|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:26-33 When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him, Pr 16:7. Kings' hearts are in his hands, and when he pleases, he can turn them to favour his people. It is not wrong to stand upon our guard in dealing with those who have acted unfairly. But Isaac did not insist on the unkindnesses they had done him; he freely entered into friendship with them. Religion teaches us to be neighbourly, and, as much as in us lies, to live peaceable with all men. Providence smiled upon what Isaac did; God blessed his labours.
Verse 26. - Then (literally, and) Abimelech went to him from Gerar, - the object of this visit was to resuscitate the alliance which had formerly existed between the predecessor of Abimelech and Abraham (Genesis 21:22-32); yet the dissimilarity between the two accounts is so great as to discredit the hypothesis that the present is only another version of the earlier transaction - and Ahuzzath one of his friends, - מֵרֵעֵהוּ; neither ὁ νυμφαγωγὸς αὐτοῦ (LXX.), nor a suite or number of his friends (Onkelos), nor one of his friends (A.V.); but his friend, and probably his privy councilor (Keil, Kalisch, Murphy), whose presence along with the monarch and his general marks the first point of difference between the present and the former incident - and Phichol (vide Genesis 21:22) the chief captain of his army.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar,.... After Isaac was settled at Beersheba, and was still increasing in his family and substance, of which Abimelech very probably was informed; and fearing lest he should resent his being sent out of his country by him, and the ill treatment he met with afterwards from the herdmen of Gerar in the valley about the wells, and should employ his riches and power against him, and fall upon him, and take his kingdom from him, he took a journey from Gerar to Beersheba, to pay Isaac a visit, and make a covenant with him: and
Ahuzzath one of his friends; Jarchi and Jonathan take Ahuzzath for an appellative, and interpret it of a collection or company of his friends, which the king took along with him to attend him in his journey: but it seems rather to be the proper name of a man, who was very intimate and familiar with the king, and always kept him company, and so went along with him to Beersheba:
and Phichol the chief captain of his army; his general, as the other was his principal counsellor or prime minister. There was one of this name, and in the same office, in the days of Abraham, and who attended the then present king, who also was called Abimelech on a like account as here, Genesis 21:22; but as the one affair was at the distance of an hundred years or more from the other, it is probable, that as this Abimelech might be the son of that Abimelech that lived in the times of Abraham, so this Phichol might be the son of him that lived then, and who succeeded his father in his office; though some think that Phichol is the name of an office, and signifies "the mouth of all", by whom the addresses of the people were made to the king; but this is not likely, since he is described by his office as general of the army; which is very different from the master of the ceremonies, or anything of that kind, and plainly shows it to be the name of a man.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26-33. Then Abimelech went to him—As there was a lapse of ninety years between the visit of Abraham and of Isaac, the Abimelech and Phichol spoken of must have been different persons' official titles. Here is another proof of the promise (Ge 12:2) being fulfilled, in an overture of peace being made to him by the king of Gerar. By whatever motive the proposal was dictated—whether fear of his growing power, or regret for the bad usage they had given him, the king and two of his courtiers paid a visit to the tent of Isaac (Pr 16:7). His timid and passive temper had submitted to the annoyances of his rude neighbors; but now that they wish to renew the covenant, he evinces deep feeling at their conduct, and astonishment at their assurance, or artifice, in coming near him. Being, however, of a pacific disposition, Isaac forgave their offense, accepted their proposals, and treated them to the banquet by which the ratification of a covenant was usually crowned.
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