Genesis 26

Genesis 26


Now there wasI a famineII in the land,III

Notes on verse 1a

I “was” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
II “famine” = raab. From raeb (to be hungry). This is hunger, death, or hunger from famine.
III “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.

besidesIV the formerV famine that had occurredVI in the days of Abraham.VII

Notes on verse 1b

IV “besides” = bad. From badad (to divide or be separated; alone, solitary, lonely, isolated, straggler). This is apart, alone, separation, body part, tree branch, except. It can also be a city’s chief.
V “former” = rishon. From rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first.
VI “occurred” = hayah. Same as “was” in v1. See note I above.
VII “Abraham” = Abraham. From the same as Abiram (exalted father, a high father – lofty) {from ab (father literal or figurative) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is Abraham, father of many nations or father of a multitude.

And IsaacVIII wentIX to Gerar,X to KingXI AbimelechXII of the Philistines.XIII 

Notes on verse 1c

VIII “Isaac” = Yitschaq. From tsachaq (to laugh, mock, play, make sport; this is laughing out loud whether in joy or in a scornful way). This is Isaac, meaning “he laughs.”
IX “went” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
X “Gerar” = Gerar. 10x in OT. From garar (to drag or drag off in a rough fashion, chew, sweep, destroy; to chew the cud). This is Gerar, south of Gaza, perhaps “rolling country,” “dragging,” “lodging place,” or “sojourning.” See  
XI “King” = melek. Related to “Abimelech” in v1. See note XII below.
XII “Abimelech” = Abimelek. Related to “Abraham” in v1. From ab (see note VII above) + melek (king, royal). This is Abimelech, meaning “father is king.”
XIII “Philistines” = Pelishti. From Pelesheth (Philistia); from palash (to mourn, wallow, maybe roll in). This is Philistines. Their name may mean “griever” or “burrower” or “weakener.” See

The LordXIV appearedXV to Isaac and said, “Do not go downXVI to Egypt;XVII settleXVIII in the land that I shall showXIX you. 

Notes on verse 2

XIV “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “was” in v1. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note I above). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
XV “appeared” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
XVI “go down” = yarad. This is to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense. It can be going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy.
XVII “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.
XVIII “settle” = shakan. This is to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently. It can mean abide or continue. “Mishkan,” taken from this verb, is the Hebrew word for the Tabernacle (as a place where God abided).
XIX “show” = amar. Literally, say or tell.

ResideXX in this land as an alien, and I will be with you, and will blessXXI you; for to you and to your descendantsXXII I will give all these lands,

Notes on verse 3a

XX “reside” = gur. Properly, this is the act of turning off the road for any reason. So, it means sojourning, becoming a guest. It can mean being fearful since one is outside of home territory. It can also mean dwelling, living, or inhabiting if one has turned off the root to encamp for a longer duration. This word is where the Hebrew “ger” comes from, which is the word translated “stranger” or “resident alien.”
XXI “bless” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
XXII “descendants” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.

and I will fulfillXXIII the oathXXIV that I sworeXXV to your fatherXXVI Abraham. 

Notes on verse 3b

XXIII “fulfill” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.   
XXIV “oath” = shebuah. From sheba (seven – the number of perfection/sacred fullness); from shaba (to swear, curse, vow, make a covenant; properly, to be complete; this is to seven oneself – as in affirming something so strongly it is as though it were said seven times). This is oath or curse.
XXV “swore” = shaba. Related to “oath” in v3. See note XXIV above.
XXVI “father” = ab. Related to “Abraham” and “Abimelech” in v1. See note VII above.

4 I will make your offspringXXVII as numerousXXVIII as the starsXXIX of heaven,XXX

Notes on verse 4a

XXVII “offspring” = zera. Same as “descendants” in v3. See note XXII above.
XXVIII “make…numerous” = rabah. This is increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.
XXIX “stars” = kokab. Perhaps from the same as kavah (to prick, blister, burn, scorch). This is a star as shining, stargaze. Figuratively, can mean prince.
XXX “heaven” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.

and will give to your offspring all these lands; and all the nationsXXXI of the earthXXXII shall gain blessingXXXIII for themselves through your offspring, 

Notes on verse 4b

XXXI “nations” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.
XXXII “earth” = erets. Same as “land” in v1. See note III above.
XXXIII “gain blessing” = barak. Same as “bless” in v3. See note XXI above.

