Isaac and Abimelech
1 There was a famine in the land, subsequent to the earlier famine that occurred in the days of Abraham. Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines at Gerar. 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; settle down in the land that I will point out to you. 3 Stay in this land. Then I will be with you and will bless you, for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, and I will fulfil the solemn promise I made 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 them all these lands. All the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants. 5 All this will come to pass because Abraham obeyed me and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” 6 So Isaac settled in Gerar.
7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he replied, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” for he thought to himself, “The men of this place will kill me to get Rebekah because she is very beautiful.”
8 After Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines happened to look out a window and observed Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac replied, “Because I thought someone might kill me to get her.”
10 Then Abimelech exclaimed, “What in the world have you done to us? One of the men might easily have had sexual relations with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!” 11 So Abimelech commanded all the people, “Whoever touches this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”
12 When Isaac planted in that land, he reaped in the same year a hundred times what he had sown, because the Lord blessed him. 13 The man became wealthy. His influence continued to grow until he became very prominent. 14 He had so many sheep and cattle and such a great household of servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15 So the Philistines took dirt and filled up 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, for you have become much more powerful than we are.” 17 So Isaac left there and settled in the Gerar Valley. 18 Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug back in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham died. Isaac gave these wells the same names his father had given them.
19 When Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well with fresh flowing water there, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarrelled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water belongs to us!” So Isaac named the well Esek because they argued with him about it. 21 His servants dug another well, but they quarrelled over it too, so Isaac named it Sitnah. 22 Then he moved away from there and dug another well. They did not quarrel over it, so Isaac named it Rehoboth, saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will prosper in the land.”
23 From there Isaac 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 worshipped the Lord. He pitched his tent there, and his servants dug a well.
26 Now Abimelech had come to him from Gerar along with Ahuzzah his friend and Phicol the commander of his army. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me? You hate me and sent me away from you.” 28 They replied, “We could plainly see that the Lord is with you. So we decided there should be a pact between us – between us and you. Allow us to make a treaty with you 29 so that you will not do us any harm, just as we have not harmed you, but have always treated you well before sending you away in peace. Now you are blessed by the Lord.”
30 So Isaac held a feast for them and they celebrated. 31 Early in the morning the men made a treaty with each other. Isaac sent them off; they separated on good terms.
32 That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. “We’ve found water,” they reported. 33 So he named it Shibah; that is why the name of the city has been Beer Sheba to this day.
34 When Esau was forty years old, he married 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.