Now it came about at that time, that Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do; now therefore, swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me, or with my offspring, or with my posterity; but according to the kindness that I have shown to you, you shall show to me, and to the land in which you have sojourned.” And Abraham said, “I swear it.” But Abraham complained to Abimelech because of the well of water which the servants of Abimelech had seized. And Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; neither did you tell me, nor did I hear of it until today.” And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them to Abimelech; and the two of them made a covenant. Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What do these seven ewe lambs mean, which you have set by themselves?” And he said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand in order that it may be a witness to me, that I dug this well.” Therefore he called that place Beersheba; because there the two of them took an oath. So they made a covenant at Beersheba; and Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, arose and returned to the land of the Philistines. And Abraham planted a tamarisk tree (a tree of righteousness planted by the well of living water) at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God.
Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. And I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” So Isaac lived in Gerar….
Now Isaac sowed in that land (of Gerar of the Philistines), and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. Now all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines stopped up by filling them with earth. Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are too powerful for us.” And Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar, and settled there.
Then Isaac dug again the wells of water which had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham, and he gave them the same names which his father had given them. (In the same way do the powers of darkness stop up the wells of our spiritual fathers so that each new generation must dig their own wells of living water and cannot rely upon the spiritual life of their predecessors to sustain them.) But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of living water, the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with the herdsmen of Isaac, saying, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they contended with him. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over it too, so he named it Sitnah. (In the same way the former inhabitants of the land into which the Lord leads us–who are pride and greed and selfishness and all the rest of our sinful nature‑‑in the same way these will quarrel with us over the wells of living water we dig in the word of God so as to prevent us from abiding in the land of our inheritance which is the kingdom of God. When this happens we must be like Isaac and persevere and keep digging those wells so as to be faithful and obedient to God and dwell in the land of promise rather than going down to Egypt which represents the bondage of sin and the flesh.) And he moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named it Rehoboth (i.e., broad places), for he said, “At last the LORD has made room (or broad) for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”
Then he went up from there to Beersheba. And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you, and multiply your descendants, for the sake of My servant Abraham.” So he built an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well. (Beersheba means “well of the oath”, and it is significant that both Abraham and Isaac called upon the Lord there and dug a well. The oath or covenant refers to that made between Abraham and then Isaac with Abimelech who typifies the Gentiles that see the blessing of God that comes through His people the Jews and make covenant with them so as to get in on the blessing (cf. Gen 12:3). On another level, Abimelech means “my father is king”; thus the oath or covenant is also typical of the oath God swore to Isaac and the covenant we enter into with our Father God who is king. Associated with this covenant is a well of living water which we dig so we may abide there in that covenant.)
Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with his adviser Ahuzzath, and Phicol the commander of his army. And Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me, and have sent me away from you?” And they said, “We see plainly that the LORD has been with you; so we said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, even between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you, that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but good, and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the LORD.'” Then he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. And in the morning they arose early and exchanged oaths; then Isaac sent them away and they departed from him in peace. Now it came about on the same day, that Isaac’s servants came in and told him about the well which they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water.” So he called it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.