A Study In Genesis   1Genesis – Part 2Genesis 20 – Abraham and SarahAfter already making this mistake, once again Abraham ...
A Study In Genesis   2Sarah would be 90, so it seems surprising that she would still be physically attractive to a heathen...
A Study In Genesis   3directly communicated to Abimelech in a dream. Upon this, Abimelech hastened to amend thewrong he ha...
A Study In Genesis          4Abraham’s response betrays both his lack of faith in God and his misjudgement of the people o...
A Study In Genesis   5Genesis 21 – The Birth of IsaacIn fulfillment of God‘s promise, Sarah bears Abraham a son, who is na...
A Study In Genesis          6Verse 1 emphasizes that God keeps His promises, ―as He had said‖, ―as He had spoken‖. Hisprom...
A Study In Genesis   7went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy, andhe gre...
A Study In Genesis   8God‘s intervention saves Hagar and Ishmael and confirms to her that her son will become a greatnatio...
A Study In Genesis   9        25       When Abraham reproved Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech‘s servants had...
A Study In Genesis   10The end of Chapter 21 records an incident between Abimelech and Abraham. Abimelech knewthat God was...
A Study In Genesis          11Abimelech agreed to give the well back and in return, Abraham gave sheep and oxen toAbimelec...
A Study In Genesis                   12Genesis 22 – Sacrifice of IsaacThese events took place when Isaac was a young man, ...
A Study In Genesis   13Genesis 22:3-83 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young...
A Study In Genesis   14      When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid...
A Study In Genesis   15At the designated spot Abraham built an altar. He arranged the wood. He bound Isaac and laid himon ...
A Study In Genesis   16Genesis 23 - Sarah’s Death and BurialAs the story of Abraham’s life draws to a conclusion, this cha...
A Study In Genesis                   17Genesis 23:3-93 And Abraham rose up from before his dead and said to the Hittites,1...
A Study In Genesis           1823:14–16 BurialEphron answered Abraham, “Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hund...
A Study In Genesis   19Genesis 23:11-19       Now Ephron was sitting among the Hittites, and Ephron the Hittite answered A...
A Study In Genesis   20         The mosque of the patriarchs at Hebron built over the traditional site of the Cave of Mach...
A Study In Genesis                   21When Abraham bought this cave, he was renouncing Paddan Aram, that is, northwest Me...
A Study In Genesis   22Genesis 24 – Isaac and RebekahGenesis 24 is the longest chapter in Genesis. It tells the story of I...
A Study In Genesis                23Abraham is deeply concerned that Isaac should not marry a Caananite; he fears this wil...
A Study In Genesis   24      When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half shekel, 4 and...
A Study In Genesis   25Laban went to great the servant of Abraham and invited him back to the house. He provided forElieze...
A Study In Genesis   26Genesis 24:50-61      Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing has come from the LORD; ...
A Study In Genesis                   27said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 And the serva...
A Study In Genesis           28Although Rebekah undoubtedly covered her face as a sign of modesty and respect, in later ye...
A Study In Genesis                   29Genesis 25 – Abrahams Death, Jacob and EsauGenesis 25:1-6Abraham took another wife,...
A Study In Genesis           30Abraham was 137 when Sarah died (23:1), yet following her death he married Keturah. Since M...
A Study In Genesis           317 These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, 175 years. 8 Abraham breathed his last...
A Study In Genesis                   32After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac. He was still residing near Beer-laha...
A Study In Genesis                   33       These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: eAbraham fathered Isaac, ...
A Study In Genesis          34Men normally have felt that the first born son should receive the greater honor and inherita...
A Study In Genesis   35mentionof Esau having a tent or an altar, and 26:34–35 indicates that he loved worldly women.Hebrew...
A Study In Genesis          36not offer one word of condemnation or criticism of Jacob. But it does condemn Esau – “Thus, ...
A Study In Genesis           37BirthrightThe “birthright” was a special privilege accorded a firstborn. It has to do with ...
A Study In Genesis   38Genesis 26 – God’s Covenant Confirmed to Isaac, Abimelech, and WellsGenesis 26:1-11Now there was a ...
A Study In Genesis                     39key differences between the passages, and it is not uncommon for kings to have th...
A Study In Genesis   40So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18 And Isaacdug...
A Study In Genesis   41keep His promises to Abraham. Isaac also built an alter of his own and worshipped God. He pitchedhi...
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Genesis Part 2

  1. 1. A Study In Genesis 1Genesis – Part 2Genesis 20 – Abraham and SarahAfter already making this mistake, once again Abraham and Sarah pretend that she is his sister.Even after all God had shown them and done for them, it seems hard to believe that they did nothave faith enough not to repeat the mistake they had previously made.Genesis 20:1-2From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between pKadesh andShur; and he qsojourned in rGerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, s“She is my sister.” AndAbimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 1Abraham moved into “enemy territory.” After living at Hebron (“fellowship”) for perhaps twentyyears, he then decided to go to the land of the Philistines. Gerar is just within Philistine country, butit was still a dangerous place to be. Perhaps it was the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah thatcaused Abraham to want to move or possibly it was a business trip because the city controlled alucrative caravan route; but whatever his motive was, the decision was not a wise one. 2 The citywas an ungodly city and Abraham and Sarah agreed once again that Sarah would be presented ashis sister. It’s hard to understand how they would have forgotten the rebuke this course of actionhad procured for them in Egypt. They must have known by now that God would take care of them.In that day, a king had the right to take into his harem any single woman who pleased him.Abimelech thought Sarah was a single woman, so he took her; and were it not for the interventionof God, the king would have had normal relations with her. What the king did threatened God’sgreat plan of salvation, so the Lord had to act to protect Sarah and Isaac. 3p ch. 16:7, 14q ch. 26:3r ch. 26:6s See ch. 12:13–20; 26:7–111 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 20:1–2). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.2 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be obedient (86). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.3 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be obedient (89). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.
  2. 2. A Study In Genesis 2Sarah would be 90, so it seems surprising that she would still be physically attractive to a heathenking. She had been physically rejuvenated in order to conceive, possibly this manifested itself inrenewed beauty as well. Or possibly Abimelech viewed union with her as a political move.Genesis 20:3-83tBut God came to Abimelech uin a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead manbecause of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” 4 Now Abimelech had notapproached her. So he said, v“Lord, will you kill an innocent people? 5 Did he not himself say to me,‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and theinnocence of my hands I have done this.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that youhave done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning wagainst me.Therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 Now then, return the man’s wife, xfor he is a prophet, so thathe will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die,you yand all who are yours.” So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these 8things. And the men were very much afraid.4In spite of what Abraham and Sarah did, God still intervened on their behalf. God struck Abimelechwith some kind of lethal infirmity and closed up the wombs of the women in his harem (v. 18)God appears to Abimelech in a dream. God makes sure that Abimelech never touches Sarah sothere can be no claim that Abimelech is the father of her unborn child.Abimelech claimed that he did what he did in ignorance and that it was not his fault. Godacknowledged his relative innocence and instructed him to immediately restore Sarah to Abrahamand to ask Abraham to pray for his healing.Abimelech seems to have been a royal title, like that of Pharaoh.8 But in this instance, he was fardifferent from the king of Egypt. In fact, he appears to have been not merely true and upright incharacter, but to have feared the Lord. Accordingly, when Abraham was once more guilty of thesame deceit as formerly in Egypt, passing off his wife for his sister from fear for his own life, Godt Ps. 105:14u Job 33:15, 16; Matt. 1:20; 2:12v ch. 18:23; [1 Chr. 21:17]w ch. 39:9; Ps. 51:4x 1 Sam. 7:5; Job 42:8y [Num. 16:32, 33]4 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 20:3–8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.8 Comp. Gen. xxvi. 1, 8.
