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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Genesis 26



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

Verse 1
And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.
A. M. 2200. B.C. 1804. the first
And Isaac
20:2; 21:22-32

Verse 2
And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
12:7; 17:1; 18:1,10-20
12:1; Psalms 37:3

Verse 3
Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
12,14; 20:1; Psalms 32:8; 37:1-6; 39:12; Hebrews 11:9,13-16
I will be
28:15; 39:2,21; Isaiah 43:2,5; Philippians 4:9
unto thee
12:1,7; 13:15,17; 15:18; 17:8
22:16,18; Psalms 105:9; Micah 7:20; Hebrews 6:17

Verse 4
And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
13:16; 15:5,18; 17:4-8; 18:18; 22:17; Hebrews 11:2
seed shall
12:2,3; 22:18; Psalms 72:17; Acts 3:25; Galatians 3:8,16

Verse 5
Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
12:4; 17:23; 18:19; 22:16,18; Psalms 112:1,2; 128:1-6; Matthew 5:19; 7:24; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 5:6; Hebrews 11:8; James 2:21

Verse 6
And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:

Verse 7
And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.
She is my sister
12:13; 20:2,5,12,13; Proverbs 29:25; Matthew 10:28; Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:9

Verse 8
And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife.
a window
Judges 5:28; Proverbs 7:6; Song of Solomon 2:9
Proverbs 5:18,19; Ecclesiastes 9:9; Isaiah 62:5

Verse 10
And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.
12:18,19; 20:9,10

Verse 11
And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
20:6; Psalms 105:15; Proverbs 6:29; Zechariah 2:8

Verse 12
Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
The author of the "History of the Piratical States of Barbary" observes, (p. 44,) that the Moors of that country are divided into tribes like the Arabians, and like them dwell in tents, formed into itinerant villages; that "these wanderers farm lands of the inhabitants of the towns, sow and cultivate them, paying their rent with the produce, such as fruits, corn, wax, etc. They are very skilful in choosing the most advantageous soils for every season, and very careful to avoid the Turkish troops, the violence of the one little suiting the simplicity of the other." It is natural to suppose, that Isaac possessed the like sagacity, when he sowed in the land of Gerar, and received that year an hundred-fold.
Heb. found. an hundredfold.
Psalms 67:6; 72:16; Ecclesiastes 11:6; Zechariah 8:12; Matthew 13:8,23; Mark 4:8; 1 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 9:10,11; Galatians 6:7,8
3,29; 24:1,35; 30:30; Job 42:12

Verse 13
And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
And the man waxed great
Dr. Adam Clarke remarks, that there is a strange and observable occurrence of the same term in the original, which is literally, "And the man was GREAT, and he went, going on, and was GREAT, until that he was exceeding GREAT." How simple is this language, and yet how forcible!
waxed great
24:35; Psalms 112:3
went forward
Heb. went going.

Verse 14
For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
had possession
12:16; 13:2; Job 1:3; 42:12; Psalms 112:3; 144:13,14; Proverbs 10:22
or, husbandry. envied.
37:11; 1 Samuel 18:9; Job 5:2; Psalms 112:10; Proverbs 27:4; Ecclesiastes 4:4

Verse 15
For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.
his father's
had stopped
In those countries, a well of water was a great acquisition; and hence, this mode of injuring new settlers, or revenging themselves on their enemies, is still resorted to among the inhabitants.

Verse 16
And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.
Dr. A. Clarke observes, that this is the first instance on record of what was termed among the Greeks, ostracism, i.e., the banishment of person from the state, of whose power, influence, or riches, the people were jealous.
Exodus 1:9

Verse 18
And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged 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.
in the days
Houbigant contends, that instead of bimey, "in the days," we should read, avdey, "servants;" agreeably to the Samaritan, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate: "And Isaac digged again the wells of water which the servants of Abraham his father had digged."
and he
21:31; Numbers 32:38; Psalms 16:4; Hosea 2:17; Zechariah 13:2

Verse 19
And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.
springing water
Heb. living.
Song of Solomon 4:15; John 4:10,11; 7:38

Verse 20
And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him.
did strive
i.e., Contention.

Verse 21
And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.
i.e., Hatred.
Ezra 4:6

Verse 22
And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
The wells in Arabia are generally dug in the rock: their mouths are about six feet in diameter, and they are from nineteen to twenty feet in depth. But Niebuhr informs us, that many wells are from 160 to 170 feet deep.
i.e., Room. the Lord.
Psalms 4:1; 18:19; 118:5
be fruitful
17:6; 28:3; 41:52; Exodus 1:7

Verse 23
And he went up from thence to Beersheba.
21:31; 46:1; Judges 20:1

Verse 24
And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake.
I am the
15:1; 17:7; 24:12; 28:13; 31:5; Exodus 3:6; Matthew 22:32; Acts 7:32
3,4; 13:16; 22:19; Psalms 27:1-3; 46:1,2; Isaiah 12:2; 41:10,13-15; 43:1,2; Isaiah 44:2; 51:7,12; Luke 12:32; Hebrews 13:6; Revelation 1:17

Verse 25
And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well.
8:20; 12:7; 13:18; 22:9; 33:20; 35:1; Exodus 17:15
Psalms 116:17

Verse 26
Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army.
20:3; 21:22-32
Phichol, as well as Abimelech, "father king," seems to have been a name of office or dignity among the Philistines; for it is not probable that they were the same as are mentioned in the days of Abraham (ch. 21:22, 32.)

Verse 27
And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?
14,16; Judges 11:7; Acts 7:9,14,27,35; Revelation 3:9
sent me

Verse 28
And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee;
We saw certainly
Heb. Seeing we saw. was with.
21:22,23; 39:5; Joshua 3:7; 2 Chronicles 1:1; Isaiah 45:14; 60:14; 61:6,9; Romans 8:31; 1 Corinthians 14:25; Hebrews 13:5
Let there
21:31,32; 24:3,41; 31:49-53; Hebrews 6:16

Verse 29
That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the LORD.
That thou wilt
Heb. If thou shalt, etc. not.
the blessed
12; 12:2; 21:22; 22:17; 24:31; Psalms 115:15

Verse 30
And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink.
19:3; 21:8; 31:54; Romans 12:18; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 4:9

Verse 31
And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.
19:2; 21:14; 22:3; 31:55
14:22; 21:23,31,32; 25:33; 31:44; 1 Samuel 14:24; 20:3,16,17; 30:15; Hebrews 6:16

Verse 32
And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him, We have found water.
We have
25; Proverbs 2:4,5; 10:4; 13:4; Matthew 7:7

Verse 33
And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beersheba unto this day.
i.e., an oath. therefore.
i.e., the well of the oath.
28; This may have been the same city which was called Beer-sheba a hundred years before this, in the time of Abraham; but as the well, from which it had its name originally, was closed up by the Philistines, the name of the place might have been abolished with the well; when, therefore, Isaac re-opened it, he restored the ancient name of the place.

Verse 34
And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:
A. M. 2208. B.C. 1796. And Esau
the daughter
24:3; Exodus 34:16; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Hebrews 12:16

Verse 35
Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
6:2; 27:46; 28:1,2,8
grief of mind
Heb. bitterness of spirit.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Genesis 26:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

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