Genesis 26 – Isaac and Abimelech
Another famine strikes the land. The text makes note that this is different than the one ‘in the days of Abraham.’ Duh, that was nearly 100 years ago wasn’t it. While thinking about a timeline, it says Isaac went unto King Abimelech of the Philistines, just as Abraham did.
Abraham to Abimelech ~2067 BCE
Death of Abraham ~1991 BCE
Isaac to Abimelech ~1977 BCE
Dates from HERE
But the Philistine people only came about around the 12th century BCE
Info from HERE
There is about 800 years that are unaccounted for. This is most definitely an anachronism; these anachronisms play a big part in deciding if this text is to be taken as divine or mortal. If this part has been altered, what other unknown parts have been? Why should you believe every other part if you can’t believe this part?
So, god appears to Isaac and tells him to stay in the land with the famine and he and his descendants will be blessed and would own the land and even says he will ‘perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father.’ Isaac stays, v.6.
Immediate question here, why does he have to swear it again. He already swore to Abraham to give the land to his descendants why do it again? He even makes the same promise that the descendants will outnumber the stars and own theses countries.
The only reason I would see that these oaths/swearing needed to be done again was if Abraham had broken his side of the agreement, but in v.5 god says Abraham was loyal.
Remember that ‘she’s my sister’ thing Abraham pulled in Gen. 12 and then again in Gen. 20? In Gen. 20 the king Abraham pulled the con on was, guess who, Abimelech! According to this timeline Gen. 12 was about 2091 BCE, Gen. 20 was about 2067 BCE, and this story is about 1977 BCE. 90 years later, Abimelech is still king and has the same con pulled on him again by the son of the first.
v.7, Isaac feared to tell the people she was his wife so they told everyone they were sibilings. In v.8, Isaac and Rebekah had been in Gerar for so long that they needed to do their marital duties and guess who saw them ‘sporting?’ King Abimelech!
v.9 Abimelech reprimands Isaac for lying because someone in his kingdom might have gotten with her and brought guiltiness upon them. The king tells his people to not harm them.
Isaac is supposed to be a chosen person of god, why must he lie? Why is it allowed?
Isaac stays in the land and during the next season overcomes the famine ‘an hundredfold.’ He had flocks and herds and ‘great store of servants.’ Slavery again.
The Philistines grew envious and, in v.16, Abimelech told them to leave.
Isaac and his herdsmen dig wells but are continually rebuffed by the herdsmen of Abimelech most likely to get them farther and farther away. Eventually with the well he name Rehoboth they didn’t advance anymore. After being pushed out of the land many times Isaac finally says ‘the lord hath made room for us.’ This is crazy to me. After they leave the city and the herdsmen are pushing them farther out they eventually stop going after them and that’s where Isaac says god made room for them.
v.26, Abimelech and two of his men come to Isaac to make a covenant because they saw that god was with him. Abimelech says since they sent him away without hurting him, he should do no harm to them. Through Isaac they thought they could be blessed too.
They had a feast, ate and drank, and left the next morning in peace.
v.35, At 40 Esau takes Judith and Bashemath as his wives. A funny ending to this chapter, in v.35, apparently the in-law thing happened way back then too, it says they (the wives of Esau) grieved the minds of Isaac and Rebekah.