because Abraham obeyedXXXIV my voiceXXXV and keptXXXVI my charge,XXXVII

Notes on verse 5a

XXXIV “obeyed” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
XXXV “voice” = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.
XXXVI “kept” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
XXXVII “charge” = mishmeret. Related to “kept” in v5. From mishmar (jail, guard, watch, guard post); from shamar (see note XVI above). This is a guard or watch or guard post. It is used figuratively for obligation, duty, or observance, including religious observance.

my commandments,XXXVIII my statutes,XXXIX and my laws.”XL

Notes on verse 5b

XXXVIII “commandments” = mitsvah. From tsavah (to charge, command, order, enjoin). This is a commandment, law, ordinance obligation, or tradition. It is something commanded whether by God or by a human authority. This term is sometimes used collectively to refer to the Law.
XXXIX “statutes” = chuqqah. From choq (statute, boundary, condition, custom, limit, ordinance; something that is prescribed or something that is owed); from chaqaq (to inscribe, carve, or decree; a lawmaker; literally, this is engraving, but it implies enacting a law because laws were carved into stone or metal). This is something prescribed such as a statue, custom, or ordinance.
XL “laws” = torah. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach). This is law, instruction, teaching, or statute. It can also refer to the first five books of the Bible – the Torah.

6 So Isaac settledXLI in Gerar. When the menXLII of the placeXLIII askedXLIV him about his wife,XLV

Notes on verses 6-7a

XLI “settled” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
XLII “men” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
XLIII “place” = maqom. Related to “fulfill” in v3. From qum (see note XXIII above). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
XLIV “asked” = shaal. This is to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request. It can also mean to demand.
XLV “wife” = ishshah. Related to “men” in v7. From ish (see note XLII above). This is woman, wife, or female.

he said, “She is my sister”;XLVI for he was afraidXLVII to say, “My wife,” thinking, “or else the men of the place might killXLVIII me for the sake of Rebekah,XLIX because she is attractiveL in appearance.”LI 

Notes on verse 7b

XLVI “sister” = achot. From the same as ach (brother, kindred, another, other, like). This is sister in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean another or together.
XLVII “was afraid” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
XLVIII “kill” = harag. This is to strike with deadly intent so it can be kill, destroy, murder, or put to death.
XLIX “Rebekah” = Ribqah. From the same as marbeq (fattened, a stall used for housing cattle; root may mean to tie up). This is Rebekah, perhaps meaning tied up or secured. See
L “attractive” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
LI “appearance” = mareh. Related to “appeared” in v2. From raah (see note XV above). This is sight, appearance, or vision. It can be a view, seeing itself, that which is seen, something real, or a vision one sees

LIIWhen Isaac had beenLIII there a long time,LIV

Notes on verse 8a

LII {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “was” in v1. See note I above.
LIII “been” = arak. This is to continue, lengthen prolong, delay, or endure. It is being long or causing something to be long in a literal or figurative sense.
LIV “long time” = yom. Literally “days.”

King Abimelech of the Philistines lookedLV out of a windowLVI and sawLVII, LVIII him fondlingLIX his wife Rebekah. 

Notes on verse 8b

LV “looked” = shaqaph. This is to look down or look out. Properly, it is looking by leaning out a window. It can be peeping or gazing.
LVI “window” = challon. From chalal (to pierce, which implies to wound; used figuratively for making someone or something profane or breaking your word; to begin as though one opened a wedge; to eat something as a common thing). This is window.
LVII “saw” = raah. Same as “appeared” in v2. See note XV above.
LVIII {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
LIX “fondling” = tsachaq. Related to “Isaac” in v1. 13x in OT. See note VIII above.

So Abimelech calledLX for Isaac, and said, “SoLXI she is your wife! Why then did you say, ‘She is my sister’?”

Isaac said to him, “Because I thoughtLXII I might dieLXIII because of her.” 

Notes on verse 9

LX “called” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
LXI {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v8. See note LVIII above.
LXII “thought” = amar. Same as “show” in v2. See note XIX above.
LXIII “die” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.

10 Abimelech said, “What is this you have doneLXIV to us? OneLXV of the peopleLXVI might easilyLXVII have lainLXVIII with your wife, and you would have broughtLXIX guiltLXX upon us.” 

