Genesis 26:25
And he built an altar there, and called on the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants dig a well.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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 now proceeds to Beer-sheba. "Went up." It was an ascent from Wady er-Ruhaibeh to Beer-sheba; which was near the watershed between the Mediterranean and the Salt Sea. "In that night" - the night after his arrival, in a dream or vision. "I am the God of Abraham thy father." Isaac is again and again reminded of the relation in which his father stood to God. That relation still subsists; for Abraham still lives with God, and is far nearer to him than he could be on earth. "The God of Abraham" is another name for Yahweh. "Fear not," as he had said to Abraham after his victory over the four kings Genesis 15:1. Then follow the reasons for courage: I, with thee, blessing thee, multiplying thy seed; a reassurance of three parts of the promise involving all the rest. Then comes the instructive reason for this assurance - "for the sake of Abraham my servant." "An altar" - the first on record erected by Isaac. "Called on the name of the Lord" - engaged in the solemn and public invocation of Yahweh Genesis 4:26; Genesis 12:8. "His tent there." It was hallowed ground to his father Genesis 21:33, and now to himself. "Digged a well," and thereby took possession of the soil at least for a time. We hear of this well again in the next passage.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 he builded an altar there,.... At Beersheba, where his father Abraham had planted a grove before, and very probably had built an altar also, though it might not be now standing, Genesis 21:33,

and called upon the name of the Lord; and gave him thanks for all his mercies to him; for the care he had taken of him, and provision he had made for him and his during the time of famine; and for the protection and preservation of him in Gerar; and for his deliverance of him out of the hands of envious, malicious, and unreasonable men; as well as prayed unto him for present and future mercies, for providential care of him and his; and for communications of special grace, and for meetness for eternal glory; all which every good man daily prays to God for:

and pitched his tent there: intending to take up his abode and settle there:

and there Isaac's servants digged a well; in order to find water for the family, and for the flocks and herds; and which was necessary to be done, as they perceived their master designed to fix his habitation here; wells of water being of great moment and consequence in those hot and desert countries, as the above contentions about them abundantly show.

And he builded an {x} altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well.

(x) To signify that he would serve no other God, but the God of his father Abraham.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. builded … there] As Abraham had done, Genesis 12:7, Genesis 13:18.

called … Lord] See notes on Genesis 4:26, Genesis 21:33.

digged a well] According to Genesis 21:30 a well had already been digged by Abraham. The word in the Hebrew is not the same as that used in Genesis 26:22; see Genesis 50:5.Verse 25. - And he (i.e. Isaac, in grateful response to the Divine Promiser who had appeared to him) builded an altar there, - the first instance of altar building ascribed to Isaac; "those erected by his father no doubt still remaining in the other places where he sojourned" (Inglis) and called upon the name of the Lord, - i.e. publicly celebrated his worship in the midst of his household (vide on Genesis 12:7, 8) - and pitched his tent there (the place being now to him doubly hallowed by the appearance of the Lord to himself as well as to his father): and there Isaac's servants digged a well - a necessary appendage to a flockmaster's settlement. Reopening and Discovery of Wells. - In this valley Isaac dug open the old wells which had existed from Abraham's time, and gave them the old names. His people also dug three new wells. But Abimelech's people raised a contest about two of these; and for this reason Isaac called them Esek and Sitnah, strife and opposition. The third there was no dispute about; and it received in consequence the name Rehoboth, "breadths," for Isaac said, "Yea now (כּי־עתּה, as in Genesis 29:32, etc.) Jehovah has provided for us a broad space, that we may be fruitful (multiply) in the land." This well was probably not in the land of Gerar, as Isaac had removed thence, but in the Wady Ruhaibeh, the name of which is suggestive of Rehoboth, which stands at the point where the two roads from Gaza and Hebron meet, about 3 hours to the south of Elusa, 8 1/3 to the south of Beersheba, and where there are extensive ruins of the city of the same name upon the heights, also the remains of wells (Robinson, Pal. i. 289ff.; Strauss, Sinai and Golgotha); where too the name Sitnah seems to have been retained in the Wady Shutein, with ruins on the northern hills between Ruhaibeh and Khulasa (Elusa).
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