Dave Burnette's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 26

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: The Record of God's Chosen People (c 23-50)
Theme: The Story of Isaac (c 25-28)
Message: Isaac and the Philistines (v 1-35)

Genesis 26 Commentary

(26:1) The Philistines are Introduced - The Philistines would become some of Israel's fiercest enemies. They were one group of a number of migrating sea peoples from the Aegean Sea who had settled in Canaan. They arrived by way of Crete and Cyprus and were used as mercenaries by Canaanite rulers. These people, living along the southwest coast, were few but ferocious in battle. Although friendly to Isaac, this small group was the forerunner of the nation that would plague Israel during the days of Joshua, the judges, and David. This King Abimelech was not the same Abimelech that Abraham encountered (Genesis 20-21). Abimelech, which means "my father is king," was likely a dynastic name used by the Philistine rulers.

(26:7-11) Isaac Repeats Abraham's Sin - Isaac was afraid that the men in Gerar would kill him to get his beautiful wife, Rebekah. So he lied, claiming that Rebekah was his sister. Where did he learn that trick? He may have known about the actions of his father, Abraham (see 12:10-13; 20:1-5). Parents help shape the world's future by the way they shape their children's values. The first step toward helping children live right is for parents to live right. Your actions are often copied by those closest to you. What kind of example are you setting for those who look up to you?

(26:12-16) God kept his promise to bless Isaac.- The neighboring Philistines grew jealous because everything Isaac did seemed to go right. So they filled his wells with dirt and tried to get rid of him. Jealousy is a dividing force strong enough to tear apart the mightiest of nations or the closest of friends. It often ends up separating you from what you were longing for in the first place. When you find yourself becoming jealous of others, try thanking God for their good fortune. Before striking out in anger, consider what you could lose- a friend, a job, a spouse?

(26:17-22) Isaac Digs a New Well - Three times Isaac and his men dug new wells. When the first two disputes arose, Isaac moved on. When the third well was dug, room was finally available for everyone. Rather than start a huge conflict, Isaac compromised for the sake of peace. Would you be willing to forsake an important position or valuable possession to keep peace? Ask God for the wisdom to know when to withdraw and when to stand and fight.

(26:17-18) Isaac Keeps Peace - The desolate Gerar area was located on the edge of a dry wilderness. Water was as precious as gold. A person who dug a well was staking a claim to the land. Some wells had locks to Keep thieves from stealing the water. To fill in someone's well with dirt was an act of war; it was one of the most serious crimes in the land. Isaac had every right to fight back when the Philistines ruined his wells, yet he chose to keep the peace. In the end, the Philistines respected him for his patience.

(26:20-22) The Names of these Wells had Specific Meanings - Esek means "argument", Sitnah means "enmity"; Rehoboth means "room enough." Isaac was rewarded for his tenacity. He was guaranteed prosperity because he had an ample supply of water.

(26:26-31) Isaac Shows God's Love - With his enemies wanting to make a peace treaty, Isaac was quick to respond, turning the occasion into a celebration. We should be just as receptive to those who want to make peace with us. When God's influence in our lives attracts people, even enemies--we must take the opportunity to reach out to them with God's love.

(20:34-35) Esau Marries a Pagan Women - Esau's actions upset his parents greatly. Most parents can be a storehouse of good advice because they have a lifetime of insight into their children's character. We may not agree with everything our parents say, but it's best to at least talk with them and listen carefully. This will help us avoid the hard feelings Esau experienced.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Generational Sin

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. There are many applications we can make from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 26, and in today's text, we see the life of Isaac in print and some of the blessings and mistakes of Isaac's life. Although we can make many applications from his life, what catches my attention from today's text is Isaac repeating his father's sin by lying about Rebekah being his wife. If you remember, Abraham had this besetting sin that his son is now committing. This tendency of generational sin is all through the Bible. It doesn't mean we are responsible for our father's sins or that they are directly passed to us, but rather the tendency to commit the same sin of our fathers. Seeing this from today's text, we should notice the sins of our parents and catch our trends to fall into the same sin. We know that Jesus Christ gives us victory over sin and the way of escaping temptation without failing and when we couple that with knowing our tendencies to sin, we can walk in ultimate success. How about you? Do you see the tendency to commit the sins of your fathers? If so, trust Christ and look for the way of escape provided for us and let us not forget our tendency for generational sin.


Genesis 26

Genesis 26

 1And 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.

 2And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:

 3Sojourn 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 countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;

 4And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;

 5Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

 6And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:

 7And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.

 8And 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.

 9And 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 for her.

 10And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.

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

 12Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.

 13And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:

 14For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.

 15For 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.

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

 17And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.

 18And 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.

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

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

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

 22And 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 the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.

 23And he went up from thence to Beersheba.

 24And the LORD 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.

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

 26Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army.

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

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

 29That 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 the LORD.

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

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

 32And 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.

 33And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beersheba unto this day.

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

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