GOD'S WORD® Translation
1There was a famine in the land in addition to the earlier one during Abraham's time. So Isaac went to King Abimelech of the Philistines in Gerar. 2The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, "Don't go to Egypt. Stay where I tell you. 3Live here in this land for a while, and I will be with you and bless you. I will give all these lands to you and your descendants. I will keep the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. 4I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and give all these lands to your descendants. Through your descendant all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 5I will bless you because Abraham obeyed me and completed the duties, commands, laws, and instructions I gave him."
6So Isaac lived in Gerar. 7When the men of that place asked about his wife, Isaac answered, "She's my sister." He was afraid to say "my wife." He thought that the men of that place would kill him to get Rebekah, because she was an attractive woman. 8When he had been there a long time, King Abimelech of the Philistines looked out of his window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9Abimelech called for Isaac and said, "So she's really your wife! How could you say, 'She's my sister'?" Isaac answered him, "I thought I would be killed because of her." 10Then Abimelech said, "What have you done to us! One of the people might have easily gone to bed with your wife, and then you would have made us guilty of sin." 11So Abimelech ordered his people, "Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death."
12Isaac planted [crops] in that land. In that same year he harvested a hundred times as much as he had planted because the LORD had blessed him. 13He continued to be successful, becoming very rich. 14Because he owned so many flocks, herds, and servants, the Philistines became jealous of him. 15So the Philistines filled in all the wells that his father's servants had dug during his father Abraham's lifetime. 16Finally, Abimelech said to Isaac, "Go away from us! You've become more powerful than we are." 17So Isaac moved away. He set up his tents in the Gerar Valley and lived there.
18He dug out the wells that had been dug during his father Abraham's lifetime. The Philistines had filled them in after Abraham's death. He gave them the same names that his father had given them. 19Isaac's servants dug in the valley and found a spring-fed well. 20The herders from Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herders, claiming, "This water is ours!" So Isaac named the well Esek [Argument], because they had argued with him. 21Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one too. So Isaac named it Sitnah [Accusation]. 22He moved on from there and dug another well. They didn't quarrel over this one. So he named it Rehoboth [Roomy] and said, "Now the LORD has made room for us, and we will prosper in this land."
23He went from there to Beersheba.
24That night the LORD appeared to Isaac, and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham. Don't be afraid, because I am with you. I will bless you and increase the number of your descendants for my servant Abraham's sake."
25So Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the LORD. He also pitched his tent in that place, and his servants dug a well there.
26Abimelech, his friend Ahuzzath, and Phicol, the commander of his army, came from Gerar to see Isaac. 27Isaac asked them, "Why have you come to me, since you hate me and sent me away from you?" 28They answered, "We have seen that the LORD is with you. So we thought, 'There should be a solemn agreement between us.' We'd like to make an agreement with you 29that you will not harm us, since we have not touched you. We have done only good to you and let you go in peace. Now you are blessed by the LORD." 30Isaac prepared a special dinner for them, and they ate and drank. 31Early the next morning they exchanged oaths. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left peacefully. 32That same day Isaac's servants came and told him about a well they had dug. They said to him, "We've found water." 33So he named it Shibah [Oath]. That is why the name of the city is still Beersheba today.