Genesis 26 Common English Bible (CEB)
Isaac and Rebekah visit Gerar
26 When a famine gripped the land, a different one from the first famine that occurred in Abraham’s time, Isaac set out toward Gerar and toward King Abimelech of the Philistines. 2 The Lord appeared to him and said, “Don’t go down to Egypt but settle temporarily in the land that I will show you. 3 Stay in this land as an immigrant, and I will be with you and bless you because I will give all of these lands to you and your descendants. I will keep my word, which I gave to your father Abraham. 4 I will give you as many descendants as the stars in the sky, and I will give your descendants all of these lands. All of the nations of the earth will be blessed because of your descendants. 5 I will do this because Abraham obeyed me and kept my orders, my commandments, my statutes, and my instructions.”
6 So Isaac lived in Gerar. 7 When the men who lived there asked about his wife, he said, “She’s my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, The men who live there will kill me for Rebekah because she’s very beautiful. 8 After Isaac had lived there for some time, the Philistines’ King Abimelech looked out his window and saw Isaac laughing together with his wife Rebekah.
9 So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She’s your wife, isn’t she? How could you say, ‘She’s my sister’?”
Isaac responded, “Because I thought that I might be killed because of her.”
10 Abimelech said, “What are you trying to do to us? Before long, one of the people would have slept with your wife; and you would have made us guilty.” 11 Abimelech gave orders to all of the people, “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death!”
Isaac’s treaty with the Philistines
12 Isaac planted grain in that land and reaped one hundred shearim[a] that year because the Lord had blessed him. 13 Isaac grew richer and richer until he was extremely wealthy. 14 He had livestock, both flocks and cattle, and many servants. As a result, the Philistines envied him. 15 The Philistines closed up and filled with dirt all of the wells that his father’s servants had dug during his father Abraham’s lifetime. 16 Abimelech said to Isaac, “Move away from us because you have become too powerful among us.”
17 So Isaac moved away from there, camped in the valley of Gerar, and lived there. 18 Isaac dug out again the wells that were dug during the lifetime of his father Abraham. The Philistines had closed them up after Abraham’s death. Isaac gave them the same names his father had given them. 19 Isaac’s servants dug wells in the valley and found a well there with fresh water. 20 Isaac’s shepherds argued with Gerar’s shepherds, each claiming, “This is our water.” So Isaac named the well Esek[b] because they quarreled with him. 21 They dug another well and argued about it too, so he named it Sitnah.[c] 22 He left there and dug another well, but they didn’t argue about it, so he named it Rehoboth[d] and said, “Now the Lord has made an open space for us and has made us fertile in the land.”
23 Then he went up from Gerar to Beer-sheba. 24 The Lord appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Don’t be afraid because I am with you. I will bless you, and I will give you many children for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 25 So Isaac built an altar there and worshipped in the Lord’s name. Isaac pitched his tent there, and his servants dug a well.
26 But Abimelech set out toward him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his ally and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac said to him, “Why have you come after me? You resented me and sent me away from you.”
28 They said, “We now see that the Lord was with you. We propose that there be a formal agreement between us and that we draw up a treaty[e] with you: 29 you must not treat us badly since we haven’t harmed you and since we have treated you well at all times. Then we will send you away peacefully, for you are now blessed by the Lord.” 30 Isaac prepared a banquet for them, and they ate and drank. 31 They got up early in the morning, and they gave each other their word. Isaac sent them off, and they left peacefully.
32 That day Isaac’s servants informed him about the well that they had been digging and said to him, “We found water.” 33 He called it Shibah;[f] therefore, the city’s name has been Beer-sheba[g] until today.
34 When Esau was 40 years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They made life very difficult for Isaac and Rebekah.
Genesis 26 New International Version (NIV)
Isaac and Abimelek
26 Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring[a] all nations on earth will be blessed,[b] 5 because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” 6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.”
8 When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.”
10 Then Abimelek said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.”
11 So Abimelek gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who harms this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”
12 Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. 13 The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14 He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15 So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.
16 Then Abimelek said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.”
17 So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar, where he settled. 18 Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.
19 Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. 20 But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek,[c] because they disputed with him. 21 Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah.[d] 22 He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth,[e] saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”
23 From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”
25 Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.
26 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the Lord was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the Lord.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Jacob Takes Esau’s Blessing
34 When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.