  3. 3. A Study In Genesis 3directly communicated to Abimelech in a dream. Upon this, Abimelech hastened to amend thewrong he had, unwittingly, so nearly committed.Genesis 20:9-18 Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I 9sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to methings that ought not to be done.” 10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that youdid this thing?” 11 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, zThere is no fear of God at all in thisplace, and athey will kill me because of my wife. 12 Besides, bshe is indeed my sister, the daughter ofmy father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 And when cGodcaused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: atevery place to which we come, dsay of me, He is my brother.’ ” Then Abimelech etook sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them 14to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “Behold, fmy land is beforeyou; dwell where it pleases you.” 16 To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given gyour brother a thousandpieces of silver. It is ha sign of your innocence in the eyes of all1 who are with you, and beforeeveryone you are vindicated.” 17 Then iAbraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and alsohealed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. 18 For the LORDjhad closed all thewombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. 5Abimelech did as God instructed him, but rebuked Abraham for deceiving him and bringing thistrouble on him and his people.z Prov. 16:6a ch. 12:12; 26:7b [ch. 11:29]c ch. 12:1d ch. 12:13e ch. 12:16f ch. 13:9; 34:10g [ver. 5]h [ch. 24:65]1 Hebrew It is a covering of eyes for alli [James 5:16]j [ch. 12:17]5 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 20:9–18). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  4. 4. A Study In Genesis 4Abraham’s response betrays both his lack of faith in God and his misjudgement of the people ofGerar. Then he further justifies himself by telling Abimelech that she is indeed his half-sister.Abimilech’s generosity on top of his innocence, contrasts sharply with Abraham’s self-serviingdeception regarding the truth about Sarah. The kings actions are a very public afirmation that hehas not acted inappropriately toward Sarah, and thus he is not the father of any children she mayhave.Then Abraham prays to God and Abimelech is healed and the women of this household are againable to bear children.The alliance with Abraham which Abimelech had sought by marriage, was shortly afterwardsconcluded by a formal covenant between the two, accompanied by a sacrifice of the sacred numberof seven ewe lambs.9 To show that this was intended as a public alliance, Abimelech cameaccompanied by his chief captain, or phichol.109 Gen. xxi. 22.10 Comp. Gen. xxvi. 26.
  5. 5. A Study In Genesis 5Genesis 21 – The Birth of IsaacIn fulfillment of God‘s promise, Sarah bears Abraham a son, who is named Isaac. In due course,Isaac is confirmed as Abraham‘s heir. God instructs Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away.While Isaac takes priority over Ishmael, God does not abandon Hagar and her son.Genesis 21:1-8The LORDkvisited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah las he had promised. 2 AndSarah mconceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age nat the time of which God had spokento him. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him,o Isaac.14 And Abraham pcircumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, qas God hadcommanded him. 5rAbraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 AndSarah said, s―God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.‖ 7 And shesaid, ―Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? tYet I have borne hima son in his old age.‖ 8 And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaacwas weaned. 6k 1 Sam. 2:21l ch. 17:19; 18:10, 14m Heb. 11:11; [Gal. 4:22]n ch. 17:21o ch. 17:191 Isaac means he laughsp Acts 7:8q ch. 17:10, 12r ch. 17:1, 17; Rom. 4:19s [Isa. 54:1; Gal. 4:27]t ch. 18:11, 126 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 21:1–8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  6. 6. A Study In Genesis 6Verse 1 emphasizes that God keeps His promises, ―as He had said‖, ―as He had spoken‖. Hispromises are fulfilled on His schedule, not ours.The bodies of Abraham and Sarah had been miraculously restored, although Abraham was 100and Sarah was 90. Sarah not only bore a child, but also nursed him. After Sarah died, Abrahamhad 6 other sons with his wife Keturah.As God had instructed, Isaac was circumcised at 8 days old, making sure he was under thecovenant of God.Genesis 21:9-21 9 But Sarah usaw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham,v laughing.210 So she said to Abraham, w―Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son ofthis slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.‖ 11 And the thing was very displeasing toAbraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, ―Be not displeased because of theboy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, forx through Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13 And I will make ya nation of the son of the slavewoman also, because he is your offspring.‖ 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and tookbread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child,and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of zBeersheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16 Thenshe went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for shesaid, ―Let me not look on the death of the child.‖ And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up hervoice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagarfrom heaven and said to her, ―What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voiceof the boy where he is. 18 Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will makehim into a great nation.‖ 19 Then aGod opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And sheu ch. 16:1, 15v [Gal. 4:29]2 Possibly laughing in mockeryw Cited Gal. 4:30x Cited Rom. 9:7; Heb. 11:18y ver. 18; ch. 16:10; 17:20z ver. 31a Num. 22:31; 2 Kgs. 6:17, 18, 20; [Luke 24:16, 31]
  7. 7. A Study In Genesis 7went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy, andhe grew up. He lived in the wilderness band became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in thewilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt. 7Ishmael was about 16 years old when the weaning ceremony for Isaac took place. Up until now,Ishmael had been the only son. It is no wonder there was some jealousy on his part towardsIsaac.Sarah could not abide the mocking. She had resented Ishmael and Hagar from the beginning,even though it was her idea. She could see that the rivalry would only get worse as they grewolder. Sarah could never bring herself to love and care for Ishmael as she would have her ownson. This was a character flaw on Sarah‘s part.She began to pressure Abraham to send them away, calling Hagar ―this slave woman‖ andIshmael ―the son of this slave woman‖. These were harsh words for her personal maid of over20 years and for a loved son of her husband. She did not want to share any of Abraham‘sinheritance.God spoke to Abraham. Though Sarah‘s attitude was wrong, she was also acting in consistencywith God‘s own promises and plans. So God instructed Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmaelaway.Abraham obeyed, and gave Hagar and Ishmael bread and water and sent them on their way. Itseems really strange that Abraham would send his son away with hardly anything consideringAbraham‘s wealth and his affection for Ishmael. It‘s possible that he simply believed that Godwould take care of them because of God‘s promise regarding Ishmael. The supplies that he gaveHagar and Ishmael may have been sufficient to get them to the next settlement had they notgotten lost.Hagar and Ishmael ran out of water and finally Ishmael fell down, unable to continue. Hagarmoved him underneath a bush, and, not wanting to see him die, she went a ―bowshot‖ away, satdown, and began to weep and pray. Apparently Ishmael was praying also because it says thatGod hear the voice of the boy. God had allowed them to come to the point where they could nolonger endure in their own strength and would have to depend on Him. They, like Abraham, hadto learn to trust God.b ch. 16:127 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 21:9–21). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  8. 8. A Study In Genesis 8God‘s intervention saves Hagar and Ishmael and confirms to her that her son will become a greatnation. Although it was Ishmael‘s misbehavior that led to the expulsion from Abraham‘shousehold, God reaffirms His promise, ―I will make him into a great nation.‖Apparently, they decided to remain there in the ―wilderness of Paran‖, a desert region in theSinai peninsula. Hagar, in fact, became so identified with Mount Sinai that Paul could say ―thisHagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia‖ (Gal. 4:25)Ishmael provided for himself and his mother by becoming an archer. Eventually he married awife, obtained by his mother for him from her people back in the land of Egypt. According toGenesis 25:13-15, he finally had twelve sons, and thus the great nation God promised him wasbegun.The Old Covenant vs. the New Covenant.Galatians 4:21–31 explains that these events with Ishmael and Isaac are an allegory thatsymbolizes God‘s Old Covenant with Israel and His New Covenant with the church. We maybriefly summarize the main ideas as follows: Hagar symbolizes the Old Covenant of law,identified with the earthly Jerusalem in Paul‘s day. Sarah symbolizes the New Covenant ofgrace, identified with the heavenly Jerusalem. Ishmael was born of the flesh and was the son of aslave. Isaac was ―born of the Spirit‖ and was the son of a freewoman. The two sons, then, picturethe Jews under the slavery of law and the true Christians under the liberty of grace. Paul‘sargument is that God commanded Abraham to cast out Hagar (the Old Covenant) because Hisblessing was to be upon Isaac. All of this fits into Paul‘s argument in Gal. 3–4 that Christianstoday are not under the law.8Genesis 21:22-34 22 At that time cAbimelech and Phicol the commander of his army said to Abraham, d―God iswith you in all that you do. 23 Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not dealfalsely with me or with my descendants or with my posterity, but as I have dealt kindly with you,so you will deal with me and with the land where you have sojourned.‖ 24 And Abraham said, ―Iwill swear.‖8 Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbes expository outlines on the Old Testament (Ge 21). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.c ch. 20:2; [ch. 26:1, 26]d [ch. 26:28]
  9. 9. A Study In Genesis 9 25 When Abraham reproved Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech‘s servants hadseized, 26 Abimelech said, ―I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, and Ihave not heard of it until today.‖ 27 So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them toAbimelech, and the two men gmade a covenant. 28 Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flockapart. 29 And Abimelech said to Abraham, ―What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs thatyou have set apart?‖ 30 He said, ―These seven ewe lambs you will take from my hand, that this3may be a witness for me that I dug this well.‖ 31 Therefore that place was called Beersheba,because there both of them swore an oath. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba. ThenAbimelech and Phicol the commander of his army rose up and returned to the land of thePhilistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and icalled there on the name of theLORD, jthe Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned many days in the land of the Philistines.9g ch. 26:313 Or youi ch. 4:26; 12:8j Isa. 40:28; [Ps. 90:2]9 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 21:22–34). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  10. 10. A Study In Genesis 10The end of Chapter 21 records an incident between Abimelech and Abraham. Abimelech knewthat God was blessing Abraham and wanted to enter into a non-aggression pact with him.Abimelech was an official title rather than a personal name, so we cannot be sure that theAbimelech of this episode is the same man who previously rebuked Abraham, as at least fouryears had passed since the incident of Abraham‘s and Sarah‘s deceit. The fact that he wantedassurance of Abraham‘s fidelity indicates that the Abraham‘s previous deception had led to alack of trust on the part of his neighbors. They wanted assurance that Abraham would ―play fair‖with them because he was such a powerful man.He brought his army chief of staff with him and went to see Abraham. He reminded Abrahamthat he had dwelt kindly with him and had allowed him to dwell in his land. In return, he wantedAbraham‘s assurance that he would not try to harm him or his people.Abraham was happy to make the treaty. He also used the opportunity to settle a dispute over awell he had dug at Beersheba. Water is still a very precious commodity in the Holy Land.Today, various methods of irrigation are used; but in Abraham‘s day, it was necessary to digwells and guard them carefully. If you did not guard your well, your enemies might seize it or fillit up (26:18). Some of Abimelech‘s servants had seized Abraham‘s well, so the treaty betweenthe two men had not done much good.Abraham did the right thing and confronted his neighbor with the facts, but Abimelech declaredthat he knew nothing about it. Was he telling the truth? Only God knows, but Abraham madesure the problem would never appear again.10 A well near Beersheba.10 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be obedient (91–92). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.
