26:8 After Isaac 1 had been there a long time, 2 Abimelech king of the Philistines happened to look out a window and observed 3 Isaac caressing 4 his wife Rebekah.
1 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
2 tn Heb “and it happened when the days were long to him there.”
3 tn Heb “look, Isaac.” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the audience to view the scene through Abimelech’s eyes.
4 tn Or “fondling.”
sn The Hebrew word מְצַחֵק (mÿtsakheq), from the root צָחַק (tsakhaq, “laugh”), forms a sound play with the name “Isaac” right before it. Here it depicts an action, probably caressing or fondling, that indicated immediately that Rebekah was Isaac’s wife, not his sister. Isaac’s deception made a mockery of God’s covenantal promise. Ignoring God’s promise to protect and bless him, Isaac lied to protect himself and acted in bad faith to the men of Gerar.