The TL:DR Bible – Genesis 26

Chapter 26:

Short one today. Also, you ever notice how everyone criticizes Esau for selling his birthright for a bowl of stew, but no one criticizes Jacob for being an asshole and not just giving his brother something to eat? What’s up with that?

Well, this is familiar. A bit too familiar. Isaac tries to pull the ol’ “She’s my sister” routine with Abimelek. Look, I’m a 21st century guy, so maybe I’m lacking in the cultural nuance of bronze age tribesman, but I think I’d risk death before I let another man take away my wife to his harem.

Anyway, you might be wondering how the hell Abimelek was still alive since Abraham had pulled this stunt with him before Isaac was even conceived, and you’d be right. I figure either:

  1. It’s the same story slightly altered over time and the writers of Genesis included both.
  2. Or it’s Abimelek Jr.

Abimelek sees Isaac getting a bit inappropriate with his sister one day and calls him out for it. Of course, if Abimelek had read the previous chapters of Genesis, he’d know that brothers and sisters tend to have sex a lot together in this book, so a little canoodling didn’t necessarily mean Isaac was lying. But Isaac confesses saying, “Well, you’re damned dirty Canaanite heathens, so I figure you’d kill me and rape my wife.” Nice one, Isaac.

Abimelek shrugs it off and orders everyone to not kill Isaac and not rape Rebekah and the two get along for a while until Isaac gets too rich and Abimelek fears he might take over the place and asks him to leave town.

There’s a bit more sniping back and forth between the two over water rights, but they make a treaty and it’s all good.

Esau marries a couple of local Hittite girls and his parents disapprove.

“Son, why do you have to marry these foreigners? Why can’t marry a cousin or sister like Grandpa and I did?” Isaac said.


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