  11. 11. A Study In Genesis 11Abimelech agreed to give the well back and in return, Abraham gave sheep and oxen toAbimelech. The Hebrew word ―to swear‖ means ―to bind by seven things,‖ and the words―swear‖ (saba) and ―seven‖ (seba) are very similar. This time the two men went beyond merelygiving their oath: They made a covenant that involved slaying animals (21:27; 15:9–10). AsAbraham and Abimelech walked between the carcasses of the sacrifices, they were saying, ineffect, ―May God do to us and more if we fail to keep our covenant with each other.‖ This was aserious matter.But Abraham went a step further and selected 7 ewe lambs to be a ―special witness‖. that he haddug the well and the water belonged to him. He gave the lambs to Abimelech who would thenguard them carefully. They were like ―receipts‖ guaranteeing that Abraham owned the well.Both men agreed fully to the treaty and the place was named Beersheba, which can mean both―well of the oath‖ and ―well of the seven‖. The number 7 representing completeness, sealing thecovenant, and symbolizing Abraham‘s permanent right to the well.This entire transaction involved three elements: sacrifices (21:27), witnesses (21:28–30), andpromises (21:31–32). You find these same elements in God‘s covenant with us through JesusChrist, as outlined in Hebrews 10:1–18. First, there is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross(10:1–14); then, the witness of the Spirit within the believer (10:15); and finally, the promise ofGod‘s Word (10:16–18). Abraham‘s covenant with Abimelech only guaranteed possession of awell that provides water to sustain life. God‘s covenant with His people guarantees that we havethe living water that gives everlasting life to all who will believe and trust in God.After Abimelech returned to his own country, Abraham planted a grove of tamarisk trees nearthe well and called on the name of the Lord. This grove (or tamarisk tree) was also a part of thecovenant, a witness to the promises Abraham and Abimelech had made. The tamarisk is a shrub-like tree that has very hard wood and evergreen leaves. He would eventually come back toBeersheba to dwell; but for now he went back to the place where he had been living in the landof the Philistines where he lived until Isaac was grown.
  12. 12. A Study In Genesis 12Genesis 22 – Sacrifice of IsaacThese events took place when Isaac was a young man, not a child. Sarah was 92 or 93 when Isaacwas born, in Genesis 23:1, it says that Sarah died at the age of 127. Assuming the events in Chapter22 are chronological between Chapters 21 and 23, Isaac would at least be in his teens, if not older.According to Josephus, Isaac was twenty-five when God tested Abraham with respect to his son. 11He was 37 when his mother died.The Hebrew word “naar” is flexible in meaning. Most frequently it is translated as either “servant”or “young man”. In fact, the same word is used here in Genesis 22:5 in connection with the “youngmen” that went with Abraham and Isaac. Since exactly the same word is used in the same verse forthe two servants and for Isaac, it is clear that the meaning in Isaac’s case should also be “youngman”.Genesis 22:1-2After these things kGod tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 2 Hesaid, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to lthe land of Moriah, and offerhim there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”12The greatest test in the life of Abraham came after he received the promised seed following a longwait. The test was very real: he was to give Isaac back to God. As a test it was designed to provefaith. And for it to be a real test, it had to defy logic; it had to be something Abraham wanted toresist.13 God did not really intend for Isaac to die and it’s possible that Abraham obeyed, havingfaith that God would save Isaac.The exact location of the land of Moriah is not known. Most likely this Moriah was not the Mt.Moriah which was one of the mountains of Jerusalem. A three-day journey from the region ofBeersheba would put Abraham somewhere in the region of Hebron (22:1–2).1411 Smith, J. E. (1993). The Pentateuch (2nd ed.) (Ge 22:1–10). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.k 1 Cor. 10:13; Heb. 11:17; James 1:12, 13; 1 Pet. 1:6, 7l 2 Chr. 3:112 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 22:1–2). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.13 Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ge22:1–2). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.14 Smith, J. E. (1993). The Pentateuch (2nd ed.) (Ge 22:1–10). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.
  13. 13. A Study In Genesis 13Genesis 22:3-83 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men withhim, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the placeof which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place fromafar. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy 1 will go overthere and worship and come again to you.” 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering andmlaid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of themtogether. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” Hesaid, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said,n“God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of themtogether. 15Abraham responded without hesitation to the unexplained and unexpected command of his God. Hedid not tell Sarah or Isaac what his intentions were. Early in the morning he hastily split somewood. Scarcity of wood in Canaan made this preparation necessary. He then set out with twoservants and his son for Moriah. The length of the journey would guarantee that Abraham was notmaking any spur of the moment decision (22:3).Because of his age, Abraham rode the donkey, while the young men walked, carrying the wood. Onthe third day the mountain was in sight. The servants were left behind as Abraham announced forthe first time the purpose of his trip. He and Isaac would go to Moriah to worship and then theywould return to them.This promise of Abraham to return to them speaks volumes Abraham was expressing hisconfidence that both he and Isaac would return together (22:4–5). He had learned to trust God andthat God’s promises were true. Isaac was to become a great nation and he would not do this if hewas dead. The writer of Hebrews asserts that Abraham believed that God could raise Isaac from thedead (Heb 11:19).The wood was laid on Isaac’s back. This is an indication that Isaac was no longer a small child.Abraham carried the container of hot coals and the knife. When Isaac inquired about the sacrificiallamb, Abraham responded: “God will provide for himself the lamb.” The Hebrew literally reads,“God sees before him the lamb for the sacrifice.”Genesis 22:9-191 Or young man; also verse 12m [John 19:17]n [John 1:29, 36; 1 Pet. 1:19; Rev. 5:12]15 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 22:3–8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  14. 14. A Study In Genesis 14 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid 9the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and olaid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 ThenAbraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the LORDcalled to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” 12 He said, p“Donot lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for qnow I know that you fear God, seeing youhave not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked,and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and tookthe ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name ofthat place, r“The LORD will provide”;2 as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall beprovided.”3 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, s“By 15myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son,your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring tas the stars ofheaven and uas the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess vthe gate of his4enemies, 18 and win your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, xbecause you haveobeyed my voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together toyBeersheba. And Abraham lived at yBeersheba. 16o Heb. 11:17; James 2:21p [Mic. 6:7, 8]q [ch. 26:5]r ver. 82 Or will see3 Or he will be seens Ps. 105:9; Luke 1:73; Heb. 6:13t Jer. 33:22; See ch. 15:5u See ch. 13:16v ch. 24:60; Ps. 127:54 Or theirw ch. 12:3; 18:18; 26:4; Gal. 3:8; Cited Acts 3:25x ver. 3; ch. 26:5y ch. 21:31y ch. 21:3116 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 22:9–19). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  15. 15. A Study In Genesis 15At the designated spot Abraham built an altar. He arranged the wood. He bound Isaac and laid himon the wood. He raised his knife to slay his son.17This event also speaks well of Isaac himself. There is no indication that he resisted Abraham orbegged him not to do this. Isaac well could have escaped and refused to let himself be bound. Bynot resisting, Isaac entered into the spirit of Abraham, he took upon himself his father’s faith andproved himself to be a worthy heir to the promises given to Abraham.As Abraham picked up the knife, the angel of the Lord spoke from heaven to announce that the testwas over. “Now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your only son from me.”God did not desire the death of Isaac, but the heart of his father. “Now I know” is anthropomorphiclanguage which is intended to underscore Abraham’s triumph in his test (22:11–12).Abraham then noticed a ram caught in a nearby thicket which he hastened to offer as a joyous burntoffering before the Lord. As he did so he gave a commemorative name to the spot: yahweh yir’eh(“Yahweh will provide”). Abraham realized that in the ram God was providing a substitute for hisson. 18Genesis 22:20-2420 Now after these things it was told to Abraham, “Behold, zMilcah also has borne children to yourbrother Nahor: 21aUz his firstborn, bBuz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo,Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 (cBethuel fathered Rebekah.) These eight Milcah bore to Nahor,Abraham’s brother. 24 Moreover, his concubine, whose name was Reumah, bore Tebah, Gaham,Tahash, and Maacah. 19Here is inserted a blurb on Abraham’s half brother Nahor, who is believed to still be inMesopotamia in Nahor. The mention of these relatives is important in that Abraham needed to finda wife for Isaac. He could not marry one of the local girls.17 Smith, J. E. (1993). The Pentateuch (2nd ed.) (Ge 22:1–10). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.18 Smith, J. E. (1993). The Pentateuch (2nd ed.) (Ge 22:11–19). