Genesis 26

1Once there was a famine. This was like the famine that happened during Abraham’s life. So Isaac went to the town of Gerar, to Abimelech the king of the Philistine people. 2The Lord spoke to Isaac. The Lord said, “Don’t go down to Egypt. Live in the land that I commanded you to live in. 3Stay in that land, and I will be with you. I will bless you. I will give you and your family all these lands. I will do what I promised to Abraham your father. 4I will make your family as many as the stars of heaven. And I will give all these lands to your family. Through your descendants, every nation on earth will be blessed. 5I will do this because your father Abraham obeyed my words and did the things I said. Abraham obeyed my commands, my laws, and my rules.” 6So Isaac stayed and lived in Gerar. 7Isaac’s wife Rebekah was very beautiful. The men of that place asked Isaac about Rebekah. Isaac said, “She is my sister.” Isaac was afraid to tell them Rebekah was his wife. Isaac was afraid the men would kill him so that they could have her. 8After Isaac had lived there a long time, Abimelech looked out his window and saw Isaac and his wife playing. 9Abimelech called for Isaac and said, “This woman is your wife. Why did you tell us that she was your sister?” Isaac said to him, “I was afraid that you would kill me so you could have her.” 10Abimelech said, “You have done a bad thing to us. One of our men might have slept with your wife. Then he would be guilty of a great sin.” 11So Abimelech gave a warning to all the people. He said, “No person must hurt this man or this woman. If any person hurts them, then that person will be killed.” 12Isaac planted fields in that place. And that year he gathered a great harvest. The Lord blessed him very much. 13Isaac became rich. He gathered more and more wealth until he became a very rich man. 14He had many flocks and herds of animals. He also had many slaves. All the Philistine people were jealous of him. 15So the Philistine people destroyed all the wells that Isaac’s father Abraham and his servants had dug many years before. 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 and camped near the little river of Gerar. Isaac stayed there and lived. 18Long before this time, Abraham had dug many wells. After Abraham died, the Philistines filled the wells with dirt. So Isaac went back and dug those wells again. Isaac gave them the same names his father had given them. 19Isaac’s servants also dug a well near the little river. A spring of water flowed from that well. 20But the men who herded sheep in the Valley of Gerar argued with Isaac’s servants. They said, “This water is ours.” So Isaac named that well Esek. He gave it that name because that was the place where those people argued with him. 21Then Isaac’s servants dug another well. The people of that place also argued because of that well. So Isaac named that well Sitnah. 22Isaac moved from there and dug another well. No men came to argue about that well. So Isaac named that well Rehoboth. Isaac said, “Now the Lord has found a place for us. We will grow and be successful in this place.” 23From that place Isaac went to Beersheba. 24The Lord spoke to Isaac that night. The Lord said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Don’t be afraid. I am with you, and I will bless you. I will make your family great. I will do this because of my servant Abraham.” 25So Isaac built an altar and worshiped the Lord in that place. Isaac set up camp there and his servants dug a well. 26Abimelech came from Gerar to see Isaac. Abimelech brought with him Ahuzzath, his adviser, and Phicol, the commander of his army. 27Isaac asked, “Why have you come to see me? You were not friendly with me before. You even forced me to leave your country.” 28They answered, “Now we know that the Lord is with you. We think that we should make an agreement. We want you to make a promise to us. 29We did not hurt you, now you should promise not to hurt us. We sent you away, but we sent you away in peace. Now it is clear that the Lord has blessed you.” 30So Isaac gave a party for them. They all ate and drank. 31Early the next morning, each man made a promise and a vow. Then the men left in peace. 32On that day, Isaac’s servants came and told them about the well they had dug. The servants said, “We found water in that well.” 33So Isaac named that well Shibah. And that city is still called Beersheba. 34When Esau was 40 years old, he married two Hittite women. One was Judith the daughter of Beeri. The other was Basemath the daughter of Elon. 35These marriages made Isaac and Rebekah very upset.

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