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Genesis Chapter 26 | Parsha: Toledot

1 There was a famine in the land—aside from the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham—and Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines, in Gerar. 2The Lord had appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land which I point out to you. 3Reside in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; I will assign all these lands to you and to your heirs, fulfilling the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. 4I will make your heirs as numerous as the stars of heaven, and assign to your heirs all these lands, so that all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your heirs— 5inasmuch as Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge: My commandments, My laws, and My teachings.”

6So Isaac stayed in Gerar. 7When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say “my wife,” thinking, “The men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful.” 8When some time had passed, Abimelech king of the Philistines, looking out of the window, saw Isaac fondling his wife Rebekah. 9Abimelech sent for Isaac and said, “So she is your wife! Why then did you say: ‘She is my sister?”‘ Isaac said to him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.” 10Abimelech said, “What have you done to us! One of the people might have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” 11Abimelech then charged all the people, saying, “Anyone who molests this man or his wife shall be put to death.”

12Isaac sowed in that land and reaped a hundredfold the same year. The Lord blessed him, 13and the man grew richer and richer until he was very wealthy: 14he acquired flocks and herds, and a large household, so that the Philistines envied him. 15And the Philistines stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham, filling them with earth. 16And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you have become far too big for us.”

17So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the wadi of Gerar, where he settled. 18Isaac dug anew the wells which had been dug in the days of his father Abraham and which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham’s death; and he gave them the same names that his father had given them. 19But when Isaac’s servants, digging in the wadi, found there a well of spring water, 20the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” He named that well Esek, because they contended with him. 21And when they dug another well, they disputed over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. 22He moved from there and dug yet another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he called it Rehoboth, saying, “Now at last the Lord has granted us ample space to increase in the land.”

23From there he went up to Beer-sheba. 24That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Fear not, for I am with you, and I will bless you and increase your offspring for the sake of My servant Abraham.” 25So he built an altar there and invoked the Lord by name. Isaac pitched his tent there and his servants started digging a well. 26And Abimelech came to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his councilor and Phicol chief of his troops. 27Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, seeing that you have been hostile to me and have driven me away from you?” 28And they said, “We now see plainly that the Lord has been with you, and we thought: Let there be a sworn treaty between our two parties, between you and us. Let us make a pact with you 29that you will not do us harm, just as we have not molested you but have always dealt kindly with you and sent you away in peace. From now on, be you blessed of the Lord!” 30Then he made for them a feast, and they ate and drank.

31Early in the morning, they exchanged oaths. Isaac then bade them farewell, and they departed from him in peace. 32That same day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water!” 33He named it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba to this day.

34When Esau was forty years old, he took to wife Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite; 35and they were a source of bitterness to Isaac and Rebekah.

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