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Genesis 26:20-22

Context
26:20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled 1  with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water belongs to us!” So Isaac 2  named the well 3  Esek 4  because they argued with him about it. 5  26:21 His servants 6  dug another well, but they quarreled over it too, so Isaac named it 7  Sitnah. 8  26:22 Then he moved away from there and dug another well. They did not quarrel over it, so Isaac 9  named it 10  Rehoboth, 11  saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will prosper in the land.”

1 tn The Hebrew verb translated “quarreled” describes a conflict that often has legal ramifications.

2 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Heb “and he called the name of the well.”

4 sn The name Esek means “argument” in Hebrew. The following causal clause explains that Isaac gave the well this name as a reminder of the conflict its discovery had created. In the Hebrew text there is a wordplay, for the name is derived from the verb translated “argued.”

5 tn The words “about it” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

6 tn Heb “they”; the referent (Isaac’s servants) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Heb “and he called its name.” The referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 sn The name Sitnah (שִׂטְנָה, sitnah) is derived from a Hebrew verbal root meaning “to oppose; to be an adversary” (cf. Job 1:6). The name was a reminder that the digging of this well caused “opposition” from the Philistines.

9 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 tn Heb “and he called its name.”

11 sn The name Rehoboth (רְהֹבוֹת, rehovot) is derived from a verbal root meaning “to make room.” The name was a reminder that God had made room for them. The story shows Isaac’s patience with the opposition; it also shows how God’s blessing outdistanced the men of Gerar. They could not stop it or seize it any longer.



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