Genesis 26:21
And they dig another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.
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26:18-25 Isaac met with much opposition in digging wells. Two were called Contention and Hatred. See the nature of worldly things; they make quarrels, and are occasions of strife; and what is often the lot of the most quiet and peaceable; those who avoid striving, yet cannot avoid being striven with. And what a mercy it is to have plenty of water; to have it without striving for it! The more common this mercy is, the more reason to be thankful for it. At length Isaac digged a well, for which they strove not. Those that study to be quiet, seldom fail of being so. When men are false and unkind, still God is faithful and gracious; and his time to show himself so is, when we are most disappointed by men. The same night that Isaac came weary and uneasy to Beer-sheba, God brought comforts to his soul. Those may remove with comfort who are sure of God's presence.Isaac retires, and sets about the digging of wells. He retreats from Gerar and its suburbs, and takes up his abode in the valley, or wady of Gerar. These wadys are the hollows in which brooks flow, and therefore the well-watered and fertile parts of the country. He digs again the old wells, and calls them by the old names. He commences the digging of new ones. For the first the herdmen of Gerar strive, claiming the water as their property. Isaac yields. He digs another; they strive, and he again yields. He now removes apparently into a distinct region, and digs a third well, for which there is no contest. This he calls Rehoboth, "room" - a name which appears to be preserved in Wady er-Ruhaibeh, near which is Wady esh-Shutein, corresponding to Sitnah. "For now the Lord hath made room for us." Isaac's homely realizing faith in a present and presiding Lord here comes out.18-22. Isaac digged again the wells of water—The naming of wells by Abraham, and the hereditary right of his family to the property, the change of the names by the Philistines to obliterate the traces of their origin, the restoration of the names by Isaac, and the contests between the respective shepherds to the exclusive possession of the water, are circumstances that occur among the natives in those regions as frequently in the present day as in the time of Isaac. No text from Poole on this verse. And they digged another well,.... That is, Isaac's servants:

and strove for that also; the herdsmen of Gerar disputed their right to that also, and strove to get it from them:

and he called the name of it Sitnah; which signifies "hatred", it being out of hatred and malice to him that they gave him so much trouble; from this word Satan has his name, and these men were of a diabolical spirit, envious, spiteful, and malicious.

And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah.
21. Sitnah] That is, Enmity. This name is connected with the same root as the word satan, “adversary”; cf. Numbers 20:22; 1 Samuel 29:4. It has been doubtfully identified with a modern name, Wady-Sutem.Verse 21. - And they digged another well (Isaac having yielded up the first), and strove for that also: - "The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water" (Proverbs 17:14) and he called the name of it Sitnah - "Contention" (from שָׂטָן, to lie in wait as an adversary; whence Satan); probably in Wady-es-Shutein, near Rehoboth (vide infra). Being thus blessed of Jehovah, Isaac became increasingly (הלוך, vid., Genesis 8:3) greater (i.e., stronger), until he was very powerful and his wealth very great; so that the Philistines envied him, and endeavoured to do him injury by stopping up and filling with rubbish all the wells that had been dug in his father's time; and even Abimelech requested him to depart, because he was afraid of his power. Isaac then encamped in the valley of Gerar, i.e., in the "undulating land of Gerar," through which the torrent (Jurf) from Gerar flows from the south-east (Ritter, Erdk. 14, pp. 1084-5).
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