Genesis 26:35
Which were a grief of mind to Isaac and to Rebekah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
26:34,35 Esau was foolish in marrying two wives together, and still more in marrying Canaanites, strangers to the blessing of Abraham, and subject to the curse of Noah. It grieved his parents that he married without their advice and consent. It grieved them that he married among those who had no religion. Children have little reason to expect God's blessing who do that which is a grief of mind to good parents.The treaty with Abimelek. This is an interview similar to what Abraham had with the king of Gerar; and its object is a renewal of the former league between the parties. Besides Phikol, the commander-in-chief, he is now accompanied by Ahuzzath, his privy counsellor. Isaac upbraids him with his unkindness in sending him away, and his inconsistency in again seeking a conference with him. "We clearly saw." His prosperity was such as to be a manifest token of the Lord's favor. Hence, they desired the security of a treaty with him by an oath of execration on the transgressor. "Do us no hurt." The covenant is one-sided, as expressed by Abimelek. "As we have not touched thee." This implies the other side of the covenant. "Thou art now blessed of Yahweh." This explains the one-sidedness of the covenant. Isaac needed no guarantee from them, as the Lord was with him. Abimelek is familiar with the use of the name Yahweh. Isaac hospitably entertains and lodges the royal party, and on the morrow, after having sworn to the treaty, parts with them in peace. On the same day Isaac's servants report concerning the well they had digged Genesis 26:25 that they had found water. This well he calls Sheba, "an oath," and hence the town is called Beer-sheba, "the well of the oath." Now the writer was aware that this place had received the same name on a former occasion Genesis 21:31. But a second well has now been dug in like circumstances in the same locality. This gives occasion for a new application of the name in the memories of the people. This is another illustration of the principle explained at Genesis 25:30. Two wells still exist at this place to attest the correctness of the record.34. Esau … took to wife—If the pious feelings of Abraham recoiled from the idea of Isaac forming a matrimonial connection with a Canaanitish woman [Ge 24:3], that devout patriarch himself would be equally opposed to such a union on the part of his children; and we may easily imagine how much his pious heart was wounded, and the family peace destroyed, when his favorite but wayward son brought no less than two idolatrous wives among them—an additional proof that Esau neither desired the blessing nor dreaded the curse of God. These wives never gained the affections of his parents, and this estrangement was overruled by God for keeping the chosen family aloof from the dangers of heathen influence. Because to their idolatry and other wickedness they added obstinacy and incorrigibleness, despising their persons and godly counsels, whereby they invited them to repentance. Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac, and to Rebekah. The marriage of them itself was a trouble to them, it being contrary to their will that any of their children should marry with the Canaanites, and those the worst sort of them, the Hittites; it having been the care of Abraham, the father of Isaac, that his son should not marry with them, and laid a strict injunction on his servant not to take a wife for his son from among them; and which was an example to be followed in later times, and which Esau very likely was not ignorant of: and besides this, the women themselves he took for wives were very disagreeable on all accounts, partly because of their religion, being idolaters, and partly by reason of their temper and behaviour, being proud, haughty, and disobedient; as all the three Targums intimate. Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
35. a grief of mind] Heb. bitterness of spirit. Cf. Genesis 27:46, Genesis 28:8. Isaac and Rebekah regarded a mixed marriage with the people of the land as a source of dishonour to the race; cf. Genesis 24:3. By “a grief of mind” we should understand soreness and disappointment; cf. Proverbs 14:10. The LXX ἐρίζουσαι, Lat. offenderant animam, took the meaning to be that Judith and Basemath were quarrelsome, and had given offence to Esau’s parents.Verse 35. - Which were a grief of mind (literally, bitterness of spirit) unto Isaac and to Rebekah - possibly because of their personal characters, but chiefly because of their Canaanitish descent, and because in marrying them Esau had not only violated the Divine law which forbade polygamy, but also evinced an utterly irreligious and unspiritual disposition.



Abimelech's Treaty with Isaac. - The conclusion of this alliance was substantially only a repetition of renewal of the alliance entered into with Abraham; but the renewal itself arose so completely out of the circumstances, that there is no ground whatever for denying that it occurred, or for the hypothesis that our account is merely another form of the earlier alliance; to say nothing of the fact, that besides the agreement in the leading event itself, the attendant circumstances are altogether peculiar, and correspond to the events which preceded. Abimelech not only brought his chief captain Phicol (supposed to be the same as in Genesis 21:22, if Phicol is not also an official name), but his מרע "friend," i.e., his privy councillor, Ahuzzath. Isaac referred to the hostility they had shown; to which Abimelech replied, that they (he and his people) did not smite him (נגע), i.e., drive him away by force, but let him depart in peace, and expressed a wish that there might be an oath between them. אלה the oath, as an act of self-imprecation, was to form the basis of the covenant to be made. From this אלה came also to be used for a covenant sanctioned by an oath (Deuteronomy 29:11, Deuteronomy 29:13). תּעשׂה אם "that thou do not:" אם a particle of negation used in an oath (Genesis 14:23, etc.). (On the verb with zere, see Ges. 75, Anm. 17; Ewald, 224.) - The same day Isaac's servants informed him of the well which they had dug; and Isaac gave it the name Shebah (שׁבעה, oath), in commemoration of the treaty made on oath. "Therefore the city was called Beersheba." This derivation of the name does not shut the other (Genesis 21:31) out, but seems to confirm it. As the treaty made on oath between Abimelech and Isaac was only a renewal of his covenant concluded before with Abraham, so the name Beersheba was also renewed by the well Shebah. The reality of the occurrence is supported by the fact that the two wells are in existence still (vid., Genesis 21:31).
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