Genesis 26:1-35. Isaac's Journey to Gerar.
Genesis 26:1 And there was a famine in the land,
(Accounts for Esau's despair of living, and hence selling his birthright.)
beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham (one of 13 famines, see 12:10). And Isaac went unto Abimelech (Official name, not the same as 20:2) king of the Philistines unto Gerar (= a lodging place).
2 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, "Go not down into Egypt (as Abraham did in 12:10); 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;
(So to each Patriarch, father of a tribe: Abraham 13:15, Jacob 28:13 &c., involving resurrection. See 50:24, and cp. Ex.3:6 and Matt.22:23-33.
When this famine hit their land it was just after Esau had sold his birthright, and now the real hard times are coming upon the family of Isaac. Yet, God is telling Isaac, Don't go down there to Egypt, but stay here in the land of the Canaanites [Philistines], and I will give thee the land. God is saying to Isaac, I made a promise to you [an oath], and I am able to keep My oath to you.)
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;
(That is only through Christ that ALL races are blessed even though they are not of the same blood. This actually has a double promise, the first is that nations will be formed out of the generations of Isaac. Secondly will be the wealth and concern that all the world nations throughout the years would rely on, and be are blessed from the seed future generations of Isaac.
It is for this reason that Satan has attacked God's people, and the bloodline that the Messiah would come through, and since Christ's birth, death and resurrection, Satan has continued to attack through his offspring, the Kenites. When the hard times come, Satan will use those time to try to turn you against God.)
5 Because that Abraham obeyed My (My repeated 5 times for emphasis, #5 = grace) voice (to be heard and believed, Rom. 10:17), and kept My charge (to be observed), My commandments (to be obeyed), My statutes (= decrees, to be acknowledged), and My laws (instructions to be followed)."
God's grace is given unto each of us, just as it was given to Isaac, if you abide in His word, love Him and do things God's ways. Though we may never be tested like Abraham was tested, God will allow certain things to come before us to see how we have learned to apply and trust in His word. When we fail in those test, it is time to repent, and reset our course in life to be in tune with His word, and keep on going.
God's "voice" is written in His Word by the prophets, God's charge is that we read and trust what He says He will do, and His commandments, statutes, and laws are still in force and to be followed as a guide to us, for a long and fruitful life. Though the blood sacrifices have been eliminated by and through the shedding of Jesus Christ's death on the cross, the rest of them are what our laws of the land are based upon, that we may all live a long and peaceful life.
They do not provide any part of our salvation, but are the foundation of our Christian living, for only by our belief in Jesus Christ, and claiming the precious blood of our Savior can we ever have the right of forgiveness before the throne of our Almighty Father. It is through your repentance for the sin in your life, in Jesus' name, that you will be forgiven.)
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.
(This is as Abraham had said in 20:12, for Rebekah came from the same lineage as that of her mother-in-law Sarah, and just like Sarah, Rebekah was a beautiful woman. However, keep in mind, Isaac thought he was going to help God with a little white lie.)
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."
12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
(There is a famine going on in the entire land, yet God told Isaac to stay in the land of the Philistines, and plant. Now that there is no fear for his life, Isaac is comfortable in the land. God blessed Isaac's land and his crop, and with a hundredfold return on Isaac's seed, you would never know the land was in a famine.)
13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
(When you do it God's way, you will prosper. Some people measure their prosperity in earthly wealth, while others consider it knowledge to teach God's word, or even children as their prosperity. When God gives you a promise, there will be blessings coming to you, because you took God at His word, and applied it to your life.)
14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
("Envy" is at the root of most trouble and conflicts.)
15 For 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.
(After Abraham had left this area years prior, the Philistines came in and filled all the wells up with dirt, because they did not want the wells there.)
16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, "Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we."
(King Abimelech saw the trouble that was starting from envy caused by the prosperity of Isaac, when the Philistines were struggling through this famine. So Abimelech is requesting that Isaac take his wealth and household, and leave.)
17 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there.
18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father;
(Isaac a placid character: shown by his obedience [22:6,8], his meekness in betrothal , his mourning for his mother [24:63-67; cp. note on v.63], his following his father's steps to Gerar [20:1] in denying his wife there , his finding an Abimelech and phicol there, and digging wells there, renewing the oath and renaming the well.)
