Genesis 21:22-32

The Treaty at Beersheba

22 At that time Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do.
23 Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you now reside as a foreigner the same kindness I have shown to you.”
24 Abraham said, “I swear it.”
25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelek about a well of water that Abimelek’s servants had seized.
26 But Abimelek said, “I don’t know who has done this. You did not tell me, and I heard about it only today.”
27 So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelek, and the two men made a treaty.
28 Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock,
29 and Abimelek asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?”
30 He replied, “Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this well.”
31 So that place was called Beersheba,[a] because the two men swore an oath there.
32 After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines.

Genesis 21:22-32 Meaning and Commentary


This chapter gives an account of the conception, birth, circumcision, and weaning of Isaac, Ge 21:1-8; of the mocking of Ishmael, and of the casting out of him and his mother from Abraham's house, at the request of Sarah, which, though grievous to Abraham, he complied with at the direction of God, Ge 21:9-13; of the provision Abraham made for their departure, and of the supply they met with in the wilderness from God, where Ishmael was brought up, and where he married, Ge 21:14-21; and of a covenant between Abraham and Abimelech, king of Gerar, Ge 21:22-32; and of Abraham's planting a grove, and calling on the name of the Lord, Ge 21:33; and the chapter is closed with this observation, that Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days, Ge 21:34.

Cross References 16

  • 1. S Genesis 20:2
  • 2. ver 32; Genesis 26:26
  • 3. ver 23; Genesis 26:28; Genesis 28:15; Genesis 31:3,5,42; Genesis 39:2,3; 1 Samuel 3:19; 1 Samuel 16:18; 2 Chronicles 1:1; Psalms 46:7; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 8:8,10; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 43:5
  • 4. ver 31; Genesis 25:33; Genesis 26:31; Genesis 31:53; Joshua 2:12; 1 Kings 2:8
  • 5. 1 Samuel 24:21
  • 6. S ver 22; Joshua 2:12
  • 7. Ge 26:15,18,20-22
  • 8. ver 31,32; Genesis 26:28,31; Genesis 31:44,53
  • 9. Ge 31:44,47,48,50,52; Jos 22:27,28,34; Joshua 24:27; Isaiah 19:20; Malachi 2:14
  • 10. ver 25; Genesis 26:25,32
  • 11. S ver 14; Genesis 26:33
  • 12. S ver 23,S 27
  • 13. S ver 27
  • 14. S ver 14
  • 15. S ver 22
  • 16. S Genesis 10:14

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. "Beersheba" can mean "well of seven" and "well of the oath."
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