Genesis 26:11
And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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).

He that hurteth or injureth. So that word is used, Genesis 26:29 Joshua 9:19 Psalm 105:15 Zechariah 2:8; and being applied to a woman, it is used for the defiling or humbling of her, as Genesis 20:6 Proverbs 6:29.

And Abimelech charged all his people,.... All his subjects throughout his kingdom, and particularly the inhabitants of Gerar, and more especially his courtiers and servants about him:

saying, he that toucheth this man or his wife; that does any injury to one either by words or deeds, or behaves immodestly to the other, or attempts to ravish her; this being sometimes used as a modest expression carnal knowledge of a woman; or that does either of them any harm or hurt in any respect whatever:

shall surely be put to death; this severe edict he published, in order to deter his subjects from using them ill, to which they might be provoked by Isaac's dissimulation, and by his evil suspicions of them.

And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 11. - And Abimelech charged all his (literally, the) people, saying, He that toucheth - in the sense of injureth (cf. Joshua 9:19; Psalm 105:15) - this man or his wife shall surely be put to death. The similarity of this incident to that related in Genesis 20. concerning Abraham in Gerar may be explained without resorting to the hypothesis of different authors, The stereotyped character of the manners of antiquity, especially in the East, is sufficient to account for the danger to which Sarah was exposed recurring in the case of Rebekah three quarters of a century later. That Isaac should have resorted to the miserable expedient of his father may have been due simply to a lack of originality on the part of Isaac; or perhaps the recollection of the success which had attended his father's adoption of this wretched subterfuge may have blinded him to its true character. But from whatever cause resulting, the resemblance between the two narratives cannot be held as destroying the credibility of either, and all the more that a careful scrutiny will detect sufficient dissimilarity between them to establish the authenticity of the incidents which they relate.

CHAPTER 26:12-22 Genesis 26:11Protection 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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