Genesis 26:10
And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.
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Genesis 26:10. Lightly — Here, means perhaps. The heathen considered fornication either as no sin, or a very little one; but they had a different idea of adultery, considering it as heinous. Therefore, with a reference to it, Abimelech says, Thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us — Probably it might be fresh in his memory how sorely God had punished his predecessor and all his family in the days of Abraham (chap. 20.) for only an intention of adultery. It is very observable here, that Abimelech takes it for granted, that their ignorance of Rebekah’s being Isaac’s wife would not have been a sufficient excuse for their sin.

26:6-11 There is nothing in Isaac's denial of his wife to be imitated, nor even excused. The temptation of Isaac is the same as that which overcame his father, and that in two instances. This rendered his conduct the greater sin. The falls of those who are gone before us are so many rocks on which others have split; and the recording of them is like placing buoys to save future mariners. This Abimelech was not the same that lived in Abraham's days, but both acted rightly. The sins of professors shame them before those that are not themselves religious.Abimelek observes Isaac sporting with Rebekah as only husband and wife should, constrains him to confess that she is his wife, charges him with the impropriety of his conduct, and commands his people to refrain from harming either of them on pain of death. We see how insecure a female's honor was in those days, if she was in a strange land, and had not a band of men to keep back the hand of violence. We perceive also that God mercifully protects his chosen ones from the perils which they bring upon themselves by the vain self-reliance and wicked policy of the old corrupt nature. This remnant of the old man we find in the believers of old, as in those of the present time, though it be different and far less excusable in its recent manifestations.CHAPTER 26

Ge 26:1-35. Sojourn in Gerar.

1. And there was a famine in the land … And Isaac went unto … Gerar—The pressure of famine in Canaan forced Isaac with his family and flocks to migrate into the land of the Philistines, where he was exposed to personal danger, as his father had been on account of his wife's beauty; but through the seasonable interposition of Providence, he was preserved (Ps 105:14, 15).

The heathens esteemed fornication either no sin, or a very little one; but adultery was heinous and formidable even among the heathens, and especially here, because it was fresh in memory how sorely God had punished Abimelech, and all his family, only for an intention of adultery, Genesis 20:1-18. Note here, they take it for granted that their ignorance had not been a sufficient excuse for their sin.

And Abimelech said, what is this thou hast done unto us?.... By entertaining suspicions and jealousies of us as bad men, and by exposing us to the temptation of committing iniquity; why hast thou dealt thus with us, and what have we done, or is in our character, that thou shouldest act after this manner?

one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife; it is much one or other had not before this time, not looking upon it criminal to have to do with a single woman, when they would not have meddled with another man's wife, Jarchi interprets this of Abimelech himself; and so the Targum of Jonathan, who perhaps had been thinking of taking her to his bed; and was "within a little" (c), as the word for "lightly" may be rendered, of accomplishing his design:

and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us: been the occasion of their committing the sin of adultery, which was heinous in the eyes of Heathens, and of bringing on them the punishment due thereunto.

(c) "parum abfuit", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt.

And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought {f} guiltiness upon us.

(f) In all ages men were persuaded that God's vengeance would come on adulterers.

10. lightly] Lit. “as a little”: i.e. “it might easily have happened.” See Genesis 12:18, Genesis 20:10. For “lien” = “lain,” cf. Psalm 68:13 A.V. and P.B.V.).

guiltiness] Heb. âshâm; LXX ἄγνοιαν; Lat. grande peccatum. In spite of ignorance, national guilt would be involved in such an outrage as marriage with the wile of another man. For “guiltiness,” “guilt,” cf. Psalm 68:22; Proverbs 14:9.

Verse 10. - And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lain with thy wife, - literally, within a little (cf. Psalm 73:2; Psalm 119:87) one of the people might have lain with thy wife - and thou shouldest - i.e. (within a little) thou mightest - have brought (or caused to come) guiltiness upon us (cf. Genesis 20:9, where חַטָּאָה is used instead of אָשָׁם). Genesis 26:10Protection of Rebekah at Gerar. - As Abraham had declared his wife to be his sister both in Egypt and at Gerar, so did Isaac also in the latter place. But the manner in which God protected Rebekah was very different from that in which Sarah was preserved in both instances. Before any one had touched Rebekah, the Philistine king discovered the untruthfulness of Isaac's statement, having seen Isaac "sporting with Rebekah," sc., in a manner to show that she was his wife; whereupon he reproved Isaac for what he had said, and forbade any of his people to touch Rebekah on pain of death. Whether this was the same Abimelech as the one mentioned in Genesis 20 cannot be decided with certainty. The name proves nothing, for it was the standing official name of the kings of Gerar (cf. 1 Samuel 21:11 and Psalm 34), as Pharaoh was of the kings of Egypt. The identity is favoured by the pious conduct of Abimelech in both instances; and no difficulty is caused either by the circumstance that 80 years had elapsed between the two events (for Abraham had only been dead five years, and the age of 150 was no rarity then), or by the fact, that whereas the first Abimelech had Sarah taken into his harem, the second not only had no intention of doing this, but was anxious to protect her from his people, inasmuch as it would be all the easier to conceive of this in the case of the same king, on the ground of his advanced age.
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