And Isaac departed there, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelled there.…
These four names are the names (vers. 20, 21, 22, 33) of four wells of springing water, dug in a valley, to feed families and flocks. "Esek" means Strife; "Sitnah," Hatred; "Rehoboth," Room; "Shebah," Oath. Have you not been at them all?
I. When you began life you found people trying to put you down by saying that the well was theirs, and that you were crowding yourself upon their ground. If they did not try to put you down, you tried to put them down. The well is there in life — strife, contention, debate — you must find it in your life somewhere.
II. If you drive people off the ground they may strive with you no more. They will hate you; your name will be the signal for abuse. First you are opposed, then you are hated; so you call it Sitnah, Hatred — the second well.
III. Then you come to the third stage, if you are not killed. You are hated, but you keep digging away, and at last room is made for you — Rehoboth. You are recognized, looked for, and missed if you do not come.
IV. If you have got to Rehoboth is there anything to hinder you from going on? The next step is easy: confidence — rest. Be not discouraged: move on honestly, laboriously, religiously. Go on: that is your duty in two words. Life is full of difficulty. It is through tribulation that you get into any kingdom worth anything. In Christ we are called to strife.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.