SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
25:1 Abraham had taken another wife, named Keturah. 2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan. The descendants of Dedan were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites. 4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.
5 Everything he owned Abraham left to his son Isaac. 6 But while he was still alive, Abraham gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them off to the east, away from his son Isaac.
7 Abraham lived a total of 175 years. 8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man who had lived a full life. He joined his ancestors. 9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar, the Hittite. 10 This was the field Abraham had purchased from the sons of Heth. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac. Isaac lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
12 This is the account of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham.
13 These are the names of Ishmael’s sons, by their names according to their records: Nebaioth (Ishmael’s firstborn), 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 by their settlements and their camps—twelve princes according to their clans.
17 Ishmael lived a total of 137 years. He breathed his last and died; then he joined his ancestors. 18 His descendants settled from Havilah to Shur, which runs next to Egypt all the way to Asshur. They settled away from all their relatives.
19 This is the account of Isaac, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac. 20 When Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.
21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 But the children struggled inside her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she asked the Lord, 23 and the Lord said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples will be separated from within you.
One people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.”
24 When the time came for Rebekah to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out reddish all over, like a hairy garment, so they named him Esau. 26 When his brother came out with his hand clutching Esau’s heel, they named him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.
27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skilled hunter, a man of the open fields, but Jacob was an even-tempered man, living in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for fresh game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Now Jacob cooked some stew, and when Esau came in from the open fields, he was famished. 30 So Esau said to Jacob, “Feed me some of the red stuff—yes, this red stuff—because I’m starving!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)
31 But Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look,” said Esau, “I’m about to die! What use is the birthright to me?” 33 But Jacob said, “Swear an oath to me now.” So Esau swore an oath to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew; Esau ate and drank, then got up and went out. So Esau despised his birthright.
26:1 There was a famine in the land, subsequent to the earlier famine that occurred in the days of Abraham. Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines at Gerar. 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; settle down in the land that I will point out to you. 3 Stay in this land. Then I will be with you and will bless you, for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, and I will fulfill the solemn promise I made to your father Abraham. 4 I will multiply your descendants so they will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give them all these lands. All the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants. 5 All this will come to pass because Abraham obeyed me and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” 6 So Isaac settled in Gerar.
7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he replied, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” for he thought to himself, “The men of this place will kill me to get Rebekah because she is very beautiful.”
8 After Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines happened to look out a window and observed Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac replied, “Because I thought someone might kill me to get her.”
10 Then Abimelech exclaimed, “What in the world have you done to us? One of the men nearly took your wife to bed, and you would have brought guilt on us!” 11 So Abimelech commanded all the people, “Whoever touches this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”
12 When Isaac planted in that land, he reaped in the same year a hundred times what he had sown, because the Lord blessed him. 13 The man became wealthy. His influence continued to grow until he became very prominent. 14 He had so many sheep and cattle and such a great household of servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15 So the Philistines took dirt and filled up all the wells that his father’s servants had dug back in the days of his father Abraham.
16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave us and go elsewhere, for you have become much more powerful than we are.” 17 So Isaac left there and settled in the Gerar Valley. 18 Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug back in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham died. Isaac gave these wells the same names his father had given them.
19 When Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well with fresh flowing water there, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water belongs to us!” So Isaac named the well Esek because they argued with him about it. 21 His servants dug another well, but they quarreled over it too, so Isaac named it Sitnah. 22 Then he moved away from there and dug another well. They did not quarrel over it, so Isaac named it Rehoboth, saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will prosper in the land.”
23 From there Isaac went up to Beer Sheba. 24 The Lord appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.” 25 Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. He pitched his tent there, and his servants dug a well.
26 Now Abimelech had come to him from Gerar along with Ahuzzah his friend and Phicol the commander of his army. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me? You hate me and sent me away from you.” 28 They replied, “We could plainly see that the Lord is with you. So we decided there should be a pact between us—between us and you. Allow us to make a treaty with you 29 so that you will not do us any harm, just as we have not harmed you, but have always treated you well before sending you away in peace. Now you are blessed by the Lord.”
30 So Isaac held a feast for them and they celebrated. 31 Early in the morning the men made a treaty with each other. Isaac sent them off; they separated on good terms.
32 That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. “We’ve found water,” they reported. 33 So he named it Shibah; that is why the name of the city has been Beer Sheba to this day.
34 When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, as well as Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They caused Isaac and Rebekah great anxiety.