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.z ch. 11:29a Job 1:1b Jer. 25:23c ch. 24:1519 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 22:20–24). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  16. 16. A Study In Genesis 16Genesis 23 - Sarah’s Death and BurialAs the story of Abraham’s life draws to a conclusion, this chapter records how Abraham buys a cavein Hebron to be a burial place for Sarah. By acquiring this piece of land, Abraham not onlyestablishes further rights to it for his family but puts down a marker that his descendents are to beassociated with the land of Canaan, as God had already promised.Genesis 23:1-2Sarah lived 127 years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. 2 And Sarah died at dKiriath-arba(that is, eHebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep forher. 20After the episode on Mount Moriah, very little is reported concerning the life of Abraham, andnothing more about Sarah until her death.By the time of Sarah’s death, the family had apparently moved from Beersheba back to Hebron.Sarah was 127 when she died.It is significant that she is the only woman in scripture whose age at the time of her death is given.Peters reference to her in I Peter 3:5-6 indicates that, as Abraham was considered father of thosewho believe, so Sarah was considered mother of all believing women.Evidently Abraham was not present at the time of her decease, because it says that he “went in tomourn for Sarah, and to weep for her”.d ch. 35:27; Josh. 14:15; Judg. 1:10e ver. 1920 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 23:1–2). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  17. 17. A Study In Genesis 17Genesis 23:3-93 And Abraham rose up from before his dead and said to the Hittites,14f“I am a sojourner andforeigner among you; ggive me property among you for a burying place, that I may bury my deadout of my sight.” 5 The Hittites answered Abraham, 6 “Hear us, my lord; you are a prince of God2among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will withhold from you his tombto hinder you from burying your dead.” 7 Abraham rose and bowed to the Hittites, the people of theland. 8 And he said to them, “If you are willing that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear meand entreat for me Ephron the son of Zohar, 9 that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which heowns; it is at the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me in your presence as propertyfor a burying place.” 21Sarah was the first in the patriarchal family line to die in the land of Canaan. Rather than taking herback to her homeland for burial, Abraham desired that she remain in Canaan, as a testimony to boththe people of the land and their own descendents, that Canaan was to be their home from then on.Abraham set about the task of purchasing land for his sepulcher. Up to now Abraham owned noland of his own, rather he leased land from the existing inhabitants. He wanted a field containing asuitable cave, with trees around it, and within sight of their home in Mamre. This land belonged toEphron, a Hittite.“Hittite” was used in the ancient Near East to refer to at least three different groups of people.Those mentioned in Genesis are probably to be distinguished from the Hittites associated withAnatolia and Syria.Abraham addressed the leaders of the Hittites who were assembled at the gate of Hebron. The citygated was commonly the location where public decisions were formally made and transactionsbetween individuals were ratified.Abraham was held in high regard by the people around him: “You are a mighty prince among us”(cf. 20:6-11).221 Hebrew sons of Heth; also verses 5, 7, 10, 16, 18, 20f ch. 17:8; 1 Chr. 29:15; Ps. 105:12; Heb. 11:9, 13g Acts 7:52 Or a mighty prince21 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 23:3–9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.cf. confer, compare22 Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ge23:5–20). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  18. 18. A Study In Genesis 1823:14–16 BurialEphron answered Abraham, “Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels ofsilver, but what is that between me and you? Bury your dead.” Abraham agreed to Ephron’sterms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: fourhundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.The first burial recorded in the Bible is that of Sarah in the 23rd chapter of Genesis. In that account,there is also recorded the first commercial transaction, in which Abraham paid Ephron “fourhundred shekels of silver” for a burial place for Sarah. By that, Abraham became the owner of asmall parcel of the land of Canaan, which was all of Canaan that he ever possessed. When he died,“his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah” (Genesis 25:9) beside Sarah, hisfirst wife. Burial in a tombSarah was probably buried immediately after she died because of the warm climate of that area,and because of the wild animals and many birds that were about. A body left in the heat for morethan twenty-four hours would begin to decay, and if left unprotected would be devoured by theanimals. To allow a body to decay or be desecrated above the ground was considered dishonorableand an insult to the dead person. In addition to Sarah and Abraham, eventually, Isaac, Rebekah,Leah, and Jacob (Israel) were buried in the cave of Machpelah. (see Genesis 49:31 and 50:13). In thetime of Jesus, Lazarus was buried in a cave: “Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to thegrave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it” (John 11:38, KJV).2323 Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (Rev. ed.].) (32–33). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-LogosPublishers.
  19. 19. A Study In Genesis 19Genesis 23:11-19 Now Ephron was sitting among the Hittites, and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the 10hearing of the Hittites, of all who hwent in at the gate of his city, 11 “No, my lord, hear me: I give youthe field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the sight of the sons of my people I give it to you.Bury your dead.” 12 Then Abraham bowed down before the people of the land. 13 And he said toEphron in the hearing of the people of the land, “But if you will, hear me: I give the price of the field.Accept it from me, that I may bury my dead there.” 14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “My lord, listento me: a piece of land worth four hundred ishekels3 of silver, what is that between you and me?Bury your dead.” 16 Abraham listened to Ephron, and Abraham jweighed out for Ephron the silverthat he had named in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of silver, according to theweights current among the merchants. So kthe field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre, the field with the cave 17that was in it and all the trees that were in the field, throughout its whole area, was made over 18 toAbraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, before all who went in at the gate of hiscity. 19 After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah east of Mamre(that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 24Ephron and Abraham transacted their business openly before all, in the gate of the city. Ephronfirst offered to give the field to Abraham, for free. This was probably not his true intention, butrather part of the bargaining process. The second time he offers, he “casually” injects what hewould consider a fair price. Abraham insist on paying for the property; it is important thatAbraham buy the property because an actual sale ensures that Abraham has full legal title to theburial plot. When Ephron sets the price at 400 shekels of silver, Abraham does not even haggle.The transaction is completed and Abraham takes possession.This is not the same location that Jacob was buried in. Jacob purchased one in Shechem. Somecritics try to claim the Bible is contradicting itself, but it’s not. See Acts 7:16. After Sarah died,Abraham lived another 38 years. During that period he met and married Keturah and had 6 moresons. It seems reasonable that he would purchase a second burial site for his second family.h ch. 34:20, 24; Ruth 4:1i Ex. 30:13; Ezek. 45:123 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 gramsj 1 Chr. 21:25; Jer. 32:9; Zech. 11:12k ch. 25:9; 49:29–32; 50:1324 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 23:10–19). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  20. 20. A Study In Genesis 20 The mosque of the patriarchs at Hebron built over the traditional site of the Cave of Machpelah.Genesis 23:2020The field and the cave that is in it lwere made over to Abraham as property for a burying place bythe Hittites. 25Abraham’s purchase of the field and cave meant that his descendants would own this land inperpetuity. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Rebekah, and Leah would later be laid to rest in this cave.The point of this event was to ensure that the cave and field would be Abraham’s possession. Infaith he bought the land, taking nothing from these people (cf. 14:21-24). It was important thenwhere people buried their dead; burial was to be done in their native land. There was no goingback. Though Abraham was an alien and a stranger among the people (23:4), his hope was in theland.l [Ruth 4:7–10; Jer. 32:10–14]25 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 23:19–20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.cf. confer, compare
