ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 50


jealous of him. So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These
were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham.
Finally, Abimelech ordered Isaac to leave the country. “Go somewhere
else,” he said, “for you have become too powerful for us.”
So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and
settled down. He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names
Abraham had given them.
Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh
water. But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring.
“This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). Isaac’s
men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac
named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). Abandoning that one, Isaac
moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so
Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said,
“At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.”
From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, where the Lord appeared to him
on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said.
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your
descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of
my promise to Abraham, my servant.” Then Isaac built an altar there and
worshiped the Lord. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants
dug another well.
One day King Abimelech came from Gerar with his adviser, Ahuzzath,
and also Phicol, his army commander. “Why have you come here?” Isaac
asked. “You obviously hate me, since you kicked me off your land.”
They replied, “We can plainly see that the Lord is with you. So we want
to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant. Swear that
you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always
treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look
how the Lord has blessed you!”
So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, and they ate
and drank together. Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath
not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and
they left him in peace.
That very day Isaac’s servants came and told him about a new well they
had dug. “We’ve found water!” they exclaimed. So Isaac named the well
Shibah (which means “oath”). And to this day the town that grew up there
is called Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”).

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