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Thursday, August 15 2013
Genesis 26: Isaac's Wells
The land of Canaan, such as it was, geographically and prophetically (see The Sin Of Canaan, Camped Out In Canaan, What Does The Bible Really Say About Canaanites? and A History Of Jerusalem: Jebus Of Canaan), experienced droughts from time to time that caused the people of the Messianic line to seek refuge further west, in the rich Nile Delta area, or the area just before it that was supplied by its bounty. Abraham experienced it (see Genesis 20: Abraham and Abimelech), as did the Israelites (see A Biography Of Jacob: Israel In Egypt). Isaac also found it necessary to resort to the same area, so, according to the LORD's instructions, "Isaac dwelt in Gerar."
"26:1 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. 26:2 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: 26:3 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; 26:4 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; 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. 26:6 And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:" (Genesis 26:1-6 KJV)
As happened with Abraham and Sarah, Isaac presented his wife as though she were his sister. When the ruse was discovered, "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." The reason that Isaac had done so however was, like Abraham with Sarah, "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."
"26:7 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.
Isaac prospered there, as "the LORD blessed him." For that, "Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we."
"26:12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. 26:13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: 26:14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him. 26:15 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.
Water was a critical commodity at any time, let alone during times of drought. Abraham and Lot had parted because of water and grazing limitations (see Genesis 13: The Parting of Abram and Lot). Isaac found himself in a near state of war with groups of herdsmen who greatly outnumbered him. He at last found a place to settle in peace: "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."
"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.
Beersheba was a place that had a deep connection to the immediate history of Isaac and Abraham (see the Fact Finder question below). Isaac was also well-aware of the water supply there.
"26:23 And he went up from thence to Beersheba.
Abimelech then came to Isaac, in fear, because he and his men had driven Isaac away. Abimelech had later realized that Isaac had a purpose with the LORD, and that he was inviting the LORD's wrath with his hostility to Isaac (notice his "thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee" - an "army" of men were thanking a single man for not bringing harm upon them). If Isaac had not removed himself, refusing to be pushed away, it would have started a war that the LORD would have finished. Abimelech, who obviously understood what nearly happened, and apparently thinking that it still could happen, pleaded for a treaty of peace with Isaac.
"26:26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army.
At around the same time, Esau began marrying Hittite women, "Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah."
"26:34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 26:35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah." (Genesis 26:34-35 KJV)
Fact Finder: Who was the first to dig a well at "Beersheba"?
This Day In History, August 15
718: The Second Arab Siege of Constantinople (see also The Prophet Daniel: Kings Of The North and South).
927: The Saracens (a European/Church of Rome term for Muslims; see also A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad) attacked and destroyed Taranto, a coastal city in southern Italy.
982: Holy Roman Emperor Otto II (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) was defeated by the Saracens at the battle of Capo Colonna, in Calabria.
1040: King Duncan I was killed in battle against his cousin Macbeth, who then succeeded Duncan as King of Scotland.
1057: King Macbeth of Scotland was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan, fought against the forces of Mael Coluim mac Donnchada.
1096: The Church of Rome armies of the First Crusade set out from Europe to "liberate" Jerusalem from the occupying forces of Islamic Turks. Championed by Peter the Hermit in 1093, Pope Urban II had sanctioned the crusade at the Council of Clermont in 1095 (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1261: Constantinople fell to Michael VIII of Nicea.
1519: Panama City, Panama was founded.
1534: French explorer Jacques Cartier began his return trip to France after his first voyage to Canada (see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1537: Spanish conquistador Juan de Salazar y Espinoza founded Fort of Our Lady of Asuncion, later Asuncion, Paraguay's capital.
1620: The Mayflower set sail for the "New World" from Southampton, England with 102 English "Pilgrims" (again, see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1658: The League of the Rhine was established under French protection after France's King Louis XIV failed to be elected Holy Roman Emperor; Sweden's King Charles X began a second war with Denmark and besieged Copenhagen.
1744: The second Silesian War began with an invasion of Saxony by Prussia's King Frederick II.
1914: The Panama Canal was officially opened.
1940: The German Luftwaffe (air force) suffered its greatest losses for a single day during the Battle of Britain - 75 Nazi aircraft were shot down by the Royal Air Force.
1945: Korea was liberated from 35 years of colonial rule after Japan's defeat in World War II. The peninsula was divided into the Communist North and capitalist South (just as French colonial forces divided Vietnam into North and South a decade later).
1947: Britain partitioned India into the dominions of India and Pakistan, thereby creating two independent nations. Pandit Nehru as became Premier of India and L. Ali Khan became Premier of Pakistan.
1960: The Republic of the Congo became independent from France.
1969: The 3-day "Woodstock Music and Art Fair" opened at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in New York State. With an attendance of over 400,000 gullible young people, "Woodstock" became the most infamous Satanic festival of flaunting idolatry, fornication and dope use of its time (see also The First Rock Star and Seed-Bearing Plants: For Food Or For Folly?).
1975: Bangladesh's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed, along with most of his family, during a military coup.
2007: A magnitude 8.0 earthquake in the Pacific devastated areas of Peru; over 500 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured.