Isaac and Abimelek
1 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.
2 And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
3 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 countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
4 And 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;
5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
6 And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:
7 And 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.
8 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.
9 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 for her.
10 And 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.
11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
K.J.V. Bible Text
Reading the beginning of Genesis Chapter 26 makes me think of a phrase we use jokingly in modern day, “Déjà vu all over again!”
In this reading we see that because of a famine, Isaac has gone to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. (The Lord has told him to go here rather than to Egypt.)
Is this the same King Abimelek that his father Abraham dealt with? In the absence of extensive bible study, it seems to me this is so. And here we have Isaac telling Abimelek that Rebekah is his sister! This, of course, is the same thing Abraham told Abimelek about his wife Sarah. In Abraham’s case, his wife was also his half sister, but unless I have gotten muddled here, Rebekah had no such relationship by birth with Isaac.
Isaac had been in Abimelek’s land for a long time when Abimelek spotted him caressing Rebekah and knew that Rebekah was Isaac’s wife.
Abimelek asked Isaac why he had told him the untruth and reminded him that one of the men might have slept with Rebekah and brought guilt to his people.
After that, Abimelek gave orders to his people that gave protection to both Isaac and Rebekah.
My thoughts on reading about this happening in the life of Isaac and Rebekah are a mixture. It reminds me that women in that day were often treated as possessions. I doubt many women today would be willing to pose as the sister of their husbands in anything other than the direst of emergencies. Also, it amazes me once again that those whom God walked with and talked with and to whom he promised great nations would be constrained to seek protection by saying things that were not true. I am beginning to wonder what I am missing about this relationship between God and his children.
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