Notes on verse 10

LXIV “done” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
LXV “one” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.
LXVI “people” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
LXVII “easily” = me’at. From ma’at (being or becoming small, decrease, diminish, pare off). This is a little or few, lightly little while, very small matter.
LXVIII “lain” = shakab. This is to lie down, lodge. It is lying for sleep, sex, or other reasons.
LXIX “brought” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
LXX “guilt” = asham. From asham (to be guilty, suffer, be punished; to destroy, condemn, be desolate, perish). This is guilt, sin, wrong, or offense. It is also a sin or guilt offering.

11 So Abimelech warnedLXXI all the people, saying, “Whoever touchesLXXII this man or his wife shall be put to death.”LXXIII

Notes on verse 11

LXXI “warned” = tsavah. Related to “commandments” in v5. See note XXXVIII above.
LXXII “touches” = naga. This is touch, reach, arrive, come near, strike. This is touching for any reason including sexual or violent.
LXXIII “be put to death” = mut + mut. Same as “die” in v9. See note LXIII above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”

12 Isaac sowedLXXIV seed in that land, and in the same year reapedLXXV a hundredfold. The Lord blessed him, 13 and the man became rich;LXXVI he prosperedLXXVII more and more until he became very wealthy.LXXVIII 

Notes on verses 12-13

LXXIV “sowed” = zara. Related to “descendants” in v3. See note XXII above.
LXXV “reaped” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.
LXXVI “became rich” = gadal. This is to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing.
LXXVII “prospered” = halak + gadal. Literally “continued to prosper.” Halak is the same as “went” in v1. See note IX above. Gadal is the same as “became rich.” See note LXXVI above.
LXXVIII “became…wealthy” = gadal. Same as “became rich” in v13. See note LXXVI above.

14 He hadLXXIX possessionsLXXX of flocksLXXXI andLXXXII herds,LXXXIII

Notes on verse 14a

LXXIX “had” = hayah. Same as “was” in v1. See note I above.
LXXX “possessions” = miqneh. From qahah (to get, acquire, purchase, move to jealousy, buyer, keep cattle). This is something that is bought, which implies property or possession. However, it is generally used of livestock – cattle, flock, herds.
LXXXI “flocks” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
LXXXII {untranslated} = miqneh. Same as “possessions” in v14. See note LXXX above.
LXXXIII “herds” = baqar. From baqar (to plow, break forth; figuratively, to inquire, inspect, consider). This is cattle – an animal used for plowing.

and a greatLXXXIV household,LXXXV so that the Philistines enviedLXXXVI him. 

Notes on verse 14b

LXXXIV “great” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
LXXXV “household” = abuddah. 2x in OT – refers to Isaac’s wealth in Genesis 26 and Job’s great number of servants in Job 1. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is service or household. It can refer to the servants or what is made.
LXXXVI “envied” = qanah. From qinah (zeal, jealousy). This is to be zealous or to provoke to jealousy.

15 (Now the Philistines had stopped upLXXXVII and filledLXXXVIII with earthLXXXIX all the wellsXC that his father’s servantsXCI had dugXCII in the days of his father Abraham.) 

Notes on verse 15

LXXXVII “stopped up” = satham. 15x in OT. This is closed, stopped up, or shut up. This can imply repairs or figuratively it can mean keeping secret.
LXXXVIII “filled” = male. This is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXXIX “earth” = aphar. Related to aphar (to throw dust, be dust). This is dust as powdered, perhaps gray colored. It could be ashes, powder, ground, dry earth, clay mud, or rubbish.
XC “wells” = beer. From baar (to make plain; to dig; can also mean to engrave or figuratively to explain). This is a well or pit.
XCI “servants” = ebed. Related to “household” in v14. From abad (see note LXXXV above). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.
XCII “dug” = chaphar. This is properly to pry into. It can also mean to dig search for, sink, or explore.

16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go awayXCIII from us; you have become too powerfulXCIV for us.”

17 So Isaac departedXCV from there and campedXCVI in the valleyXCVII of Gerar and settled there. 

Notes on verses 16-17

XCIII “go away” = halak. Same as “went” in v1. See note IX above.
XCIV “become…powerful” = atsam. This is vast, numerous, strong. It can be to close one’s eyes, to make powerful, or to break bones.
XCV “departed” = halak. Same as “went” in v1. See note IX above.
XCVI “camped” = chanah. This is decline, bending down, or living in tents. It can be camping to create a home or camping as a part of battle.
XCVII “valley” = nachal. From nachal (to take as heritage, inherit, or distribute). This is a river or stream. It could be a wadi or arroyo – sometimes a narrow valley with no water at all, but in strong rains or when winter snow melts, it swells or floods with water.