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.
(Cp. the 4 names and their special meaning.)
19 And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.
Spring water is flowing water, and is also called living water.)
20 And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaac's herdmen, saying, "The water is ours:: and he called the name of the well Esek (= strife, or contention); because they strove with him.
21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah (= opposition).
22 And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth (= roominess); and he said, "For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land."
23 And he went up from thence to Beersheba (= the well of the oath).
(This is the place where Abraham had offered seven lambs on the altar, after God had given him the promises. It is also the well that Hagar and Ishmael had stopped, and expected to die; and then God opened her eyes, and allowed Hagar to see the well and sparred their lives. This is the place where God made a covenant with Hagar that through Ishmael would come many nations, and they would be blessed also, as recorded in Genesis 16:10.)
24 And the LORD (Yehovah) 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."
(Our Heavenly Father always keeps his promises, and the covenant that He made with Abraham and Isaac, are still very much alive to each of us, if we claim our part to it. However, if you turn your back on that covenant, then Esau will become your example, for that is what you will become. A man that puts the trivial earthly things ahead of God.)
25 And 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.
26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath (= possessions) one of his friends, and Phichol (an official military tittle, cp.21:22) the chief captain of his army.
27 And Isaac said unto them, "Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?"
28 And 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;
(It took a little time for them to wake up, and see that Isaac was being blessed by God, and that God was with Isaac in all matters. There is a deeper meaning to this then appears on the surface. This is the location that God made his first oath, or Covenant with Abraham, and it was only the beginning of what will continue on throughout all generations, even to this day.)
29 That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee,
(Emphasizing the fact that so far from injuring him any way that they had shown him favor.)
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."
30 And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink.
31 And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.
(It is best to get along the best you can, if possible. Paul instructed us in Romans 12:17, and 18; "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."
Sometimes it is just not possible, however, when you can make the offer for peace, or it is extended to you and does not offend your relationship to our Heavenly Father, we are to live at peace with those around us.)
32 And 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."
33 And he called it Shebah (= an oath): therefore the name of the city is Beersheba unto this day.
(Same name given by Abraham. Names were sometimes reimposed for a new reason. Cp. Bethel 28:18,19 with 35:6,7, and Israel 32:28 with 35:10.)
34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith (= praised. She had a second name Aholibamah = my tabernacle is exalted) the daughter of Beeri
(= spring man, for discovering the hot springs, his second name was Anah = the one who answers.)
(i.e. the general name, see 1 Kings 10:29),
(= fragrant, pleasing, her second name was Adah = ornament, beauty.)
the daughter of Elon the Hittite:
35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
(Grief put for that which caused it. No wonder it caused "bitterness of spirit" when we remember who the Canaanite were.
Esau was the one that thought only of his own fleshly desires, married out of his people. This allows us to see all the more why God chose Jacob, over Esau; because Esau cared less of the promises of God, and the requirement to keep the lineage uncorrupted. Esau let his fleshly desires take priority over what Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all knew to be a taboo. The Hittites were a mixed breed, with both the Kenites, and the Nephilim [fallen angels], and this corruption in the bloodline would have spoiled the plan of God, and God would not have allowed that.
God knew the nature of Esau from before the time of conception, and this is why God told Malachi to write; "And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains [nations] and his heritage waste for the dragons [jackals] of the wilderness." Malachi 1:3
God loved Jacob, and it was Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel by God, that the Christ child would come through. God is in control of all of His children, when they are pleasing unto Him, and follow His Word. If you are pleasing to God, and striving to do thing His way, you will see how God will bless you.
Mankind use to build an altar and burn an animal on it to show there love to God. However, after Jesus came to earth and became that sacrifice, once and for all times. God doesn't want burnt dead animals any more, for your sacrifice, he wants your love. Peter told us how are sacrifices are to be in I Peter 2:5; "Ye also, as lively [living] stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
We are the living stones of the altar of God, and our sacrifices are spiritual sacrifices that we give in living our lives in faith, and believing in Jesus Christ. We are the sacrifices that God wants, and it is our minds and attitudes, and actions that are the spiritual sacrifices that are pleasing to our Heavenly Father.)