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Isaac's Wells

Some scientists and news commentators predict that while wars today are often fought over sources of oil, future wars (in the not very distant future) will be fought over sources of water - not salty ocean water that covers about ¾ of the earth's surface, but fresh water for the survival of the billions of humans on earth - an increasingly drought-plagued earth.

The struggle for control of water supplies is nothing new however, as proven in this example from the time of Isaac:

"26:19 And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. 26:20 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; because they strove with him. 26:21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah." (Genesis 26:19-21 KJV)

"For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land"

After Isaac and Rebekah (see She Is My Sister) departed from the Philistines in Gerar (where Isaac had resorted because of a famine in their own land), Isaac almost immediately came into conflict over sources of water.

Well

"26:16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.

26:17 And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. 26:18 And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; 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.

26:19 And Isaac's servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. 26:20 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; because they strove with him.

26:21 And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah." (Genesis 26:16-21 KJV)

Isaac wasn't looking for a fight however. He just kept moving until he found, not only water, but peace.

"26:22 And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land." (Genesis 26:22 KJV)

It was there that the LORD (see 'The God Of The Old Testament') appeared to Isaac to assure him that "I am with thee, and will bless thee."

"26:23 And he went up from thence to Beersheba. 26:24 And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father [see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM']: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake.

26:25 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." (Genesis 26:23-25 KJV)

Isaac's enemies also realized (i.e. were given to realize) that they should make peace with Isaac ("We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee"), a lesson that applies to anyone who genuinely obeys the LORD. When a nation truly obeys the LORD, rather than arrogantly claiming to be the LORD's people on their own rebellious "it's right if we say it is" terms, their borders and their people will always be safe and secure.

"26:26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army.

26:27 And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you?

26:28 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 [see also Covenant and Testament] with thee; 26:29 That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, 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.

26:30 And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. 26:31 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.

26:32 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. 26:33 And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beersheba unto this day." (Genesis 26:26-33 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was the difference between a well and a cistern?
See Wells and Cisterns


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