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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Genesis 26

Verses 1-35

We have here the account of the first direct divine communication of Jehovah to Isaac. It came in a time of difficulty such as that which had caused his father to go down into Egypt. Warned against repeating that folly, he was thus saved from making his father's mistake. Strangely enough, however, he repeated the folly of his father in Gerar in connection with Abimelech. The story reminds us that there is no richer inheritance into which a man can enter than a godly parentage, but that, after all, every man has to fight his own battles and work out his own salvation.

The quiet patience of Isaac is manifested in the matter of the wells. He first proceeded to dig again the wells of his father Abraham. His servants then dug a new well, for which the Philistine herdsmen contended, and he called it Esek, that is, Contention. Still persevering, they dug another and this was followed by further strife. This well Isaac named Sitnah, which means enmity. Again they dug and no contention followed. All this was the calm persistence of faith.

Returning from Gerar to Beersheba, Jehovah made His second direct communication to Isaac. It would seem as though this communication followed Isaac's return to his own proper place. It was of the nature of the ratification of the covenant, and Isaac at once responded in a way which indicated his fidelity in heart to the principle of faith. He built an altar and pitched a tent. This action was followed by a visit from Abimelech and a covenant between him and Isaac very similar to that made between Abraham and Abimelech.

In the story we see how faith operates in the case of such quieter and less adventurous natures.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Genesis 26". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/genesis-26.html. 1857-84.