Modern English Version
Isaac and Abimelek(A)
26 There was a famine in the land, in addition to the first famine that was during the days of Abraham. Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2 The Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land of which I will tell you. 3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you; for I will give to you and all your descendants all these lands, and I will fulfill the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. 4 I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of the heavens and will give your descendants all these lands. By your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed,[a] 5 because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” 6 So Isaac lived in Gerar.
7 The men of the place asked him about his wife. And he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” thinking, “The men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful in appearance.”
8 When he had been there a long time, Abimelek the king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah his wife. 9 Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, “She is surely your wife, so how is it you said, ‘She is my sister’?”
Then Isaac said to him, “Because I said, ‘I might die on account of her.’ ”
10 Abimelek said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might have easily lain with your wife, and you might have brought guilt upon us!”
11 Abimelek charged all his people, saying, “He who touches this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”
12 Then Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; the Lord blessed him. 13 The man became rich and continued to prosper until he became very wealthy. 14 For he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great number of servants so that the Philistines envied him. 15 For the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father by filling them with dirt.
16 Abimelek said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much more powerful than we are.”
17 So Isaac departed from there and pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18 Isaac dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called their names after the names his father had called them.
19 But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of running water there, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar contended with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. 21 They dug another well and quarreled over that also. So he called the name of it Sitnah. 22 Then he moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called the name of it Rehoboth, for he said, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.”
23 He went up from there to Beersheba. 24 The Lord appeared to him that same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of My servant Abraham.”
25 He built an altar there, called on the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.
26 Then Abimelek went to him from Gerar, along with Ahuzzath, one of his friends, and Phicol the commander of his army. 27 Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me and have sent me away from you?”
28 And they said, “We saw plainly that the Lord was with you. So we said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you, 29 so that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you, and have done you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord.’ ”
30 Then he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 They rose up early in the morning and swore an oath with one another. Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.
32 That same day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well that they had dug and said to him, “We have found water.” 33 And he called it Shibah. Therefore, the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.
34 Esau was forty years old when he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite, 35 and they brought grief to Isaac and to Rebekah.
- Genesis 26:4 Or will bless themselves.