18 Isaac dug againXCVIII the wells of waterXCIX that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham; for the Philistines had stopped them up after the deathC of Abraham; and he gaveCI them the namesCII that his father had given them.

Notes on verse 18

XCVIII “again” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
XCIX “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
C “death” = mavet. Related to “die” in v9. From mut (see note LXIII above). This can be death, deadliness, the dead, or the place where the dead go. It can be used figuratively for pestilence or ruin.
CI “gave” = qara. Same as “called” in v9. See note LX above.
CII “names” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.


19 But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and foundCIII there a well of springCIV water, 20 the herdersCV of Gerar quarreledCVI with Isaac’s herders, saying, “The water is ours.” So he calledCVII the well Esek,CVIII because they contendedCIX with him. 

Notes on verses 19-20

CIII “found” = matsa. Same as “reaped” in v12. See note LXXV above.
CIV “spring” = chay. Literally “living” – a way to say flowing water. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
CV “herders” = roi. 11x in OT. From raah (to graze, tend a flock, keep company with; to pasture in a literal or figurative sense). This is pastoral or a shepherd.
CVI “quarreled” = rib. This is properly to toss or grapple. It is used figuratively to mean wrangling and so for arguments, complaints, or disputes. It is used in a legal setting for pleading or defending a case.
CVII “called” = qara + shem. Literally “called the name of.” Qara is the same as “called” in v9. See note LX above. Shem is the same as “names” in v18. See note CII above.
CVIII “Esek” = Eseq. 1x in OT. From asaq (to press on, strive with). This is “contention” or “strife.”
CIX “contended” = asaq. Related to “Esek” in v20. See note CVIII above.

21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also; so he calledCX it Sitnah.CXI 22 He movedCXII from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he calledCXIII it Rehoboth,CXIV saying, “Now the Lord has made roomCXV for us, and we shall be fruitfulCXVI in the land.”

Notes on verses 21-22

CX “called” = qara + shem. Literally “called its name.” Same as “called” in v20. See note CVII above.
CXI “Sitnah” = Sitnah. 1x in OT. From the same as satan (adversary, Satan); from satan (to be an adversary, attack, accuse, resist). This is Sitnah, meaning “hostility.”
CXII “moved” = atheq. 9x in OT. This is to move, advance, remove or continue. Figuratively, it can mean to grow old or it could refer to copying or transcribing.
CXIII “called” = qara + shem. Literally “called its name.” Same as “called” in v20. See note CVII above.
CXIV “Rehoboth” = Rechoboth. 4x in OT. From rachab (to grow wide or enlarge in a literal or figurative sense; extend, relieve, rejoice, or speak boldly). This is Rehoboth, meaning “broad places” or “streets.” It is the name of a well and two different cities.
CXV “made room” = rachab. Related to “Rehobeth” in v22. See note CXIV above.
CXVI “be fruitful” = parah. This is to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase. It is bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense.

23 From there he went upCXVII to Beer-sheba.CXVIII 24 And that very nightCXIX the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the GodCXX of your father Abraham; do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you and make your offspring numerous for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 

Notes on verses 23-24

CXVII “went up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
CXVIII “Beer-sheba” = Beerah sheba. Related to “wells” in v15 & “oath and “swore” in v3. From beer (see note XC above) + perhaps from shaba (see note XXIV above). This is Beersheba – meaning either “well of seven” or “well of an oath.”
CXIX “night” = layil. Properly, this refers to light twisting away. It is used for night or midnight. Figuratively, this can mean adversity.
CXX “God” = Elohim.

25 So he builtCXXI an altarCXXII there, calledCXXIII on the name of the Lord, and pitchedCXXIV his tentCXXV there. And there Isaac’s servants dugCXXVI a well.

Notes on verse 25

CXXI “built” = banah. This is to build, make, set up, restore, repair, or obtain children. It is to build literally or figuratively.
CXXII “altar” = mizbeach. From zabach (to kill, slay, offer; slaughtering an animal to offer as a sacrifice). This is an altar.
CXXIII “called” = qara + shem. Literally “called its name.” Same as “called” in v20. See note CVII above.
CXXIV “pitched” = natah. This is to stretch or spread out, to extend, or bend. In can also imply moral deflection.
CXXV “tent” = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.
CXXVI “dug” = karah. 17x in OT– 8x of digging a pit or trap, 2x of digging a well, 2x of digging a tomb, 2x of bargaining, 1x shriveled, 1x opening an ear, and 1x of digging up evil. This is properly to dig or open up. Figuratively, it can be to plot or make a banquet.

