Genesis 26:8 MEANING

Genesis 26:8
(8) Abimelech.--Upon this title of the Philistine monarchs see Note on Genesis 21:22. As eighty years had elapsed since Abraham's sojourn in Gerar, it is highly improbable that the same king was still reigning; but both king and people maintain on this occasion the good character previously deserved. The Philistines, however, at this period, were a feeble colony of strangers, and were kept in restraint by a sense of their weakness. They had received a vast accession of strength from abroad before they became formidable enemies of the Israelites at the end of the period of the Judges. (See Genesis 10:14.)

Verse 8. - And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time (literally, when were prolonged to him there the days), that Abimelech king of the philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife - i.e. caressing and using playful liberties with her, which showed she was not a sister, but a wife - παίζοντα (LXX.), jocantem (Vulgate).

26:6-11 There is nothing in Isaac's denial of his wife to be imitated, nor even excused. The temptation of Isaac is the same as that which overcame his father, and that in two instances. This rendered his conduct the greater sin. The falls of those who are gone before us are so many rocks on which others have split; and the recording of them is like placing buoys to save future mariners. This Abimelech was not the same that lived in Abraham's days, but both acted rightly. The sins of professors shame them before those that are not themselves religious.And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time,.... Perhaps some years: for though it is in the original, "when days were prolonged to him there" (b); yet days are sometimes put for years:

that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window; in his own palace, near to which, in all likelihood, were the apartments that Isaac and Rebekah dwelt in; and this he did accidentally, and not out of curiosity, or with any intention to observe or pry into the behaviour and conduct of these two persons one towards the other:

and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife; laughing and joking with her, which by his motions and gestures, and the airs and freedoms he took, Abimelech could perceive were such as were not usual between brothers and sisters, though honest and lawful between man and wife; such as embracing her in his arms, and frequently kissing her, and the like.

(b) "cum prolongati essent ei ibi dies", Pagninus, Montanus, Schmidt.

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