  21. 21. A Study In Genesis 21When Abraham bought this cave, he was renouncing Paddan Aram, that is, northwest Mesopotamia(cf. 25:20). This had just been brought to the reader’s attention (22:20-24) indirectly by mentioningthe relatives of Abraham who remained in Mesopotamia (cf. 11:27-31).Canaan was now Abraham’s new native land. But interestingly the only part of the Promised LandAbraham himself ever received he bought, and that was a burial cave. This first property of thepatriarchs—a cave—bound them to the Promised Land. This was a real “occupation” of the land.There would never be a return to Mesopotamia. Later patriarchs would also die and be buried withtheir ancestors in Canaan.26cf. confer, comparecf. confer, compare26 Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ge23:5–20). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  22. 22. A Study In Genesis 22Genesis 24 – Isaac and RebekahGenesis 24 is the longest chapter in Genesis. It tells the story of Isaac and Rebekah. The bride forIsaac had to be chosen with care, since she would be the mother of the multitude of nations whichGod had promised would come through Abraham’s seed.The author highlights how God controls events so that, after a long journey from Canaan to North-ern Mesopotamia, Abraham’s servant is guided to Rebekah. The journey from Hebron where Sarahis buried to Nahor, where Rebekah lived was approximately 520 miles along ancient routes. Thejourney would have taken about 21 days. Rebekah, in an act of faith, had to leave her home tojourney to Canaan to marry Isaac, whom she had never met.Genesis 24:1-9Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Putyour hand under my thigh, 3 that I may make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and God ofthe earth, that pyou will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, amongwhom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” 5The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land. Must Ithen take your son back to the land from which you came?” 6 Abraham said to him, “See to it thatyou do not take my son back there. 7 The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’shouse and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring Iwill give this land,’ the will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son fromthere. 8 But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then uyou will be free from this oath of mine;only you must not take my son back there.” 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh ofAbraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter. 27Isaac was 40 years old. Isaac realized as did Abraham, that no suitable wife could be found amongthe Canaanite peoples where they lived. It was very important that both Isaac and his wife becompletely united in their faith in their covenant God, in order to properly instruct their children inthis faith.p ch. 26:34, 35; 27:46; Deut. 7:3; [2 Cor. 6:14]t Ex. 23:20, 23; 33:2; [Heb. 1:14]u See Josh. 2:17–2027 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 24:1–9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  23. 23. A Study In Genesis 23Abraham is deeply concerned that Isaac should not marry a Caananite; he fears this will draw himaway from worshipping the Lord. Abraham remembers about his brother Nahor and his family,and had learned that Nahor had a granddaughter. Although Abraham had decided that Isaac’s wifecome from his kindred in Mesopotamia, he emphasizes that Isaac should not return there. Isaac’sfuture is to be in Canaan, for God had promised this land to Abraham’s descendents. Isaac never leftCanaan his entire life. Later, Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, will get wives from the same region.Abraham is too old to travel so he sends a trusted servant as an intermediary to arrange a marriagefor Isaac. It was customary, especially among wealthy families, for such arrangements to be madethrough a representative of the family.The servant binds himself to obey Abraham’s request by “placing his hand under the thigh ofAbraham”. This indicates submission to that person’s strength and authority.Abraham’s servant was concerned that the women would not be willing to come back with him. Itwas a long trip to go to marry someone you have never met. But Abraham was confident that Godwould guide the servant. To ease his servant’s mind; however, he agreed to release him from hisoath if he was not able to find a wife.Abraham’s servant stopped outside the walls of the city to water his camels. A stranger in thoseregions, who wishes to obtain information, stations himself at one of the wells in the neighborhoodof a town, and he is sure to learn all the news of the place from the women who frequent themevery morning and evening. Eliezer followed this course, and letting his camels rest, he waited tillthe evening time of water drawing.28 Here he prayed for a sign from God that the women who wasto be Isaac’s wife would also offer to water his camels.Watering ten camels is a hard and wearisome task. Any girl who offered to do this would be strong,healthy, industrious, and definitely not idle.Genesis 24:15-28 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, 15the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 The youngwoman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden3 whom no man had known. She went down tothe spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please giveme a little water to drink from your jar.” 18 She said, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly let down herjar upon her hand and gave him a drink. 19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “Iwill draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” 20 So she quickly emptiedher jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels. 21The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether the LORD had prospered his journey or not.28 Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997). A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and NewTestaments (Ge 24:10). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.3 Or a woman of marriageable age
  24. 24. A Study In Genesis 24 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half shekel, 4 and 22two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels, 23 and said, “Please tell me whose daughteryou are. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?” 24 She said to him, “I am thedaughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25 She added, “We have plenty ofboth straw and fodder, and room to spend the night.” 26 The man bowed his head and worshipedthe LORD27 and said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken hissteadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master. As for me, the LORD has led me in the way tothe house of my master’s kinsmen.” 28 Then the young woman ran and told her mother’s householdabout these things. 29Even before Eliezer finished speaking, Rebekah came to draw water. The servant approached herimmediately and asked for water. Rebekah did not hesitate and offered to water the camels as well.The servant’s prayer was answered.In appreciation of her generous service, the man took three golden rings (1 for the nose, two for thehands), all very valuable, and gave them to Rebekah. He asked her who she was and when he foundout she was Rebekah, he immediately praised the Lord for answered prayer. He asked if theremight be room at her family’s house to room him. She not only offered to let him stay, but hiscamels also. The Lord must have been guiding her in that she was not afraid of this stranger eventhough she did not know who he was or what his purpose was.When Rebekah heard the man pray, she knew who Abraham was. She ran back to her home to thewomen’s quarters (her mother’s house) and told them what had occurred. She was probablyclosest to her mother rather than her father Bethuel. He was very old at this time so her motherand her brother Laban probably handled many of the responsibilities and decisions of thehousehold.Genesis 24:28-3329 Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban. Laban ran out toward the man, to the spring. 30As soon as he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and heard the words of Rebekahhis sister, “Thus the man spoke to me,” he went to the man. And behold, he was standing by thecamels at the spring. 31 He said, “Come in, O blessed of the LORD. Why do you stand outside? For Ihave prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32 So the man came to the house andunharnessed the camels, and gave straw and fodder to the camels, and there was water to wash hisfeet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33 Then food was set before him to eat. But he said,“I will not eat until I have said what I have to say.” He said, “Speak on.” 304 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams29 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 24:15–28). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.30 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 24:29–33). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  25. 25. A Study In Genesis 25Laban went to great the servant of Abraham and invited him back to the house. He provided forEliezer’s camels and provided water to wash his feet and those of the men who had traveled withhim. Eliezer insisted on telling them why he was there before even eating.Genesis 24:34-49 So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The LORD has greatly blessed my master, and he has 34become great. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and femaleservants, camels and donkeys. 36 And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when shewas old, and to him he has given all that he has. 37 My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall nottake a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell, 38 but you shallgo to my father’s house and to my clan and take a wife for my son.’ 39 I said to my master, ‘Perhapsthe woman will not follow me.’ 40 But he said to me, ‘The LORD, before whom I have walked, willsend his angel with you and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son from my clan andfrom my father’s house. 41 Then you will be free from my oath, when you come to my clan. And ifthey will not give her to you, you will be free from my oath.’ “I came today to the spring and said, O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, if now you are 42prospering the way that I go, 43 behold, I am standing by the spring of water. Let the virgin whocomes out to draw water, to whom I shall say, “Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,”44 and who will say to me, “Drink, and I will draw for your camels also,” let her be the woman whomthe LORD has appointed for my master’s son.’ “Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her water jar on 45her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 46She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels drinkalso.’ So I drank, and she gave the camels drink also. 47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on hernose and the bracelets on her arms. 48 Then I bowed my head and worshiped the LORD and blessedthe LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to take the daughter ofmy master’s kinsman for his son. 49 Now then, if you are going to show steadfast love andfaithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand or to the left.”31Abraham’s servant repeats the details of how he came to be in Mesopotamia and the reason for histrip. Since it was a marriage proposal, it was proper to give a clear statement of his master’sfinancial status. He also noted that Isaac had been made sole heir of all of Abraham’s possessions.In addition, he made mention of Isaac’s miraculous birth.31 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 24:34–49). