Genesis 26:11
And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that touches 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 Renewal of the Promise. - A famine "in the land" (i.e., Canaan, to which he had therefore returned from Hagar's well; Genesis 25:11), compelled Isaac to leave Canaan, as it had done Abraham before. Abraham went to Egypt, where his wife was exposed to danger, from which she could only be rescued by the direct interposition of God. Isaac also intended to go there, but on the way, viz., in Gerar, he received instruction through a divine manifestation that he was to remain there. As he was the seed to whom the land of Canaan was promised, he was directed not to leave it. To this end Jehovah assured him of the fulfilment of all the promises made to Abraham on oath, with express reference to His oath (Genesis 22:16) to him and to his posterity, and on account of Abraham's obedience of faith. The only peculiarity in the words is the plural, "all these lands." This plural refers to all the lands or territories of the different Canaanitish tribes, mentioned in Genesis 15:19-21, like the different divisions of the kingdom of Israel or Judah in 1 Chronicles 13:2; 2 Chronicles 11:23. האל; an antique form of האלּה occurring only in the Pentateuch. The piety of Abraham is described in words that indicate a perfect obedience to all the commands of God, and therefore frequently recur among the legal expressions of a later date. יהוה משׁמרת שׁמר "to take care of Jehovah's care," i.e., to observe Jehovah, His persons, and His will, Mishmereth, reverence, observance, care, is more closely defined by "commandments, statutes, laws," to denote constant obedience to all the revelations and instructions of God.
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