Genesis Chapter 26 to 27 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Isaac Lies to Abimelech

26 Once there was a famine.* This was like the famine that happened during Abraham’s life. So Isaac went to the town of Gerar, to Abimelech the king of the Philistine people. 2The Lord spoke to Isaac. The Lord said, “Don’t go down to Egypt. Live in the land that I commanded you to live in. 3Stay in that land, and I will be with you. I will bless you. I will give you and your family all these lands. I will do what I promised to Abraham your father. 4I will make your family as many as the stars of heaven. And I will give all these lands to your family. Through your descendants,* every nation on earth will be blessed. 5I will do this because your father Abraham obeyed my words and did the things I said. Abraham obeyed my commands, my laws, and my rules.” 6So Isaac stayed and lived in Gerar. 7Isaac’s wife Rebekah was very beautiful. The men of that place asked Isaac about Rebekah. Isaac said, “She is my sister.” Isaac was afraid to tell them Rebekah was his wife. Isaac was afraid the men would kill him so that they could have her. 8After Isaac had lived there a long time, Abimelech looked out his window and saw Isaac and his wife playing. 9Abimelech called for Isaac and said, “This woman is your wife. Why did you tell us that she was your sister?” Isaac said to him, “I was afraid that you would kill me so you could have her.” 10Abimelech said, “You have done a bad thing to us. One of our men might have slept with your wife. Then he would be guilty of a great sin.” 11So Abimelech gave a warning to all the people. He said, “No person must hurt this man or this woman. If any person hurts them, then that person will be killed.”

Isaac Becomes Rich

12Isaac planted fields in that place. And that year he gathered a great harvest. The Lord blessed him very much. 13Isaac became rich. He gathered more and more wealth until he became a very rich man. 14He had many flocks and herds of animals. He also had many slaves. All the Philistine people were jealous of him. 15So the Philistine people destroyed all the wells that Isaac’s father Abraham and his servants had dug many years before. The Philistines filled those wells with dirt. 16And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave our country. You have become much more powerful than we are.” 17So Isaac left that place and camped near the little river of Gerar. Isaac stayed there and lived. 18Long before this time, Abraham had dug many wells. After Abraham died, the Philistines filled the wells with dirt. So Isaac went back and dug those wells again. Isaac gave them the same names his father had given them. 19Isaac’s servants also dug a well near the little river. A spring of water flowed from that well. 20But the men who herded sheep in the Valley of Gerar argued with Isaac’s servants. They said, “This water is ours.” So Isaac named that well Esek.* He gave it that name because that was the place where those people argued with him. 21Then Isaac’s servants dug another well. The people of that place also argued because of that well. So Isaac named that well Sitnah.* 22Isaac moved from there and dug another well. No men came to argue about that well. So Isaac named that well Rehoboth.* Isaac said, “Now the Lord has found a place for us. We will grow and be successful in this place.” 23From that place Isaac went to Beersheba. 24The Lord spoke to Isaac that night. The Lord said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Don’t be afraid. I am with you, and I will bless you. I will make your family great. I will do this because of my servant Abraham.” 25So Isaac built an altar and worshiped the Lord in that place. Isaac set up camp there and his servants dug a well. 26Abimelech came from Gerar to see Isaac. Abimelech brought with him Ahuzzath, his adviser, and Phicol, the commander of his army. 27Isaac asked, “Why have you come to see me? You were not friendly with me before. You even forced me to leave your country.” 28They answered, “Now we know that the Lord is with you. We think that we should make an agreement. We want you to make a promise to us. 29We did not hurt you, now you should promise not to hurt us. We sent you away, but we sent you away in peace. Now it is clear that the Lord has blessed you.” 30So Isaac gave a party for them. They all ate and drank. 31Early the next morning, each man made a promise and a vow.* Then the men left in peace. 32On that day, Isaac’s servants came and told them about the well they had dug. The servants said, “We found water in that well.” 33So Isaac named that well Shibah.* And that city is still called Beersheba.*

Esau’s Wives

34When Esau was 40 years old, he married two Hittite women. One was Judith the daughter of Beeri. The other was Basemath the daughter of Elon. 35These marriages made Isaac and Rebekah very upset.

famine A time when there is no rain and no crops can grow. People and animals often die from lack of food and water. descendants Or “Descendant.” See Gal 3:16. Esek This means “argument” or “fight.” Sitnah This means “hatred” or “being an enemy.” Rehoboth This means “open place” or “crossroads.” vow A special promise to God. Shibah A Hebrew word meaning “seven” or “oath.” Beersheba This name means “well of the oath.”

Inheritance Problems

27 Isaac grew old, and his eyes became so weak he could not see clearly. One day he called his older son Esau to him. Isaac said, “Son!” Esau answered, “Here I am.” 2Isaac said, “I am old. Maybe I will die soon! 3So take your bow and arrows and go hunting. Kill an animal for me to eat. 4Prepare the food that I love. Bring it to me, and I will eat it. Then I will bless you before I die.” 5So Esau went hunting.

