The Bible in Its Traditions

Genesis 26:1–35

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And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.

Then, when a famine arose over the land, after that barrenness which had happened in the days of Abraham, Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Palestinians, in Gerar.

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And YHWH appeared unto him, and said: 'Go not down unto Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of.

And the Lord appeared to him, and he said: “Do not descend into Egypt, but rest in the land that I will tell you,

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Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore unto Abraham thy father;

And sojourn in this land; and I will be with thee, and bless thee, for I will give to thee and to thy seed all this land; and I will establish my oath which I swore to thy father Abraam.

and sojourn in it, and I will be with you, and I will bless you. For to you and to your offspring I will give all these regions, completing the oath that I promised to Abraham your father.

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and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these lands; and by thy seed shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves;

And I will multiply your offspring like the stars of heaven. And I will give to your posterity all these regions. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth will be blessed,

And I will make your descendants to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give to your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;

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because that Abraham hearkened to My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.'

Because Abraam thy father hearkened to my voice, and kept my injunctions, and my commandments, and my ordinances, and my statutes.

because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my precepts and commandments, and observed the ceremonies and the laws.”

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And Isaac dwelt in Gerar.

And so Isaac remained in Gerar.

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And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said: 'She is my sister'; for he feared to say: 'My wife'; 'lest the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah, because she is fair to look upon.'

And the men of the place questioned him concerning Rebecca his wife, and he said, She is my sister, for he feared to say, She is my wife, lest at any time the men of the place should slay him because of Rebecca, because she was fair.

And when he was questioned by the men of that place about his wife, he answered, “She is my sister.” For he was afraid to confess her to be his mate, thinking that perhaps they would put him to death because of her beauty.

And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife.

And he remained there a long time, and Abimelech the king of Gerara leaned to look through the window, and saw Isaac sporting with Rebecca his wife.

And when very many days had passed, and he had remained in the same place, Abimelech, king of the Palestinians, gazing through a window, saw him being playful with Rebekah, his wife.

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And Abimelech called Isaac, and said: 'Behold, of a surety she is thy wife; and how saidst thou: She is my sister?' And Isaac said unto him: 'Because I said: Lest I die because of her.'

And summoning him, he said: “It is clear that she is your wife. Why did you falsely claim her to be your sister?” He answered, “I was afraid, lest I might die because of her.”

So Abimeleck called Isaac, and said, Behold, she is your wife; how then did you say, She is my sister? And Isaac said to him, Because I said, Lest I may die on account of her.

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10  And Abimelech said: 'What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might easily have lain with thy wife, and thou wouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.'

10  And Abimelech said: “Why have you burdened us? Someone from the people could have lain with your wife, and you would have brought a great sin upon us.” And he instructed all the people, saying,

11  And Abimelech charged all the people, saying: 'He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.'

11  “Whoever will touch the wife of this man will die a death.”

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12  And Isaac sowed in that land, and found in the same year a hundredfold; and YHWH blessed him.

12  Then Isaac sowed in that land, and he found, in that same year, one hundredfold. And the Lord blessed him.

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13  And the man waxed great, and grew more and more until he became very great.

13  And the man was enriched, and he continued prospering as well as increasing, until he became very great.

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14  And he had possessions of flocks, and possessions of herds, and a great household; and the Philistines envied him.

14  And he had cattle of sheep, and cattle of oxen, and many tilled lands, and the Phylistines envied him.

14  Likewise, he had possessions of sheep and of herds, and a very large family. Because of this, the Palestinians envied him,

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15  Now all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.

15  so, at that time, they obstructed all the wells that the servants of his father Abraham had dug, filling them with soil.

16  And Abimelech said unto Isaac: 'Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.'

16  It reached a point where Abimelech himself said to Isaac, “Move away from us, for you have become very much more powerful than we.”

17  And Isaac departed thence, and encamped in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.

17  And departing, he then went toward the torrent of Gerar, and he dwelt there.

18  And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham; and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.

18  Again, he dug up other wells, which the servants of his father Abraham had dug, and which, after his death, the Philistines had formerly obstructed. And he called them by the same names that his father had called them before.

