Summary of Genesis 26:
A famine came into the land, and Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines in Gerar (different guy than Abraham’s Abimelech. Remember, Abimelech is the name they give to rulers). The Lord appeared to Isaac and told him to not go to Egypt but to stay here. He will bless him and give all this land to his descendants. He repeats the oath He gave to Abraham. He will bless all nations because Abraham was faithful and his descendants will be as numerous as the stars.
Isaac, however, lied who Rebekah was, saying she was his sister just like Abraham had done in Egypt out of fear of being killed. But Isaac got caught in his lie and was chastised by Abimelech who orders no one to touch or molest Isaac or Rebekah.
Isaac planted crops in the land of the Philistines, and the Lord blessed him. He became rich and had so many flocks that the Philistines became jealous so they filled all his wells with dirt. Finally, Abimelech told Isaac to move away because he had become too powerful.
So Isaac moved to the Valley of Gerar and re-opened the wells. Isaac’s servants dug two new wells, but the locals quarreled over them. He dug another well that was undisputed, which showed Isaac the Lord would provide.
At Beersheba, the Lord appeared to Isaac and told him He would bless him and increase his descendants. Isaac built an altar there and called on the Lord. He also dug a well there.
Abimelech saw how Isaac continued to prosper because the Lord was with him and became afraid. So he along with his adviser and commander approached Isaac to make a treaty not to harm them. This was done. Another well was dug.
Esau married Judith and Basemath, both of whom were Hittites, and they were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 5: Genesis 26
12) The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 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. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” God was protecting Isaac and his family, as well as strengthening their faith.
13) Almost exactly the same. There was a famine in the land, and instead of praying for God’s guidance, they go to local kings for help instead of the One, True King. He told the men his wife was his sister like Abraham did. Yet God blesses Isaac as well with wealth despite his lie. He got into a water dispute with the locals after Abimelech kicked him out of Philistine. He built an altar for God there. Abimelech makes a treaty with Abraham, afraid of God’s power.
14) Personal Questions. My answer: Tell them to seek God instead. That’s all you can do. Some people have to learn by experience.
15) He made a treaty with them, and he left when he was told to leave. He tried not to quarrel over wells and left them until he dug one that had no quarrel over it. Always try to compromise and avoid conflict with your neighbors.
16) To teach them lessons, to grow their faith in Him, to appreciate the good times, to grow them as humans.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 5: Genesis 26
I had not seen the close parallels of this story before. So eerily similar. It just goes to show that no matter how good of a parent you are or try to be, your kids wil do what they want to do.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 16, Day 5: Genesis 26
We see here Isaac facing almost the exact same challenges that Abraham faced, and we see that Isaac responds in almost the exact same way. We’ve saw Gerar in Genesis 20:1-18). where Abraham met a different Abimelech. Isaac begins to travel to Egypt to escape the famine, but this time God stops him before he gets there. God does not want Isaac to leave the Promised Land. He promised Isaac the same things he promised Abraham:
- The Promised Land
- A nation to come forth
Isaac stops in Gerar but tells the same lie his father did, saying Rebekah was his sister. Isaac is caught in this lie, and chastized, just like his father was for his behavior (Genesis 12:18-19) (Genesis 20:10)
God protects Isaac and Rebekah anyways.
Isaac prospered, worrying his neighbors who then stopped up all the wells and told Isaac to leave.
Isaac digs new wells, confident God will bless him. Water is life in the desert, as Jesus is our living waters
Remember names in the Bible have meaning. Esek means dispute. Sitnah means opposition. Rehoboth means room. Now Isaac has room to not have disputes.
Isaac returns to Beersheba, right where God wants him.
Fun fact: This is the first time God appears to Isaac in the Bible.
We see another past play when Isaac’s neighbors approach him for peace out of the fear of God, who is with Isaac, just like we saw with Abraham. Isaac forgives Abimelech for being kicked out of his lands and makes a treaty.
Shibah means oath of seven and Beersheba means well of the oath or well of seven.
Here, Esau is briefly mentioned as he marries two women who are Canaanites which is against God’s wishes and commands. (Genesis 24:3-4).