The First Book of Moses, Called Genesis

Chapter 26

Isaac, because of famine, sojourns in Gerar, and the Lord instructs and blesses him, 1-6. He is reproved by Abimelech for denying his wife, 7-11. He grows rich, and the Philistines envy his prosperity, 12-17. He digs Esek, Sitnah, and Rehoboth, 18-22. God appears to him at Beer-sheba and blesses him; and Abimelech makes a covenant with him, 23-33. Esau's wives, 34, 35.

1 And there was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2 And the LORD appeared to him and said, "Do not go down into Egypt. Dwell in the land which I shall tell you of. 3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and to your offspring I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. 4 And I will make your offspring to multiply as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these countries. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, 5 Because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws."

6 And Isaac dwelt in Gerar. 7 And the men of the place asked him about his wife, and he said, "She is my sister," for he feared to say, "She is my wife"—"lest the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah, because she is fair to look upon." 8 And it came to pass when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw, and behold, Isaac was caressing Rebekah his wife. 9 And Abimelech called Isaac and said, "Behold, surely she is your wife. And how did you say, 'She is my sister'?" And Isaac said to him, "Because I thought, 'Lest I should die on her account.'" 10 And Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the people might lightly have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guiltiness upon us." 11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, "He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death."

12 Then Isaac sowed in that land and received in the same year one hundred-fold. And the LORD blessed him. 13 And the man became great and went forward and grew until he became very great. 14 For he had possession of flocks and possession of herds, and very many servants. And the Philistines envied him. 15 For all the wells which his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them and filled them with earth. 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, "Go from us, for you are much mightier than we are." 17 And Isaac departed from there and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar and dwelt there.

18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham. And he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. 19 And Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found there a well of springing water. 20 And the herdsmen of Gerar contended with Isaac's herdsmen, saying, "The water is ours." And he called the name of the well Esek because they strove with him. 21 And they dug another well and contended for that also, and he called its name Sitnah. 22 And he departed from there and dug another well. And for that they did not contend. And he called its name Rehoboth and he said, "For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."

23 And he went up from there to Beer-sheba.

24 And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, "I am the God of Abraham your father. Do not fear, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham's sake."

25 And he built an altar there and called upon the name of the LORD and pitched his tent there. And Isaac's servants dug a well there.

26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, along with Ahuzzath one of his friends and Phichol the chief captain of his army. 27 And Isaac said to them, "Why do you come to me, seeing that you hate me and have sent me away from you?" 28 And they said, "We saw certainly that the LORD was with you. And we said, 'Let there now be an oath between us, even between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you, 29 That you will do us no hurt, as we have not touched you and as we have done to you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the LORD.'" 30 And he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 And they rose early in the morning and swore to one another. And Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace. 32 And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac's servants came and told him concerning the well which they had dug and said to him, "We have found water." 33 And he called it Shebah; therefore, the name of the city is Beer-sheba to this day.

34 And Esau was forty years old when he took for a wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite, 35 Who were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Genesis, Chapter 26[➚]


[v.4] - Reference, Genesis 12:3, 18:18, 22:18.

[v.7] - "lest the men of the place..." - In this quote, Isaac is thinking to himself.

[v.20] - LXX: "...and they called the name of the well, Injury, for they injured him."

[v.21] - "Sitna" - LXX: "Enmity."

[v.22] - "Rehoboth" - LXX: "Room"

[v.35] - "a grief of mind" - From the Pulpit Commentary: "(literally, bitterness of spirit) to Isaac and to Rebekah - possibly because of their personal characters, but chiefly because of their Canaanitish descent, and because in marrying them Esau had not only violated the Divine law which forbade polygamy, but also evinced an utterly irreligious and unspiritual disposition."