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19  And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of living water.

19  And the servants of Isaac dug in the valley of Gerara, and they found there a well of living water.

19  And they dug in the torrent, and they found living water.

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20  And the herdmen of Gerar strove with Isaac's herdmen, saying: 'The water is ours.' And he called the name of the well Esek; because they contended with him.

20  But in that place also the shepherds of Gerar argued against the shepherds of Isaac, by saying, “It is our water.” For this reason, he called the name of the well, because of what had happened, ‘Calumny.’

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21  And they digged another well, and they strove for that also. And he called the name of it Sitnah.

21  And having departed thence he dug another well, and they strove also for that; and he named the name of it, Enmity.

21  Then they dug up yet another one. And over that one also they fought, and he called it, ‘Enmity.’

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22  And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not. And he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said: 'For now YHWH hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.'

22  And he departed thence and dug another well; and they did not strive about that; and he named the name of it, Room, saying, Because now the Lord has made room for us, and has increased us upon the earth.

22  Advancing from there, he dug another well, over which they did not contend. And so he called its name, ‘Latitude,’ saying, “Now the Lord has expanded us and caused us to increase across the land.”

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23  And he went up from thence to Beer-sheba.

23  Then he ascended from that place into Beersheba,

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24  And YHWH appeared unto him the same night, and said: 'I am the God of Abraham thy father. Fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for My servant Abraham's sake.'

24  And the Lord appeared to him in that night, and said, I am the God of Abraam thy father; fear not, for I am with thee, and I will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for the sake of Abraam thy father.

24  where the Lord appeared to him on the same night, saying: “I am the God of Abraham your father. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you, and I will multiply your offspring because of my servant Abraham.”

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25  And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of YHWH, and pitched his tent there; and there Isaac's servants digged a well.

25  And he built there an altar, and called on the name of the Lord, and there he pitched his tent, and there the servants of Isaac dug a well in the valley of Gerara.

25  And so he built an altar there. And he invoked the name of the Lord, and he stretched out his tent. And he instructed his servants to dig a well.

26  Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath his friend, and Phicol the captain of his host.

26  And Abimelech came to him from Gerara, and so did Ochozath his friend, and Phichol the commander-in-chief of his army.

26  When Abimelech, and Ahuzzath, his friend, and Phicol, the leader of the military, had arrived from Gerar to that place,

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27  And Isaac said unto them: 'Wherefore are ye come unto me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?'

27  Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, a man whom you hate, and whom you have expelled from among you?”

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28  And they said: 'We saw plainly that YHWH was with thee; and we said: Let there now be an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee;

28  And they responded: “We saw that the Lord is with you, and therefore we said: Let there be an oath between us, and let us initiate a pact,

28  And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD is with you; so we said, Let there be now an oath between us and you, and let us make a covenant with you,

29  that thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace; thou art now the blessed of YHWH.'

29  so that you may not do us any kind of harm, just as we have touched nothing of yours, and have not caused any injury to you, but with peace we released you, augmented by the blessing of the Lord.”

29  That you will do us no evil, just as we have not hurt you, and as we have done nothing but good to you, and have sent you away in peace; you are now the blessed of the LORD.

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30  And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink.

30  Therefore, he made them a feast, and after the food and drink,

31  And they rose up betimes in the morning, and swore one to another; and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.

31  arising in the morning, they swore to one another. And Isaac sent them away peacefully to their own place.

32  And it came to pass the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had digged, and said unto him: 'We have found water.'

32  Then, behold, on the same day the servants of Isaac came, reporting to him about a well which they had dug, and saying: “We have found water.”

33  And he called it Shibah. Therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto this day.

33  Therefore, he called it, ‘Abundance.’ And the name of the city was established as ‘Beersheba,’ even to the present day.

34  And when Esau was forty years old, he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite.

34  In truth, at forty years of age, Esau took wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, the Hittite, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon, of the same place.

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35  And they were a bitterness of spirit unto Isaac and to Rebekah.

35  And they both offended the mind of Isaac and Rebekah.

35  Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.