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Isaac and Abimelech

26 There was very little food in the land. The same thing had been true earlier, in Abraham’s time. Isaac went to Abimelech in Gerar. Abimelech was the king of the Philistines.

2The Lord appeared to Isaac. He said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land where I tell you to live. 3Stay here for a while. I will be with you and give you my blessing. I will give all of these lands to you and your children after you. And I will keep the promise I made with an oath to your father Abraham. 4I will make your children after you as many as the stars in the sky. And I will give them all these lands. All nations on earth will be blessed because of your children.

5“I will do all of those things because Abraham obeyed me. He did what I required. He kept my commands, my rules and my laws.” 6So Isaac stayed in Gerar.

7The men of that place asked him about his wife. He said, “She’s my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She’s my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me because of Rebekah. She’s a beautiful woman.”

8Isaac had been there a long time. One day Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, looked down from a window. He saw Isaac hugging and kissing his wife Rebekah.

9So Abimelech sent for Isaac. He said, “She’s really your wife, isn’t she? Why did you say, ‘She’s my sister’?”

Isaac answered him, “I thought I might lose my life because of her.”

10Then Abimelech said, “What have you done to us? What if one of the men had sex with your wife? Then you would have made us guilty.”

11So Abimelech gave orders to all of the people. He said, “You can be sure that anyone who harms this man or his wife will be put to death.”

12Isaac planted crops in that land. That same year he gathered 100 times more than he planted. That was because the Lord blessed him.

13Isaac became rich. His wealth continued to grow until he became very rich. 14He had many flocks and herds and servants.

Isaac had so much that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15So they stopped up all of the wells the servants of his father Abraham had dug. They filled them with dirt.

16Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Move away from us. You have become too powerful for us.”

17So Isaac moved away from there. He camped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18Isaac opened up the wells again. They had been dug in the time of his father Abraham. The Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham died. Isaac gave the wells the same names his father had given them.

19Isaac’s servants dug for wells in the valley. There they discovered a well of fresh water. 20But the people of Gerar who took care of their herds argued with the people who took care of Isaac’s herds. “The water is ours!” the people of Gerar said. So Isaac named the well Esek. That’s because they argued with him.

21Then Isaac’s servants dug another well. They argued about that one too. So he named it Sitnah.

22He moved on from there and dug another well. But no one argued about that one. So he named it Rehoboth. He said, “Now the Lord has given us room. Now we will do well in the land.”

23From there Isaac went up to Beersheba. 24That night the Lord appeared to him. He said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid. I am with you. I will bless you. I will increase the number of your children because of my servant Abraham.”

25Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. There he set up his tent. And there his servants dug a well.

26During that time, Abimelech had come to him from Gerar. Ahuzzath had come with him. So had Phicol, Abimelech’s army commander. Ahuzzath was Abimelech’s personal adviser.

27Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me? You were angry with me and sent me away.”

28They answered, “We saw clearly that the Lord was with you. So we said, ‘We should make an agreement by taking an oath.’ The agreement should be between us and you. We want to make a peace treaty with you. 29Promise that you won’t harm us. We didn’t harm you. We always treated you well. We sent you away in peace. Now the Lord has blessed you.”

30Then Isaac had a big dinner prepared for them. They ate and drank. 31Early the next morning the men made an agreement with an oath. Then Isaac sent the men of Gerar on their way. And they left in peace.

32That day Isaac’s servants came to him. They told him about the well they had dug. They said, “We’ve found water!” 33So he named it Shibah. To this day the name of the town has been Beersheba.

34When Esau was 40 years old, he got married to Judith. She was the daughter of Beeri the Hittite. He also married Basemath. She was the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35Isaac and Rebekah became very upset because Esau had married Hittite women.


About New International Reader’s Version

The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.


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