Genesis 26:1-5

Isaac and Abimelek

1 Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar.
2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live.
3 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.
4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring[a] all nations on earth will be blessed,[b]
5 because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”

Genesis 26:1 in Other Translations

KJV
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.
ESV
1 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines.
NLT
1 A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived.
MSG
1 There was a famine in the land, as bad as the famine during the time of Abraham. And Isaac went down to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, in Gerar.
CSB
1 There was another famine in the land in addition to the one that had occurred in Abraham's time. And Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, at Gerar.

Genesis 26:1-5 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 26

This chapter treats of Isaac's removal to Gerar, occasioned by a famine, Ge 26:1; of the Lord's appearance to him there, advising him to sojourn in that place, and not go down to Egypt; renewing the covenant he had made with Abraham, concerning giving that country to him and his seed, Ge 26:2-6; of what happened unto him at Gerar on account of his wife, Ge 26:7-11; of Isaac's great prosperity and success, which drew the envy of the Philistines upon him, Ge 26:12-15; of his departure from hence to the valley of Gerar, at the instance of Abimelech; and of the contentions between his herdsmen, and those of Gerar, about wells of water, which caused him to remove to Beersheba, Ge 26:16-23; of the Lord's appearance to him there, renewing the above promise to him, where he built an altar, pitched his tent, and his servants dug a well, Ge 26:24,25; of Abimelech's coming to him thither, and making a covenant with him, Ge 26:26-31; which place had its name from the oath then made, and the well there dug, Ge 26:32,33; and lastly, of the marriage of Esau, which was a great grief to Isaac and Rebekah, Ge 26:34,35.

Genesis 26:1-5 In-Context

1 Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar.
2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live.
3 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.
4 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,
5 because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.”
6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.”
8 When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.
9 So Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.”

Cross References 18

  • 1. S Genesis 12:10; S Deuteronomy 32:24
  • 2. S Genesis 10:14; Judges 10:6
  • 3. S Genesis 20:1
  • 4. S Genesis 12:7; Genesis 17:1; Genesis 18:1
  • 5. Genesis 46:3
  • 6. S Genesis 12:1
  • 7. Genesis 20:1; Genesis 28:15
  • 8. S Genesis 21:20; Genesis 27:45; Genesis 31:3,5; Genesis 32:9; Genesis 35:3; Genesis 48:21; Exodus 3:12; Exodus 33:14-16; Numbers 23:21; Deuteronomy 31:23; Joshua 1:5; Isaiah 43:2; Jeremiah 1:8,19; Haggai 1:13
  • 9. ver 12; S Genesis 12:2; Genesis 22:16-18
  • 10. S Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:15; Genesis 15:18; Acts 7:5
  • 11. S Genesis 17:19
  • 12. ver 24; Genesis 48:4
  • 13. S Genesis 12:2; S Numbers 10:36; Genesis 15:5; Genesis 22:17; Exodus 32:13
  • 14. S Genesis 12:7
  • 15. S Genesis 12:3; Genesis 22:18; Acts 3:25*; Galatians 3:8
  • 16. S Genesis 18:19; Genesis 22:16
  • 17. Psalms 119:80,112; Ezekiel 18:21
  • 18. Lev 18:4,5,26; Leviticus 19:19,37; Leviticus 20:8,22; Leviticus 25:18; Leviticus 26:3; Numbers 15:40; Deuteronomy 4:40; Deuteronomy 6:2; Deuteronomy 11:1; 1 Kings 2:3

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "seed"
  • [b]. Or "and all nations on earth will use the name of your offspring in blessings" (see 48:20)
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