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Genesis 26:1-11

God reaffirms his covenant with Isaac. Because of a famine in the land, Isaac and Rebekah travel to Gerar.

If Looks Could Kill


When the men who lived there asked Isaac about his wife, Rebekah, he said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “They will kill me to get her, because she is so beautiful.” But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah.
(Genesis 26:7-8)


The Philistines would become some of Israel’s fiercest enemies. The Philistines were one of a number of sea peoples who had migrated from the Aegean Sea and settled in Palestine. They arrived by way of Crete and Cyprus and were mercenaries for Canaanite rulers. These people, living along the southwest coast, were few but ferocious in battle. Although friendly to Isaac, this small group was the forerunner to the nation that would plague Israel during the time of Joshua, the judges, and David. This King Abimelech was not the same Abimelech that Abraham encountered (Genesis 20–21). Abimelech may have been a dynastic title for the Philistine rulers.

Isaac feared that the Philistine men in Gerar would kill him to get to his beautiful wife, Rebekah, so he lied, claiming that Rebekah was his sister. Where did he learn that trick? He may have known about the actions of his father, Abraham (see Genesis 12:10-13 and 20:1-5). And like father, like son. Parents help shape the world’s future by shaping their children’s values. The best way to help children live right is to set a good example for them.


Your actions are often copied by those closest to you. Consider the example you are setting for your children. What values and morals are you modeling?

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