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  26. 26. A Study In Genesis 26Genesis 24:50-61 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing has come from the LORD; we cannot 50speak to you bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wifeof your master’s son, cas the LORD has spoken.” When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the earth before the LORD. 5253 And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them toRebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments. 54 And he and the menwho were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there. When they arose in the morning,he said, “Send me away to my master.” 55 Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young womanremain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.” 56 But he said to them, “Do notdelay me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.” 57 Theysaid, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.” 58 And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Willyou go with this man?” She said, “I will go.” 59 So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse,and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you become thousands of ten thousands, and may your offspring possess the gate of those who hate him!”6 Then Rebekah and her young women arose and rode on the camels and followed the man. 61Thus the servant took Rebekah and went his way. 32After such a testimony, there could be no doubt that God had led the servant to Rebekah. Both herfather and her brother immediately acknowledged that regardless of their personal feelings, Godhad spoken and they must accept His decision.It seems that they were also reluctant to let her go so far away as they would likely not see heragain, so they wanted to spend some additional time with her (ten days) before she left. But theservant was anxious to return. Rebekah agreed to go immediately.Rebekah took her nurse with her as well as her maids. The family bestowed a blessing on Rebekahand said their goodbyes.Genesis 24:62-6762Now Isaac had returned from Beer-lahai-roi and was dwelling in the Negeb. 63 And Isaac went outto meditate in the field toward evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, there werecamels coming. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted fromthe camel 65 and said to the servant, “Who is that man, walking in the field to meet us?” The servantc See ver. 13–15, 42–466 Or hate them32 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 24:50–61). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  27. 27. A Study In Genesis 27said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all thethings that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and tookRebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’sdeath. 33In these four sections four participants were acting in ḥ eseḏ : Abraham in preparing for the future,Eliezer in carrying it out, God in performing it, Rebekah in responding to it.In God’s providence and His ḥ eseḏ (“loyal love”) He worked through the circumstances of thosewho lived by faith. 34In contemplation of his forthcoming marriage, Isaac had visited the sacred site of Beer-lahai-roiwhere the angel of the Lord had once appeared. He appears to have separated himself from thecamp of Abraham for he was living in the Negev at this time. Isaac went out to the field one evening“to meditate” (lasuach), a word used only here in the Old Testament. He lifted up his eyes and sawthe caravan approaching.Rebekah noticed a man coming across the field to meet the camels. When she learned that this wasIsaac, she got down from her camel, and covered her face with a veil. She was demonstratingmodesty and respect for her future husband.Isaac honored his bride by assigning her to the tent of his beloved mother. After arrangementscould be made, Isaac married Rebekah. Even though there had been no lengthy courtship Isaacloved Rebekah. She supplied that womanly charm and companionship which brought Isaac comfortin the loneliness he experienced after the death of his mother Sarah.3524:64–65 Covering the Face With a Veil33 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 24:62–67). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.34 Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ge24:60–67). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.35 Smith, J. E. (1993). The Pentateuch (2nd ed.) (Ge 24:62–67). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.
  28. 28. A Study In Genesis 28Although Rebekah undoubtedly covered her face as a sign of modesty and respect, in later yearsHebrew woman normally did not wear veils. When Abraham’s servant first met Rebekah at the wellshe was not wearing a veil, for he could see that “The girl was very beautiful” (Genesis 24:16). Thisis similar to what is said about Sarai in Genesis 12:14: “When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptianssaw that she was a very beautiful woman.” Obviously Sarai was not wearing a veil. And in 1 Samuel1:12, this is written: “As she [Hannah] kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.” Elicould not have seen Hannah’s mouth, of course, if she had been wearing a veil. At some point in Hebrew history, it became the prostitutes, or harlots, who wore veils. In Genesis 38:14–15, it tells how Judah thought his daughter-in-law Tamar was a harlot because she wore a veil: “And she [Tamar] put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a veil, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given, unto him to wife. When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.” Some say that the Hebrew word, tzaiph, translated veil in Genesis 24:65 and in Genesis 38:14, did not mean simply a face covering, but a large wrap, or loose flowing robe, that was worn outdoors. The upper part could be used to cover the head and face, similar to the wraps worn now by women in fundamentalist Muslim countries like Iran.3636 Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (Rev. ed.].) (41–42). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-LogosPublishers.
  29. 29. A Study In Genesis 29Genesis 25 – Abrahams Death, Jacob and EsauGenesis 25:1-6Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. 2lShe bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan,Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim,Letushim, and Leummim. 4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. Allthese were the children of Keturah. 5mAbraham gave all he had to Isaac. 6 But to the sons of hisconcubines Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he nsent them away from his son Isaac,eastward oto the east country. 37Abraham was 140 years old when Isaac married Rebekah. He took another wife, Keturah, who borehim six sons and grandchildren. That would mean there was a maximum span of 37 years for thebirths of Ketarah’s six sons. (Abraham was 138 when Sarah died, and he died at 175.) Tribes inSheba and Dedan, in Arabia (Gen 25:3), as well as the Midianites (v 4), came from Abraham. Thiswas in fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham that he would become great (12:2) since so “manynations” look to him as their ancestor (17:4).38Before he died, Abraham endowed his other sons, Ishmael and the sons of Keturah, gifts as part oftheir inheritance, but the bulk went to Isaac. Note, that although earlier Keturah is referred to ashis wife, here she is referred to as his concubine along with Hagar. In this context, it is used todistinguish Hagar and Keturah form Sarah, Abraham’s primary wife. Hagar and Keturah aresecondary wives.Nothing is known of Keturah other than she bore him sons. And not much is known of the sonseither. Midian is the only one mentioned frequently in the Bible. His descendents seem to havebeen allied with the Ishmaelites (37:25-36), the Moabites (Num. 25:1, 6-15) and the Amalekites(Judges 6:3).Abraham’s Other Descendentsl 1 Chr. 1:32, 33m ch. 24:36n ch. 21:14o [Judg. 6:3]37 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 25:1–6). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.38 Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ge25:1–4). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  30. 30. A Study In Genesis 30Abraham was 137 when Sarah died (23:1), yet following her death he married Keturah. Since Mosesdoes not always arrange the material in Genesis in chronological order, some have suggested thatthe marriage to Keturah took place long before Sarah was dead. They think that it would beimpossible for one who at age one hundred was thought to be too old to have a son, to father sixsons after age 137. Perhaps, however, the rejuvenation which enabled Abraham to father Isaac wasnot transitory.The list of Keturah’s sons and peoples descended from them is given in 25:2–4 for two reasons.First, several of these peoples are mentioned frequently in later Biblical history. Then too, this listdemonstrates the fulfillment of the promise that Abraham would become the father of manynations.Isaac was Abraham’s heir. He inherited all his father’s wealth. Before he died, however, Abrahambestowed generous gifts upon the sons of his concubines. The plural certainly includes Keturah andHagar, and possibly other unnamed concubines. These sons of Abraham occupied the desert to theeast of Canaan.Genesis 25:7-11
  31. 31. A Study In Genesis 317 These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, 175 years. 8 Abraham breathed his last and diedin a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. 9 Isaac and Ishmaelhis sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, eastof Mamre, 10 the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, withSarah his wife. 11 After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac his son. And Isaac settled at Beer-lahai-roi.Abraham died at 175 years. He was buried with Sarah. Isaac and Ishmael are reunited forAbraham’s death. It doesn’t indicate whether or not these two were in contact with one another ona regular basis, but at least here, they are reunited. Note also that Ishmael was mentioned by namealong with Isaac while the other sons were not. This seems to indicate that he had more standingthan the others, and indeed, God had promised to bless him also.“and was gathered to his people” – it is believed that this is not simply referring to his death andburial, but to life after death; he was gathered together with those who before him had died in faith.The location of such departed spirits was, 1900 years later, actually called Abraham’s bossom –Luke 16:22. Abraham’s Journeys throughout his life.
