Genesis chapter 26 opens with another famine. Isaac heads to Gerar (Gaza) to hang out with his dad's old friend, King Abimelech. The LORD tells Isaac not to go to Egypt, but to stay in the land. (Side note: Isaac is the only patriarch who never left the land).
In verses 3-5, we see it in writing: in the midst of this famine, the LORD specifically passes the Abrahamic covenant on to Isaac:
Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”
|Modern-day Beersheva at night|
Chapter 26 ends with an abrupt change of subject:
When Esau was forty years old, he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. And they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah.
|Depiction of Esau's alien wives and the despair of his parents|
by artist Avi Katz
It is hard for me to relate to Isaac and Rebekah's bitterness, because the Lord has blessed our family with a wonderful son-in-law and a wonderful daughter-in-law, both of whom love and serve Him.
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