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Genesis 26:31-33

Context
26:31 Early in the morning the men made a treaty with each other. 1  Isaac sent them off; they separated on good terms. 2 

26:32 That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. “We’ve found water,” they reported. 3  26:33 So he named it Shibah; 4  that is why the name of the city has been Beer Sheba 5  to this day.

1 tn Heb “and they got up early and they swore an oath, a man to his brother.”

2 tn Heb “and they went from him in peace.”

3 tn Heb “and they said to him, ‘We have found water.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

4 sn The name Shibah (שִׁבְעָה, shivah) 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.

5 sn The name Beer Sheba (בְּאֵר שָׁבַע, bÿer 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.



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