’s servants had dug during his lifetime. 16Then Abimelech ordered Isaac, “Move away from us! You’ve become more powerful than we are.” 17So Isaac moved from there and encamped in the Gerar Valley, where he settled.

Disputes over Water Rights

18Isaac re-excavated some wells that his father had first dug during his lifetime, because the Philistines had filled them with sandh after Abraham’s death. Isaaci renamed those wells with the same names that his father had called them.

19While Isaac’s servants were digging in the valley, they discovered a well with flowing water. 20But the herdsmen who lived in Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen. “The water is ours,” they said. As a result, Isaac named the well Esek,j for they had fiercely disputed with him about it. 21When his workers started digging another well, those herdsmenk quarreled about that one, too, so Isaacl named it Sitnah.m 22Then he left that area and dug still another well. Because they did not quarrel over that one, Isaacn named it Rehoboth,o because he used to say, “The LORD has enlarged the territoryp for us. We will prosper in the land.”

God Renews His Promise to Isaac

23Later on, he left there and went to Beer-sheba, 24where one night the LORD appeared to him. “I am the God of your father Abraham,” he told him. “Don’t be afraid, because I’m with you. I’m going to bless you and multiply your descendants on account of my servant Abraham.” 25In response, Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. He also pitched his tents there and his servants dug a well.

Abimelech Requests a Covenant

26Later, Abimelech traveled from Gerar to visit Isaacq . He arrived with Ahuzzath, his staff advisor, and Phicol, the commanding officer of his army.

27“Why have you come to see me,” Isaac asked them, “since you hate me so much that you sent me away from you?”

28“We’ve seen that the LORD is with you,” they responded, “so we’re proposing an agreementr between us—between us and you. Allow us to make a treaty with you 29by which you’ll agree not to do us any harm, just as we haven’t harmeds you, since we’ve done nothing but good for you after we sent you away in peace. As a result, you’ve been tremendously blessed by the LORD.” 30So Isaact held a festival for them, and they ate and drank. 31They woke up early the next morning and made the treaty.u After this, Isaac sent them off and they left on peaceful terms.

32That very same day, Isaac’s servants arrived and reported to him about a well that they had just completed digging. “We’ve found water!” they said. 33So Isaacv named the well Shebah,w which is why the city is named Beer-shebax to this day.

Esau Causes Trouble for Isaac

34When Esau was 40 years old, he marriedy Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite and Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35This brought extreme grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

a 26:2 Lit. him
b 26:8 Or fondling; the Heb. verb is a word play on the name Isaac and sounds like it.
c 26:12 Lit. found
d 26:13 Lit. The man
e 26:13 Lit. and walked
f 26:15 Lit. The Philistines.
g 26:15 Lit. his
h 26:18 The Heb. lacks with sand
i 26:18 Lit. He
j 26:20 The Heb. name Esek means disputed
k 26:21 Lit. well, they
l 26:21 Lit. he
m 26:21 The Heb. name Sitnah means strife
n 26:22 Lit. he
o 26:22 The Heb. name Rehoboth means wide places
p 26:22 The Heb. lacks the territory
q 26:26 Lit. him
r 26:28 Lit. oath
s 26:29 Lit. touched
t 26:30 Lit. he
u 26:31 Lit. and swore an oath one to another.
v 26:33 Lit. he
w 26:33 The Heb. name Shebah means oath
x 26:33 The Heb. name Beer-sheba means Well of the Oath
y 26:34 Lit. he took as a wife

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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