Devotional Short Note to Genesis 26


In 2100 BCE Isaac was married to Rebecca (Genesis 25:20). Esau, one of the twins was born in 2080 when Isaac was 60 years old as Genesis 25:26 indicates. When Esau was 40 years old, in this chapter, he and Jacob got married, Esau with Hittites and Jacob with Rebecca. That was in 2040 BCE.  

Now for Isaac and Rebecca to be young in their age, it means that they were probably just married somewhere between 2099-2081 BCE before the birth of his twins. One has to think of a time before the birth of these sons and after they were married. The exact year we do not know.

During this time there was again a severe draught in Canaan, that is between 2099-2081 BCE.

The pharaoh apparently that ruled this time in Egypt was Intef II. About him it is stated: “Wahankh Intef II (also Inyotef II and Antef II) was the third ruler of the Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt during the First Intermediate Period. He reigned for almost fifty years from 2112 BC to 2063 BC. His capital was located at Thebes. In his time, Egypt was split between several local dynasties” (see Wikipaedia). He claimed the title of “son of Ra” the sungod.

“Tjetjy was the chief treasurer and king’s chamberlain of Intef II and Intef III. His finely carved tomb stele, now at the British Museum, shows that Intef II claimed the dual throne of Egypt but also recognizes the limited extent of his rule: "The horus Wahankh, king of Upper and Lower Egypt, son of Re, Intef, born of Nefru, he who lives eternally like Re, [...] this land was under his rule southwards as far as Yebu and reaching as far north as Abydos". Tjetjy then describes his career in the typical self-laudatory manner of the Egyptian elite. Most importantly, the text demonstrates the undisputed power of the king in the Theban kingdom of the 11th Dynasty "I was a trustworthy favorite of my lord, an official great of heart and quiet of temper in the palace of his lord [...]. I am one who loved good and hated evil, one who was loved in the palace of his lord, one who performed every duty in obedience to the will of his lord. Indeed, as for every task which he commanded me to undertake [...], I performed it rightly and justly. Never did I disobey the orders he gave me; never did I substitute one thing for another [...]. Moreover, as for every responsibility of the royal palace which the majesty of my lord committed to me, and for which he caused me to perform some task, I did it for him in accordance with everything which his Ka desired."

Notice the similarity between the faithfulness of the worker of Abraham and Tjetjy to Intef II. They were contemporaries and the incident was in close proximity time-wise, Abraham’s worker 2100 BCE and Tjetjy between 2112-2069 BCE.

Abraham was still alive since he died in 2065 BCE. Abimelech and Abraham had the incident after 2140 BCE, about 59 years apart [if the lower date 2081 BCE is applicable], and the one with Isaac was between 2099-2081 BCE.

The Lord told Isaac not to go to Egypt probably because pharaoh Intef II was a warmonger and divided Egypt actually in many zones. He divided the country.

Drought in Egypt of this time was the study of F. Hassan and on page 358 he mentioned: “Gardiner noted that the inscriptions from the First Intermediate Period (FlP), the term collectively given to a span of time from c. 2185 to 2020 BCE, ‘constantly harp upon the lack of grain, a lack which was due as much to the impossibility of undisturbed agriculture as to a succession of low Niles. It may be here noted that the deplorable state of Upper Egypt is clearly reflected in the clumsiness of its artistic efforts; evidently Egyptian civilization was at its lowest ebb" (GARDINER 1962: 11 I). It became common to refer to this period as a ‘dark age.’” (F. A. Hassan (2007). "Droughts, Famine and the Collapse of the Old Kingdom: Re-Reading lpuwer." In The Archaeology and Art of Ancient Egypt. Essays in Honor of David B. O'Connor. Edited by Zahi A. Hawass and Janet Richards ANNALES DU SERVICE DES ANTIQUITES DE L'EGYPTE. CAHIER N° 36 Volume I, PUBLICATIONS DU CONSEIL SUPREME DES ANTIQUITES DE L'EGYPTE. Online downloaded from

The inscriptions of Egypt from this time constantly complain that there is not enough grain in the country. Do not go to Egypt the Lord told Isaac (Genesis 26:2).

Like father like son. The same problem happened that occurred with Abimelech and Abraham. Also Isaac was trying to hide something.

Isaac was sporting with his wife. That is what Abimelech saw and it shocked him since he thought she could be added to his harem. The relationship between husband and wife is one of sporting. “Isaac was sporting with his wife Rebecca” = יִצְחָק מְצַחֵק אֵת רִבְקָה אִשְׁתּוֹ (Genesis 26:8). The same root is used as his name. Laughter, cry out. Husband and wife should be in a playful mood with each other the whole marriage. That is also the will of God.

There is an issue with wells, covenant, eating, and a number of things his father also did with Abimelech. Isaac was very prosperous in the Lord.

Esau’s wives with the Hittites disturbed Isaac and Rebecca as it is said: “And they were a bitterness of spirit unto Isaac and to Rebekah” = וַתִּהְיֶיןָ מֹרַת רוּחַ לְיִצְחָק וּלְרִבְקָה (Genesis 26:35). The Jesus advice for marriage here: do not be in the same yoke as the unfaithful.


Dear God

So many make a mistake in their marriages by marrying an unfaithful partner and it leads to pain and suffering. Open the eyes of the youth to select the beauty of faithfulness instead. In Jesus Name. Amen.