  32. 32. A Study In Genesis 32After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac. He was still residing near Beer-lahai-roi at this time.Isaac was seventy-five when his father died, and 123 when his brother Ishmael died. Therefore,forty-eight years of Isaac’s life are passed over in silence in Genesis 25.39Genesis 25:12-1812These are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant,bore to Abraham. 13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth:Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad,Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, bytheir villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes. 17 (These are theyears of the life of Ishmael: 137 years. He breathed his last and died, and was gathered to hispeople.) 18 They settled from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria. Hesettled1 over against all his kinsmen. 40Because Ishmael also was a son of Abraham, God told what became of him and his line (the account[ṯ ôleḏ ôṯ ] of … Ishmael) before returning to the chosen line, the succession of Isaac. Ishmael had 12sons, as God had predicted (17:20), and died at the age of 137. His sons lived in the Arabianpeninsula from Havilah (in north-central Arabia) to Shur (between Beersheba and Egypt).41Like his father, Ishmael was “gathered to his people.” The narrator mentions three points in whichthe prophecies regarding Ishmael found fulfillment: (1) Twelve tribal rulers came from Ishmael (cf.17:20). (2) His descendants lived in the desert area from Havilah (location unknown) to Shur nearthe border of Egypt (cf. 16:12). (3) The Ishmaelites lived in hostility toward all their brethren (cf.16:12).42It is thought that Ishmael himself had kept this genealogy and had passed it on to Isaac when theyreunited for their father’s funeral. Isaac then inserted it into his own records. Ishmael was 90years old when Abraham died, his own 12 sons were grown, and they had become prolific andpowerful enough to have settled towns and strongholds of their own, and to be called princes, asGod had promised.Genesis 25:19-2339 Smith, J. E. (1993). The Pentateuch (2nd ed.) (Ge 25:7–18). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.1 Hebrew fell40 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 25:12–18). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.41 Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ge25:12–18). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.42 Smith, J. E. (1993). The Pentateuch (2nd ed.) (Ge 25:7–18). Joplin, Mo.: College Press Pub. Co.
  33. 33. A Study In Genesis 33 These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: eAbraham fathered Isaac, 20 and Isaac was 19forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, thesister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. 21 And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because shewas barren. And ithe LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 The childrenstruggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” 2 So she wentjto inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said to her, k“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you3 shall be divided; lthe one shall be stronger than the other, mthe older shall serve the younger.” 43The next major section of Genesis actually begins in the middle of Chapter 25. The statement -“these are the generations of Isaac” - terminates the records dealing with the life of Abraham andthe early years of Isaac’s life. This record has been kept by Isaac. This next section however, wasprobably recorded by Jacob. It begins with a general statement of Isaacs background, continuesthrough to his life following marriage, and then narrates the experiences of Jacob up until Josephwas sold into Egypt.Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah and it was another 20 years before he hadchildren. Like Sarah, Rebekah was barren. In contrast with Abraham, Isaac prayed to the Lord andshe conceived. Also note, that later, Jacob’s wife was also temporarily barren.Even in the womb, the children of Isaac were at odds with one another. Rebekah was disturbed bythis and prayed to the Lord. The Lord told her that the twins in her womb were of two utterlydifferent and antagonistic temperaments. He also told her that the elder would serve the younger.The struggle which began in her womb would continue throughout their lives and throughout thehistories of their respective nations. The Israelites (Jacob’s descendants) and the Edomites (Esau’sdescendants) fought continuously. God’s election of Jacob the younger over Esau the older wasagainst the natural order.44e Matt. 1:2i 2 Sam. 21:14; 24:25; 1 Chr. 5:20; 2 Chr. 33:13; Ezra 8:232 Or why do I live?j [1 Sam. 9:9]k ch. 17:16; 24:603 Or from birthl [2 Sam. 8:14]; See Obad. 18–21m ch. 27:29, 40; Cited Rom. 9:1243 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 25:19–23). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.44 Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ge25:21–23). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  34. 34. A Study In Genesis 34Men normally have felt that the first born son should receive the greater honor and inheritance butGod does not necessarily work in such ways. In the Messianic line, it is significant to note thatneither Seth, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, or David were first born sons.Genesis 25:24-2624When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 The firstcame out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brothercame out with ohis hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob.4 Isaac was sixty years oldwhen she bore them.When the twins are born, the first is called Esau, which means ‘Hairy’, and the second is namedJacob, which means ‘Cheat’. Jacob’s name also has the connotation of “deceiver” or supplanter”.This is because Jacob is born clinging to Esau’s heel, as though trying to overtake him to be bornfirst. Hosea 12:3 says “He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he hadpower with God.”.Isaac was 60 years old when the twins were born, so Abraham was also still alive. Hew ould havebeen 160 years at this time.Genesis 25:27-34 When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet 27man, rdwelling in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30 29And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his namewas called Edom.5) 31 Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” 32 Esau said, “I am about to die; ofwhat use is a birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and tsold hisbirthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and roseand went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.Esau becomes a man of the great outdoors. He is a man of the world, full of vigor and adventure. Hebrings home wild game from his hunting trips. This pleases Isaac, who loves his food. But Esau hadno spiritual appreciation and despised his spiritual privileges as the firstborn (see Deut. 21:17 and1 Chron. 5:1–2); he would rather feed his body than enjoy the promises of God. There is noo Hos. 12:34 Jacob means He takes by the heel, or He cheatsr Heb. 11:95 Edom sounds like the Hebrew for redt Heb. 12:16
  35. 35. A Study In Genesis 35mentionof Esau having a tent or an altar, and 26:34–35 indicates that he loved worldly women.Hebrews 12:16 describes Esau as “profane” which means “of the world, common” (La., profanus—“outside the temple”). 45In contrast, Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home “dwelling in tents”. He took care of theflocks and herds and apparently also did some of the cooking. Hebrews 11:9 says, “he sojourned inthe land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles”. He did this because he was aman of faith, to whom God’s plans and promises meant far more than physical pleasure.The translators took the word “tôm” and made it into “quiet man”, but it actually means “perfect,complete, or mature”. It is exactly the same word God used to describe Job when He called him “aperfect and upright man” (Job 1:5).Jacob was probably told by his mother Rebekah that he was to be the inheritor of God’s promises.He took this seriously and sought after God. Rebekah, who had been attracted to Isaac in the firstplace because of her desire to follow God’s will, had a strong desire to fulfill this part of His will aswell. She and Jacob were of kindred minds, spiritually, and so “Rebekah loved Jacob”.Isaac became partial to Esau. In fact, he seemed to actually encourage Esau in his irresponsibleactivities – “he did eat of his venison”. It does not say why this was, maybe he was jealous ofRebekah’s love for Jacob or because he was proud of Esau’s athletic prowess. Isaac knew that Godwanted Jacob to inherit the birthright, yet he was planning on giving it to Esau. Isaac had been aspiritual man, so it is not quite clear why he was planning on disobeying God. Both Jacob andRebekah could sense that Isaac wanted to give the birthright to Esau.The custom at the time was that the eldest son received a double portion in the division of theinheritance (Deut. 21:17). He was also to rule over the household, to provide for the householdboth materially and spiritually. In fact, in this family, the spiritual responsibilities were paramount(Gen. 18:19). In particular, there was the responsibility of building and officiating at the alter (Gen.22:9, 26:25; 35:1) as well as the transmission of God’s Word and His promises.The right of primogeniture may have been a custom at this time but it was not yet a Biblical law.The father had the right of transferring it from eldest son to another (I Chron. 5:1-2).Jacob knew what the prophecy said but up until now Isaac had not formally given the birthright toJacob. So Jacob and Rebekah took matters into their own hands.While Jacob was preparing a meal, Esau came in from one of his excursions and was very hungry.Jacob made a proposition – he would feed Esau if Esau would trade it for his birthright. Thebirthright meant little to Esau and his hunger was of a more immediate concern to him. This isexactly the reason God did not choose him to be the one who carried on the bloodline.Jacob is often viewed as being deceitful and taking that which was not his. But he was not beingdeceitful, Esau knew exactly what was going on, but just didn’t care at the moment. Scripture does45 Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbes expository outlines on the Old Testament (Ge 25). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  36. 36. A Study In Genesis 36not offer one word of condemnation or criticism of Jacob. But it does condemn Esau – “Thus, Esaudespised his birthright”, Gen. 25:34; “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, whofor one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would haveinherited the blessing, he was rejected” – Heb. 12:16-17.Jacob’s only sin was lack of faith. He took matters into his own hands. Abraham and Isaac wereboth guilty of the same thing. There are always repercussions when we do this. Jacob’s actionscaused further estrangement from Esau and Isaac.
