Isaac and Abimelech
1 There was a famine in the land, subsequent to the earlier famine that occurred1 in the days of Abraham.2 Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines at Gerar. 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt;3 settle down in the land that I will point out to you.4 3 Stay5 in this land. Then I will be with you and will bless you,6 for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants,7 and I will fulfill8 the solemn promise I made9 to your father Abraham. 4 I will multiply your descendants so they will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give them10 all these lands. All the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants.11 5 All this will come to pass12 because Abraham obeyed me13 and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”14 6 So Isaac settled in Gerar.
7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he replied, “She is my sister.”15 He was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” for he thought to himself,16 “The men of this place will kill me to get17 Rebekah because she is very beautiful.”
8 After Isaac18 had been there a long time,19 Abimelech king of the Philistines happened to look out a window and observed20 Isaac caressing21 his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really22 your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac replied, “Because I thought someone might kill me to get her.”23
10 Then Abimelech exclaimed, “What in the world have you done to us?24 One of the men25 might easily have had sexual relations with26 your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!” 11 So Abimelech commanded all the people, “Whoever touches27 this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”28
12 When Isaac planted in that land, he reaped in the same year a hundred times what he had sown,29 because the Lord blessed him.30 13 The man became wealthy.31 His influence continued to grow32 until he became very prominent. 14 He had33 so many sheep34 and cattle35 and such a great household of servants that the Philistines became jealous36 of him. 15 So the Philistines took dirt and filled up37 all the wells that his father’s servants had dug back in the days of his father Abraham.
16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave us and go elsewhere,38 for you have become much more powerful39 than we are.” 17 So Isaac left there and settled in the Gerar Valley.40 18 Isaac reopened41 the wells that had been dug42 back in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up43 after Abraham died. Isaac44 gave these wells45 the same names his father had given them.46
19 When Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well with fresh flowing47 water there, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled48 with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water belongs to us!” So Isaac49 named the well50 Esek51 because they argued with him about it.52 21 His servants53 dug another well, but they quarreled over it too, so Isaac named it54 Sitnah.55 22 Then he moved away from there and dug another well. They did not quarrel over it, so Isaac56 named it57 Rehoboth,58 saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will prosper in the land.”
23 From there Isaac59 went up to Beer Sheba. 24 The Lord appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.” 25 Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped60 the Lord. He pitched his tent there, and his servants dug a well.61
26 Now Abimelech had come62 to him from Gerar along with63 Ahuzzah his friend64 and Phicol the commander of his army. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me? You hate me65 and sent me away from you.” 28 They replied, “We could plainly see66 that the Lord is with you. So we decided there should be67 a pact between us68 – between us69 and you. Allow us to make70 a treaty with you 29 so that71 you will not do us any harm, just as we have not harmed72 you, but have always treated you well73 before sending you away74 in peace. Now you are blessed by the Lord.”75
30 So Isaac76 held a feast for them and they celebrated.77 31 Early in the morning the men made a treaty with each other.78 Isaac sent them off; they separated on good terms.79
32 That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. “We’ve found water,” they reported.80 33 So he named it Shibah;81 that is why the name of the city has been Beer Sheba82 to this day.
34 When83 Esau was forty years old,84 he married85 Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, as well as Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They caused Isaac and Rebekah great anxiety.86