26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, with AhuzzathCXXVII his adviserCXXVIII and PhicolCXXIX the commanderCXXX of his army.CXXXI 

Notes on verse 26

CXXVII “Ahuzzath” = Achuzzath. 1x in OT. From achuzzah (a possession, particularly used of land); from achaz (to grasp, catch, seize, take and hold in possession). This is Ahuzzath, meaning “possession.”
CXXVIII “adviser” = merea. 7x in OT – including 3x of Samson’s companions in Judges 14 & 15. From raah (to associate with someone, cultivate). This is friend, adviser, or companion.
CXXIX “Phicol” = Pikol. 3x in OT. Perhaps from peh (mouth in a literal or figurative sense; literally, beak or jaws; figuratively, speech, commands, or promises); {perhaps from pa’ah (to puff, scatter, cut in pieces)} + kol (all, every, everyone); {from kalal (to complete)}. This is Phicol, a commander – perhaps “mouth of all” or “edge of completion.” See
CXXX “commander” = sar. This is chief, leader, ruler, lord, official, governor, prince, military leader. It refers to someone at the top of a rank or class.
CXXXI “army” = tsaba. From tsaba (to wage war, serve, assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait on). This is a large group of persons (used figuratively for a group of things). It implies a campaign literally as with army, war, warfare, battle, company, soldiers. Can also be used figuratively for hardship or for worship.

27 Isaac said to them, “Why have you comeCXXXII to me, seeing that you hateCXXXIII me and have sent me awayCXXXIV from you?” 

Notes on verse 27

CXXXII “come” = bo. Same as “brought” in v10. See note LXIX above.
CXXXIII “hate” = sane. This is an enemy or foe. It is one that is hated with a personal hatred.
CXXXIV “sent…away” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.

28 They said, “We see plainlyCXXXV that the Lord has been with you; so we say, let there beCXXXVI an oathCXXXVII between you and us, and let us makeCXXXVIII a covenantCXXXIX with you 

Notes on verse 28

CXXXV “see plainly” = raah + raah. Same as “appeared” in v2. See note XV above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
CXXXVI {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
CXXXVII “oath” = alah. From alah (to swear, take an oath, curse – usually negative). This is oath, curse, swearing.
CXXXVIII “make” = karat. This is to cut down, cut off, or make a covenant (idiom for making a covenant is “to cut a covenant”). It can also mean to destroy, fail, or consume.
CXXXIX “covenant” = berit. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from bara (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.

29 so that you will do us no harm,CXL just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing butCXLI goodCXLII and have sent you away in peace.CXLIII You are now the blessed of the Lord.” 

Notes on verse 29

CXL “harm” = ra’. From ra’a’ (to be evil, bad, afflict; properly, to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces; figuratively, to cause something to be worthless; this is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense; that which displeases, to do harm or mischief, to punish or vex). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.
CXLI “nothing but” = raq. From the same as raq (thin, surely, only); perhaps from raqaq (to spit). This is but, except, at least. In the sense of being thin, it figuratively refers to some kind of limit.
CXLII “good” = tob. Same as “attractive” in v7. See note L above.
CXLIII “peace” = shalom. From shalam (to be complete or sound; to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate; so, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated). This is completeness, soundness, welfare, favor, friend, good health. It is to be safe and figuratively well, happy, at peace, friendly. Abstractly, it includes the ideas of welfare and prosperity (not in excessive wealth, but in having enough).

30 So he madeCXLIV them a feast,CXLV and they ateCXLVI and drank.CXLVII 

Notes on verse 30

CXLIV “made” = asah. Same as “done” in v10. See note LXIV above.
CXLV “feast” = mishteh. From shathah (to drink literally or figuratively; a drinker). This is drink or the act of drinking. So it is a feast or banquet, as occasions with drinking.
CXLVI “ate” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
CXLVII “drank” = shathah. Related to “feast” in v30. See note CXLV above.

31 In the morningCXLVIII they rose earlyCXLIX and exchanged oaths;CL and Isaac set them on their way,CLI and they departed from him in peace. 

