Genesis Lesson 13 Day 5

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Genesis 21:22-34

Abraham makes a treaty with Abimelech at Beersheba

12. a. Evidence God was with Abraham

Abraham, his family, his servants, and herds lived like strangers in a foreign country wherever they went. (Hebrews 11:8-13)

Abimelech and Phichol, the army commander, spoke to Abraham, asking him to make a no-hostility treaty with them.

According to Guzik, this is not the same Abimelech mentioned in chapter 20. Abimelech was a common title of a ruler in Canaan rather than a specific name.1 Some commentaries, however, assume he is the same man. Because Abraham had an understanding with the Abimelech in chapter 20, it makes more sense that this is a different king.

They said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do.”

Abimelech noticed Abraham’s integrity, prosperity. With his large herds and many servants, he could easily come through an area and cause trouble or take over. But he did not.

Abraham’s greatest blessing was God’s presence.

I think that the greatest blessing God ever gives to a man is his own presence. If I had my choice of all the blessings of this life, I certainly should not ask for wealth, for that can bring no ease; and I certainly should not ask for popularity, for there is no rest to the man upon whose words men constantly wait, and it is a hard task one has to perform in such a case as that; but I should choose, as my highest honor, to have God always with me.” (Spurgeon)1

b. Abraham’s presence impressed and intimidated kings.

He agreed to the treaty then rebuked Abimelech because of the water well seized by his servants.

To seal the treaty, Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech setting aside seven ewe lambs as a witness that he dug the well. 

13. Abraham honored God.

Abraham showed wisdom when he didn’t attack the servants who took over the well he dug. The treaty further assured Abimelech and Phichol that he agreed to live peacefully among them.

By securing the legal rights to a water well—a valuable commodity in this arid climate—Abraham established a foothold in the land God promised to his family forever. He planted a tamarisk tree there and called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God.

I wondered whether Abraham did the right thing by making a treaty because later God commanded Israel “Make no treaties with them or their gods.” (Exodus 23:32 and others) But in this instance, God does not forbid it.

Beersheba became a notable place in Israel’s history. In addition to this passage, it’s mentioned 29 times in 11 books of the Bible. “It continues today as an important city in modern Israel (Beer-Sheva).”1

14. Honoring God in our dealings with others

Verses about honoring others, paraphrased—

  • Treat our bosses as if they are worthy of all honor. 1 Timothy 6:1
  • Pay our bills and taxes and respect to whom respect is due. Romans 13:7
  • Honor our fathers and mothers. Exodus 20:12
  • Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the President, Prime Minister, King, Governor. 1 Peter 2:17
  • Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, be humble counting others more significant than myself. Philippians 2:3
  • Fear God and stand up before the elderly. Leviticus 19:32
  • Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
  • Look out for the interests of others, not just my own. Philippians 2:4
  • Love others. 1 John 4:11; 1 Peter 4:8; and others
  • Visit orphans and widows in their affliction. James1:2


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2 AWM Living Commentary

3 Spirit Filled Life Bible*

4 New Living Bible Translation*

5 ESV Bible Translation*

6 Strong’s Concordance, public domain

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture taken from ESV Bible translation.

My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Genesis Lesson 13 day 5

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