Genesis Chapter 26

At this point in the Bible, Abraham has died and left all he had to his son Isaac. Isaac and Rebecca had twins, Jacob and Esau, who were very different and it was prophesied that they would be separate nations and one would serve the other. In the last chapter, Esau, who was firstborn and had the birthright, sold that right to his brother Jacob. The book of Genesis continues:

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.
2 And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
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;
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;
5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

Isaac and his family experienced a famine in the land. Since the Lord had covenanted with Abraham to bless his seed if he was faithful and obedient, and Abraham had done as he was commanded, the Lord was mindful of Isaac and his family. Isaac was told that he would be blessed if he stayed where the Lord told him instead of escaping the famine by going to Egypt. The blessings of Abraham were promised to Isaac as well.

6 And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:
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.
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.
9 And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her.
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.
11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him.
13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
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.
16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.

Isaac obeyed the Lord and lived in Gerar. Isaac did as Abraham had done years before, and told others that Rebekah was his sister because she was beautiful and would be desired. Isaac knew his life would be in danger if they knew he was married to her. Isaac was caught “sporting” with her and Abimelech knew then that Rebekah was his wife and not his sister. Abimelech was worried that one of his men would have taken Rebekah and brought guilt upon his people, so he told the people to leave Rebekah and Isaac alone. I wonder how Abimelech felt towards their family, since Abraham had done the same thing to him years earlier. It shows to me that their must have been some fear of God in the king, Abimelech, to recognize that their would have been guilt in his kingdom if someone had taken another man’s wife. He seemed to recognize that they did not want the anger of God to come upon them.

The Lord blessed Isaac with plenty of food, even during the famine. He became a mighty man, and eventually the Philistines told him to leave because he was so much greater then they were. The footnote to this says that he grew to be a wealthy man. The Lord blessed him both temporally, with food and wealth, and spiritually which is the same way that we can all be blessed if we are truly faithful as Abraham had been.

17 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.
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.
19 And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.
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.
21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.
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.
23 And he went up from thence to Beer-sheba.
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.
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.

Isaac moved out from the city of Gerar and settled when he was able to find a well that others did not claim to be their own. It seems that the people there, were determined to give him strife and he moved until they left him alone. I think he moved again to a place called Beer-sheba. The Lord appeared to him and promised him great blessings because of his father Abraham. Then Isaac built an altar to make sacrifices. I am so grateful to Abraham for his faithfulness. Because of his goodness, we have the opportunity to make sacred covenants and share in the same blessings that he has been given. The hope of great things to come in an eternal family is in my heart because of the promises made to Abraham so long ago.

26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army.
27 And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?
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;
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.
30 And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink.
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.
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.
33 And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto this day.

Abimelech, who had cast Isaac out of his city, came to Isaac, realizing that the Lord was on Isaac’s side, to make a covenant with him to do nothing against one another but live in peace. Isaac made a covenant of peace with the king.

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:
35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

Esau, the son of Isaac, decided to marry a Hittite. I believe that this meant she was not a woman of the covenant. This brought grief to his parents, Isaac and Rebekah, because they were faithful and had hoped their own children would marry in the covenant as well.

I have not always been the most faithful child in my life, but I am so grateful that I changed my ways early and found a man worthy to take me to the temple. I had the opportunity to make sacred covenants with God that mean everything to me. I am glad that I could make my parents (earthly and heavenly) proud in that choice in my life. I hope that my children will recognize the eternal significance of living worthy and finding someone who can make these same covenants to them in the temple, so that they can also share in these amazing blessings that God has promised to those who faithfully obey this commandment.

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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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