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Page Twenty

Abraham & Abimelech

The Well of the Oath

Now after seeing what Abraham was doing, the king asked Abraham: "What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?" And after hearing the king's question, Abraham responded by saying: "Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this water-well."

(Bible Study Online Article Covers : Genesis 21:22-34)

Short Recap?

In the last article, we were able to follow the events of Hagar and Ishmael a little bit more closely, after Abraham ended up tossing the two out in the wilderness. This was done after Abraham had decided to side with his wife Sarah, by carrying out her demands.

The Sacred Record also revealed, how Hagar had to deal with Ishmael's near death experience -- after their food supplies had diminished, and their supply of water, had completely ran out.

Know that it was at this time, that Hagar had felt helpless, when it came to helping her son -- which in turn, had caused her to become very upset.

However, it would also be at this time, that God would soon step in. For the Lord was determined to keep His promise, to both Abraham and Hagar, when it came to Ishmael:

God's Promise to Abraham

"Do not be so distressed about the boy [Ishmael] and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your [Abraham's] offspring." -- Genesis 21:12,13

God's Promise to Hagar

"God heard the boy [Ishmael] crying and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, 'What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.'" -- Genesis 21:17-18

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Abraham and Abimelech -- Confrontation Between their Camps?

However, we now begin to move forward... for the Sacred Record would reveal, that sometime had gone by. And it's at this point -- we find that Abraham's camp, had some kind of run-in, with some of Abimelech's servants. Understand that this spat, dealt with a situation that would involved a water-well, that the two camps had access to. However, it wouldn't be long before Abimelech's servants, would end up claiming possession of the water-well from Abraham's camp. And to make matters worse, Abimelech's servants, would do this through tactics -- that involved, force and intimidation.

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Abraham Not Happy With Abimelech's Camp?

Now understand that this didn't sit well with Abraham, and because of this situation, he would become very upset with Abimelech's camp. Now to be fair -- it's possible to assume, that Abimelech did not know, or had given his servants specific orders -- when it came to claiming possession of the water-well? Now the reason why I'm suggesting that he didn't know, deals with the way Abimelech had reacted to the situation? For we find, that it was Abimelech, coming to resolve this matter with Abraham... and not the other way around:

"...God is with you in everything that you do. Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants..." -- (Genesis 22-23)

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Abimelech & Abraham's History?

And on top of this, I'm quite sure, Abimelech didn't forget what had happen -- when some time ago, Abraham had first enter into his Philistine town and district? For it was at that time, that Abimelech had decided to take Abraham's wife Sarah against her will, in order to make her his very own. And although Abimelech was deceived by Abraham, into thinking that Sarah was his sister, and not his wife. In the end, God had still found the Philistine king guilty, for taking Sarah against her will.

And needless-to-say, God was not happy with what Abimelech was intending to do with Sarah. And this is why the Lord ended up visiting the Philistine king in a dream, and it would also be at this time, that the Lord made it very clear to Abimelech -- that Sarah was to be unharmed, and returned, to Abraham at once.

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Cross Abraham -- Cross God?

Know that God also made it clear to Abimelech, that He was very serious in His demands. For God would prove this to the king, by striking him with a disease, that would have eventually ended his life. But God wasn't done, for He also made all the women in Abimelech's household, barren as well -- which prevented them from bearing anymore children.

Now it would take Abraham interceding to the Almighty God, on Abimelech's behalf -- in order for the dire physical conditions to be removed from king, and the women in his household. Also know, that it would be at this time, that God had also indicated to Abimelech -- that Abraham was His prophet, and that it wouldn't be wise for the king to go against him.

And these are the reasons, why I believe that the account of this meeting -- that's now happening between Abimelech, and Abraham, began the way that it did.

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Promise Me -- Abraham?

Now as we turn our attention back towards the confrontation, that had taken place between the camps of Abimelech and Abraham. Know that Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his forces had a meeting with Abraham. And it would be at this time that we find Abimelech telling Abraham:

"God is with you in everything that you do. Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you are living as an alien the same kindness I have shown to you." -- Genesis 21:22,23

Now after hearing this, Abraham would agree, by promising to uphold Abimelech's request. But also know... that it's at this time, that Abraham would start complaining about the water-well, that Abimelech's servants had pushed Abraham's camp away from, by forcibly claiming possession of it.

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I Did Not Know of This?

Now after hearing this, Abimelech would reply to Abraham by saying: "I don't know who has done this. You did not tell me, and I heard about it only today." So perhaps, this would explain the reason, why earlier -- he had Abraham promise that he would not have any harm brought against him, and his family? Be that as it may, in the meantime, we now find Abraham bringing Abimelech some sheep and cattle, in order to give to him as gifts. Now keep in mind... that these gifts, would become part of the treaty, that the two men had made between each other earlier.

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Why The Seven Ewe Lambs?

But know, that Abraham would go a step further, by separating the seven ewe lambs -- from his overall gift to Abimelech. Now after seeing what Abraham was doing, the king asked Abraham: "What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?" And after hearing the king's question, Abraham responded by saying: "Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this water-well."

So Abimelech would accept the seven ewe lambs -- as a confirmation by the king, that Abraham had indeed, dug that water-well. So from this point forward, the place was now called "Beersheba the Well of the Oath." Nonetheless, after the treaty had been made at Beersheba -- Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his forces, returned to the land of the Philistines. And a short while later, we find Abraham planting a grove in that place, and it's there -- he would call on the name of the Lord.

Now Abraham was doing this -- because he was appreciative of the fact, that God had once again, shown him favor. For the Lord had blessed him, with a high level, royal friendship with Abimelech. And because of this friendship and favor, Abraham would reside in the land of the Philistines for quite awhile.

In the next Bible Study Online Article:

So we just discovered the oath, that Abraham and Abimelech had made with each other at a particular water-well in the land of Beersheba. And because of this oath, this particular water-well, will be known as "Beersheba the Well of the Oath." However, we now move forward, and it's at this time, we find God giving Abraham another challenging faith test. Hmm... I wonder how Abraham will do this time around?

May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support

Related - Bible Study Online Articles - Links

Start Reading a Different - Bible Study Online Series:

God Creates the Earth

The Sons of God - The Daughters of Men

The Introduction of Abraham


The Birth of Esau & Jacob

Jacob - The Path of Uncertainty

Jacob - Wrestles with God

Joseph the Favorite Son

Joseph the Overseer of Egypt

The Unveiling of Joseph

16) Abimelech Angry with Abraham

17) The Birth of Isaac

18) Hagar & Ishmael - Sent Away

19) Hagar the Fighter

Added to Page 19) Hagar the Mother of a Great Nation


21) Abraham & The Great Sacrifice

22) The Death of Sarah

23) Eliezer of Damascus

24) The Discovery of Rebekah

25) Rebekah gets Permission to Leave

26) Isaac meets Rebekah

27) The Last Years of Abraham

28) The Twelve Rulers of Ishmael

29) The Birth of Esau & Jacob

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