21:33 Abraham 1 planted a tamarisk tree 2 in Beer Sheba. There he worshiped the Lord, 3 the eternal God. 21:34 So Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for quite some time. 4
26:33 So he named it Shibah; 9 that is why the name of the city has been Beer Sheba 10 to this day.
28:10 Meanwhile Jacob left Beer Sheba and set out for Haran.
1 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
2 sn The planting of the tamarisk tree is a sign of Abraham’s intent to stay there for a long time, not a religious act. A growing tree in the Negev would be a lasting witness to God’s provision of water.
3 tn Heb “he called there in the name of the
4 tn Heb “many days.”
5 sn The Hebrew verb used here means “to test; to try; to prove.” In this passage God tests Abraham to see if he would be obedient. See T. W. Mann, The Book of the Torah, 44-48. See also J. L. Crenshaw, A Whirlpool of Torment (OBT), 9-30; and J. I. Lawlor, “The Test of Abraham,” GTJ 1 (1980): 19-35.
6 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
7 tn Heb “and they arose and went together.”
8 tn Heb “and Abraham stayed in Beer Sheba. This has been translated as a relative clause for stylistic reasons.
9 sn The name Shibah (שִׁבְעָה, shiv’ah) means (or at least sounds like) the word meaning “oath.” The name was a reminder of the oath sworn by Isaac and the Philistines to solidify their treaty.
10 sn The name Beer Sheba (בְּאֵר שָׁבַע, bÿ’er shava’) means “well of an oath” or “well of seven.” According to Gen 21:31 Abraham gave Beer Sheba its name when he made a treaty with the Philistines. Because of the parallels between this earlier story and the account in 26:26-33, some scholars see chaps. 21 and 26 as two versions (or doublets) of one original story. However, if one takes the text as it stands, it appears that Isaac made a later treaty agreement with the people of the land that was similar to his father’s. Abraham dug a well at the site and named the place Beer Sheba; Isaac dug another well there and named the well Shibah. Later generations then associated the name Beer Sheba with Isaac, even though Abraham gave the place its name at an earlier time.