  37. 37. A Study In Genesis 37BirthrightThe “birthright” was a special privilege accorded a firstborn. It has to do with the law ofprimogeniture, which is the right of the eldest child, especially the eldest son, to inherit the entireestate of one or both parents. But it was more than that, it included a number of other privilegesand responsibilities. The firstborn son also inherited the leadership and priesthood of the family ortribe, and he received a double portion of the inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:17). For example, ifthere were only two sons, the firstborn would receive two-thirds of the inheritance, if there werethree sons, he would receive three-fourths of the inheritance. It was as if the firstborn were twopersons instead of one. Any portion of the firstborn’s inheritance could, however, be transferred toanother by God or by his father, or he could transfer it himself as Esau did for a portion of red stew.Reuben was the firstborn of the twelve sons of Jacob, and so should have inherited the priesthoodof the tribes, but God transferred that honor to his brother Levi: “And I have taken the Levites for allthe firstborn of the children of Israel. And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sonsfrom among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of thecongregation, and to make an atonement for the children of Israel: that there be no plague amongthe children of Israel, when the children of Israel come nigh unto the sanctuary” (Numbers 8:18–19).Although four other sons were born to King David before Solomon, David chose Solomon overAdonijah who was his fourth and apparently only living son born previous to Solomon. When hisfather was stricken and dying, Adonijah expected he would soon be king and so declared himself assuch: “Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared himchariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him” (1 Kings 1:5). But David, in keeping withGod’s Word about Solomon and his promise to Bathsheba, made Solomon king instead of Adonijah:“Even as I sware unto thee [Bathsheba] by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thyson shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do thisday” (1 Kings 1:30). “And Jonathan answered and said to Adonijah, Verily our lord king David hathmade Solomon king” (1 Kings 1:43). The tablets of ancient Nuzi (modern Yorgham Tepe) innorthern Iraq have provided scholars with information concerning legal customs of the 15thcentury B.C., customs with parallels in the patriarchal narratives. Among them was the revelationthat the birthright could be sold or changed from one son to another by the father.4646 Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (Rev. ed.].) (42–44). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-LogosPublishers.
  38. 38. A Study In Genesis 38Genesis 26 – God’s Covenant Confirmed to Isaac, Abimelech, and WellsGenesis 26:1-11Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham.And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines. 2 And the LORD appeared to him andsaid, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. 3ySojourn in this land, andI will be with you and will bless you, for ato you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and Iwill establish bthe oath that I swore to Abraham your father. 4cI will multiply your offspring as thestars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And din your offspring all the nationsof the earth shall be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, mycommandments, my statutes, and my laws.”6 So Isaac settled in Gerar. 7 When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is mysister,” for ghe feared to say, “My wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me because ofRebekah,” because she was attractive in appearance. 8 When he had been there a long time,Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac laughing with 1 Rebekah hiswife. 9 So Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Behold, she is your wife. How then could you say, ‘She ismy sister’?” Isaac said to him, “Because I thought, ‘Lest I die because of her.’ ” 10 Abimelech said,“What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and iyouwould have brought guilt upon us.” 11 So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, “Whoevertouches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.” 47Because of the strong similarities between this incident and 12:10–20 and 20:1–18, some moderninterpreters have expressed the opinion that it is a copy of those episodes and never actuallyhappened. They also note that the king is, as in chapter 20, named “Abimelech.” There are, however,y ch. 20:1; Heb. 11:9a See ch. 13:15b [Mic. 7:20]; See ch. 22:16–18c Cited Ex. 32:13; See ch. 15:5d See ch. 12:3g [Prov. 29:25]1 Hebrew may suggest an intimate relationshipi ch. 20:947 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 26:6–11). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  39. 39. A Study In Genesis 39key differences between the passages, and it is not uncommon for kings to have the same name(e.g., Darius I and II of the Medo-Persian Empire). In addition, it is possible that “Abimelech” (acompound of the words for “father” and “king”) is a Philistine royal title, like Pharaoh in Egypt,which means “great house.” Perhaps Isaac, while growing up, had heard the stories of what hisfather, Abraham, had done in those earlier incidents and decided to mimic his behavior. Given thatRebekah was not Isaac’s sister in any sense, this would be a classic example of the repetition of “thesins of the fathers” by a later generation.48Isaac repeated the same mistake that Abraham did. He tried to pass Rebekah off as his sister.There is no mention of Jacob and Esau so they may have remained behind to watch over everythingwhile Isaac was gone.No on discovered otherwise for a long time. However, based on scripture, Isaac’s tent must havebeen fairly close to the palace because eventually King Abimelech looked out his window and sawIsaac “laughing” with Rebekah his wife. In this context, the Hebrew word “to laugh” implieslaughing as they caress affectionately.Abimelech confronted Isaac, who then admitted what he had done and why. Abimelech rebukedIsaac, much as Abraham had been rebuked, and declared that anyone who touched Isaac or his wifewould be put to death.Genesis 26:12-16And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The LORDjblessed him, 13and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. 14 He hadpossessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines kenvied him. 15 (Now thePhilistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in thedays of Abraham his father.) 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are muchmightier than we.” 49God was with Isaac and he prospered greatly and became very wealthy. The Philistines, envious ofhis wealth, went behind Isaac and filled in the wells that Abraham had dug and Isaac was using.This was possibly to try to force Isaac out of the area. Abimelech finally asked Isaac to leave, sincehe had become more powerful than his own nation.Genesis 26:17-2248 Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, StraightAnswers, Stronger Faith (43). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.j ver. 3; ch. 24:1, 35k [Eccles. 4:4]49 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 26:12–16). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  40. 40. A Study In Genesis 40So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18 And Isaacdug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which thePhilistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father hadgiven them. 19 But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, 20the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he calledthe name of the well Esek,2 because they contended with him. 21 Then they dug another well, andthey quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah.322 And he moved from there and duganother well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth,4 saying, “For now theLORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” 50Isaac moved to the Valley of Gerar, where the wells that Abraham had dug were already filled up.Isaac embarked on a program of reopening these wells. He used the same names Abraham had givethe wells, thereby establishing his right to them.In addition, his servants dug another well, evidently in the lower valley, and this turned out to be anartesian well, a well of “living water”. The Philistine herdsmen claimed the water was theirs.Rather than argue, Isaac dug another well. But the men of Gerar did the same thing again. Again,Isaac walked away from the well and went further away and dug a 3rd well. This time the men ofGerar left him alone.Wells provide a dominant motif: they are tangible evidence of divine blessing (cf Abraham’s disputewith the Philistines over a well, 21:25, 30). No matter where Isaac dug, and no matter how often thePhilistines stopped up the wells or claimed that they belonged to them, God’s blessing on Isaaccould not be hindered.Genesis 26:23-2523From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “Iam the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for qI am with you and will bless you and multiplyyour offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 25 So he built an altar there and called upon thename of the LORD and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well. 51Isaac returned to Beersheba (“the Well of the Covenant”). Abraham had built an alter there andIsaac himself had lived here after the sacrifice on Mount Moriah. God appeared to him here andassured him once again that he did not need to fear the Philistines, for God was with him and would2 Esek means contention3 Sitnah means enmity4 Rehoboth means broad places, or room50 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 26:17–22). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.q ch. 28:15; 31:3; [ch. 21:22, 23]51 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 26:23–25). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
  41. 41. A Study In Genesis 41keep His promises to Abraham. Isaac also built an alter of his own and worshipped God. He pitchedhis tent here and had a well dug.Genesis 26:26-3326When Abimelech went to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander ofhis army, 27 Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, seeing that you hate me and thave sentme away from you?” 28 They said, “We see plainly that the LORD has been with you. So we said, letthere be a sworn pact between us, between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you, 29 thatyou will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but good andhave sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the LORD.” 30 So he made them a feast, andthey ate and drank. 31 In the morning they rose early and vexchanged oaths. And Isaac sent them ontheir way, and they departed from him in peace. 32 That same day Isaac’s servants came and toldhim about the well that they had dug and said to him, “We have found water.” 33 He called itShibah;5 therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day. 52Once the conflict over the wells was settled, Abimelech requested that he and Isaac make a treaty.Just as an earlier Abimelech acknowledged that God was with Abraham (21:22), so this Abimelechacknowledged that God was with Isaac. Isaac named the well there Shibah (“oath” or “seven”) forthey made a treaty by an oath (26:28-31, 33)similar to the earlier treaty Abraham made when henamed the city Beersheba (21:23-24, 31). That treaty was necessarily renewed with Isaac. God’sblessing was on the seed of Abraham; Isaac was the rightful heir.NOTE: Abimelech and Phicol are probably titles rather than the same individuals who made atreaty with Abraham. This is much like the title of Pharoah in Egypt.That night they feasted and the following morning swore their oaths. That same day Issac’sservants came to tell him that they had struck water in the well they were digging. He called itShibah (“oath”), the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.Genesis 26:34-3534When Esau was forty years old, he took xJudith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite to be his wife, andBasemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite, 35 and ythey made life bitter6 for Isaac and Rebekah. 53t ver. 16v ch. 21:315 Shibah sounds like the Hebrew for oath52 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 26:26–33). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.x [ch. 28:9; 36:2, 3]y ch. 27:466 Hebrew they were bitterness of spirit53 The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ge 26:34–35). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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