Jacob Tricks Isaac

Rebekah was listening when Isaac told those things to his son Esau. 6Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Listen, I heard your father talking to your brother Esau. 7Your father said, ‘Kill an animal for me to eat. Prepare the food for me, and I will eat. Then I will bless you before I die.’ 8So listen son, and do what I tell you. 9Go out to our goats and bring me two young goats. I will prepare them the way your father loves them. 10Then you will carry the food to your father. And he will bless you before he dies.” 11But Jacob told his mother Rebekah, “My brother Esau is a hairy man. I am not hairy like him. 12If my father touches me, he will know that I am not Esau. Then he will not bless me—he will curse* me! Why? Because I tried to trick him.” 13So Rebekah said to him, “I will accept the blame if there is trouble. Do the things I said. Go and get the goats for me.” 14So Jacob went out and got two goats and brought them to his mother. His mother cooked the goats in the special way that Isaac loved. 15Then Rebekah took the clothes that her older son Esau loved to wear. Rebekah put those clothes on the younger son Jacob. 16Rebekah took the skins of the goats and put them on Jacob’s hands and on his neck. 17Then Rebekah got the food she had cooked and gave it to Jacob. 18Jacob went to his father and said, “Father.” His father said, “Yes, son. Who are you?” 19Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your first son. I have done the things you told me. Now sit up and eat the animals that I hunted for you. Then you can bless me.” 20But Isaac said to his son, “How have you hunted and killed the animals so quickly?” Jacob answered, “Because the Lord your God allowed me to find the animals quickly.” 21Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near to me so that I can feel you, my son. If I can feel you, then I will know if you are really my son Esau.” 22So Jacob went to Isaac his father. Isaac felt him and said, “Your voice sounds like Jacob’s voice. But your arms are hairy like the arms of Esau.” 23Isaac did not know it was Jacob, because his arms were hairy like Esau’s arms. So Isaac blessed Jacob. 24Isaac said, “Are you really my son Esau?” Jacob answered, “Yes, I am.”

The Blessing for Jacob

25Then Isaac said, “Bring me the food. I will eat it and bless you.” So Jacob gave him the food, and he ate it. Then Jacob gave him some wine, and he drank it. 26Then Isaac said to him. “Son, come near and kiss me.” 27So Jacob went to his father and kissed him. Isaac smelled Esau’s clothes and blessed him. Isaac said, “My son smells like the fields that the Lord has blessed. 28May the Lord give you plenty of rain so you will have good crops and wine. 29May all people serve you. May nations bow down to you. You will rule over your brothers. Your mother’s sons will bow down to you and obey you. Whoever curses* you will be cursed. Whoever blesses you will be blessed.”

Esau’s “Blessing”

30Isaac finished blessing Jacob. Then, just as Jacob left his father Isaac, Esau came in from hunting. 31Esau prepared the food in the special way his father loved. Esau brought it to his father. He said to his father, “Father, I am your son. Get up and eat the meat that I killed {and cooked} for you. Then you can bless me.” 32But Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your son—your first son—Esau.” 33Then Isaac became very worried and said, “Then who was it that cooked and brought me food before you came? I ate it all and I blessed him. Now it is too late to take back my blessing.” 34Esau heard his father’s words. He became very angry and bitter. He cried out. He said to his father, “Then bless me also, father!” 35Isaac said, “Your brother tricked me! He came and took your blessing!” 36Esau said, “His name is Jacob (‘Tricky’). That is the right name for him. He has tricked me twice. He took away my rights as the firstborn son.* And now he has taken away my blessing.” Then Esau said, “Have you saved any blessing for me?” 37Isaac answered, “No, it’s too late. I gave Jacob the power to rule over you. And I said all his brothers will be his servants. And I have given him the blessing for much grain and wine. There is nothing left to give you son.” 38But Esau continued to beg his father. “Do you have only one blessing, father? Bless me also, father!” Esau began to cry. 39Then Isaac said to him, “You will not live on good land. And you will not have much rain. 40You will have to fight to live. And you will be a slave to your brother. But you will fight to be free. You will break away from his control.” 41After that Esau hated Jacob because of this blessing. Esau thought to himself, “My father will soon die, and there will be a time of sadness for him. But after that I will kill Jacob.” 42Rebekah heard about Esau’s plan to kill Jacob. She sent for Jacob and said to him, “Listen, your brother Esau is planning to kill you. 43So, son, do what I say. My brother Laban is living in Haran. Go to him and hide. 44Stay with him for a short time. Stay with him until your brother stops being angry. 45After a short time, your brother will forget what you did to him. Then I will send a servant to bring you back. I don’t want to lose both of my sons in the same day.” 46Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “Your son Esau married Hittite women. I am very upset about these women. Why? Because they are not our people. I’ll just die if Jacob marries one of these women too!”

curse To ask for bad things to happen to a thing or person. rights as the firstborn son Usually, after the father died, the firstborn son got half of the father’s property and became the new head of the family.

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