Notes on verse 31

CXLVIII “morning” = boqer. Related to “herds” in v14. From baqar (see note LXXXIII above). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.
CXLIX “rose early” = shakam. This is leaning one’s shoulder into a burden or load, whether a person or an animal. Thus, it meant starting or rising early.
CL “exchanged oaths” = shaba + ish + ach. Literally “swore one with his brother.” Shaba is the same as “swore” in v3. See note XXV above. Ish is the same as “men” in v7. See note XLII above. Ach is related to “sister” in v7. See note XLVI above.
CLI “set…on their way” = shalach. Same as “sent…away” in v27. See note CXXXIV above.

32 CLIIThat same day Isaac’s servants came and toldCLIII him aboutCLIV the well that they had dug,CLV and said to him, “We have found water!” 33 He called it Shibah;CLVI therefore the name of the cityCLVII is Beer-sheba to this day.

Notes on verses 32-33

CLII {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “was” in v1. See note I above.
CLIII “told” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
CLIV {untranslated} = odoth. 11x in OT. From the same as ud (firebrand, a poker). This is turning, occasion, cause, concerning.
CLV “dug” = chaphar. Same as “dug” in v15. See note XCII above.
CLVI “Shibah” = Shibah. Related to “wells” in v15 & “oath” and “sworn” in v3 & “Beer-sheba” in v23. 1x in OT. From sheba (see note XXIV above). This is Shibah, meaning “seven” or “seventh.”
CLVII “city” = iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.

34 When EsauCLVIII was fortyCLIX years old,CLX

Notes on verse 34a

CLVIII “Esau” = Esav. Perhaps related to “done” in v10. From asah (to squeeze, handle, or press) OR from asah (see note LXIV above). This is Esau, perhaps meaning rough as something one handles. It could also be doer, maker, or worker. See
CLIX “forty” = arbaim. From the same as arba (four); from raba (to make square or be four-sided); perhaps from raba (to lie down flat; can be to lie for mating). This is forty.
CLX “old” = ben. Related to “built” in v25. Perhaps from banah (see note CXXI above). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.

he marriedCLXI JudithCLXII daughterCLXIII of BeeriCLXIV the Hittite,CLXV and BasemathCLXVI daughter of ElonCLXVII the Hittite; 

Notes on verse 34b

CLXI “married” = laqach + ishshah. Literally “took as wives.” Laqach is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage. Ishshah is the same as “wife” in v7. See note XLV above.
CLXII “Judith” = Yehudith. 1x in OT. From the same as Yehudith (Jeiwsh, their language); from Yehudi (Jewish, Judean; someone in Judah’s lineage); form Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judith, Esau’s wife. It means “Jew” or “praised.”
CLXIII “daughter” = bat. Related to “built” in v25 & “old” in v34. From ben (see note CLX above). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
CLXIV “Beeri” = Beeri. Related to “wells” in v15 & “Beer-sheba” in v23. 2x in OT. From beer (see note XC above). This is Beeri, meaning “my well” or “fountained.” It is a personal name.
CLXV “Hittite” = Chitti. From cheth (Heth or Cheth; one of Canaan’s sons from whom perhaps the Hittites descend) OR from hatat (terror, lacking strength or courage); perhaps from hata (to seize; often used of coals from a fire). This is Hittite – perhaps meaning terrors or terrible. See
CLXVI “Basemath” = Basemath. 7x in OT. From the same as bosem (balsam, spice, perfume, odor; the balsam tree); from the same as basam (spice, balsam tree). This is Basemath or Basmath. It may mean “perfume” or “fragrance.” It refers to one of Esau’s wives and one of Solomon’s daughters.
CLXVII “Elon” = Elon. 6x in OT. From ayil (oaks); from the same as ulam (porch, hall); from the same as ul (mighty, strength, body, belly; root may mean to twist and that implies strength and power) OR from alam (to bind or tie fast; to be silent or speechless, whether voluntary or involuntary). This is Elon, a terebinth or oak. It is a personal name of several people in the Bible.

35 and they madeCLXVIII lifeCLXIX bitterCLXX for Isaac and Rebekah.

Notes on verse 35

CLXVIII “made” = hayah. Same as “was” in v1. See note I above.
CLXIX “life” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.
CLXX “bitter” = morah. 1x in OT. From marar (to be bitter, enraged, weep, grieve; properly, to trickle; to become bitter in a literal or figurative sense). This is bitterness or, figuratively, grief.

Image credit: “Isaac and Rebecca Spied upon by Abimelech” by Raphael, between 1518 and 1519.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply