Contemporary English Version
Isaac and Abimelech
1Once during Abraham's lifetime, the fields had not produced enough grain, and now the same thing happened. So Isaac went to King Abimelech of the Philistines in the land of Gerar, 2because the Lord had appeared to Isaac and said:
Isaac, stay away from Egypt! I will show you where I want you to go. 3 You will live there as a foreigner, but I will be with you and bless you. I will keep my promise to your father Abraham by giving this land to you and your descendants.
4I will give you as many descendants as there are stars in the sky, and I will give your descendants all of this land. They will be a blessing to every nation on earth,+ 5because Abraham did everything I told him to do.
6Isaac moved to Gerar 7 with his beautiful wife Rebekah. He was afraid that someone might kill him to get her, and so he told everyone that Rebekah was his sister. 8After Isaac had been there a long time, King Abimelech looked out a window and saw Isaac hugging and kissing Rebekah. 9Abimelech called him in and said, “Rebekah must be your wife! Why did you say she is your sister?”
“Because I thought someone would kill me,” Isaac answered.
10“Don't you know what you've done?” Abimelech exclaimed. “If someone had slept with her, you would have made our whole nation guilty!” 11Then Abimelech warned his people that anyone who even touched Isaac or Rebekah would be put to death.
12Isaac planted grain and had a good harvest that same year. The Lord blessed him, 13and Isaac was so successful that he became very rich. 14In fact, the Philistines were jealous of the large number of sheep, goats, and slaves that Isaac owned, 15and they stopped up the wells that Abraham's servants had dug before his death. 16Finally, Abimelech said, “Isaac, I want you to leave our country. You have become too powerful to stay here.”
17Isaac left and settled in Gerar Valley, 18where he cleaned out those wells that the Philistines had stopped up. Isaac also gave each of the wells the same name+ that Abraham had given to them. 19While his servants were digging in the valley, they found a spring-fed well. 20But the shepherds of Gerar Valley quarreled with Isaac's shepherds and claimed the water belonged to them. So this well was named “Quarrel,” because they had quarreled with Isaac.
21Isaac's servants dug another well, and the shepherds also quarreled about it. So that well was named “Jealous.” 22Finally, they dug one more well. There was no quarreling this time, and the well was named “Lots of Room,” because the Lord had given them room and would make them very successful.
23Isaac went on to Beersheba, 24where the Lord appeared to him that night and told him, “Don't be afraid! I am the God who was worshiped by your father Abraham, my servant. I will be with you and bless you, and because of Abraham I will give you many descendants.” 25Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. Then he set up camp, and his servants started digging a well.
26 Meanwhile, Abimelech had left Gerar and was taking his advisor Ahuzzath and his army commander Phicol to see Isaac. 27When they arrived, Isaac asked, “Why are you here? Didn't you send me away because you hated me?”
28They answered, “We now know for certain that the Lord is with you, and we have decided there needs to be a peace treaty between you and us. So let's make a solemn agreement 29not to harm each other. Remember, we have never hurt you, and when we sent you away, we let you go in peace. The Lord has truly blessed you.”
30Isaac gave a big feast for them, and everyone ate and drank. 31Early the next morning Isaac and the others made a solemn agreement, then he let them go in peace.
Esau's Foreign Wives
34When Esau was 40 years old, he married Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35But these two women brought a lot of grief to Esau's parents Isaac and Rebekah.
Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)
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