Genesis 26:1-34 NIV
Isaac and Abimelech
1Now there was a famine in the land—besides the earlier famine of Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar.
2The Lord appeared to Isaac and said,
“Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 3Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspringa all nations on earth will be blessed, 5because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws.” 6So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.”
8When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.”
10Then Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.”
11So Abimelech gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who molests this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”
12Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. 13The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.
16Then Abimelech said to Isaac,
“Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.”
17So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.
19Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. 20But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek,b because they disputed with him. 21Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah.c 22He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth,d saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”
23From there he went up to Beersheba.
24That night the Lord appeared to him and said,
“I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”
25 Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.
26Meanwhile, Abimelech had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28They answered, “We saw clearly that the Lord was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29that you will do us no harm, just as we did not molest you but always treated you well and sent you away in peace. And now you are blessed by the Lord.”
30Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace.
32That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, “We’ve found water!” 33He called it Shibah,e and to this day the name of the town has been Beersheba.f
34When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
a 4 Or seed
b 20 Esek means dispute.
c 21 Sitnah means opposition.
d 22 Rehoboth means room.
e 33 Shibah can mean oath or seven.
f 33 Beersheba can mean well of the oath or well of seven.
Besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham, Genesis 12:10; which was an hundred years before this, the present famine is distinguished from what occurred in the time of Abraham.
And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines, unto Gerar; where his father Abraham had stayed before he was born; and therefore the present king of this place can not be thought to be the same Abimelech that was king of it in Abraham’s time; but it is highly probable that this Abimelech was the son of the former king, and that this was a common name to the kings of Gerar or the Philistines, as Pharaoh was to the kings of Egypt.
Isaac came to this place from Lahairoi, where he had dwelt many years, Genesis 24:62; which was near Beersheba, and was about eight miles from Gerar.