The Treaty at Beersheba
22 And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:
23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
24 And Abraham said, I will swear.
25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away.
26 And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing; neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.
27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.
28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?
30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.
31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.
32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God.
34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines’ land many days.
K.J.V. Bible Text
This reading tells about the relationship between Abimelek the King and Abraham. Abimelek knew that God was on Abraham’s side at all times. He sought assurance that Abraham would treat him fairly while residing in Abimelek’s country. (We know that if the Lord willed it, Abraham could easily have seized the land and overcome Abimelek’s kingdom.)
Abraham agreed to the premise but brought up the matter of a well that Abimelek’s servants had seized. Although Abraham was responsible for the digging of the well, he wisely offered a gift of livestock to Abimelek to secure his hold on the disputed property.
The two swore an oath that Abraham’s right to the well would be upheld and because of this agreement, Abraham was able to stay in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
After thinking about Abimelek’s concerns about Abraham’s relationship with God and his accompanying desire to remain in Abraham’s good graces, I began to think about the world today. Even now I believe it is unwise for a country to seek to overcome a people who are governed by love of the Lord. The agreement between Abraham and Abimelek is a representation of how God allows those with whom he has a relationship to prosper.
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