Genesis 21:32 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 21:32, NIV: "After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines."

Genesis 21:32, ESV: "So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army rose up and returned to the land of the Philistines."

Genesis 21:32, KJV: "Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines."

Genesis 21:32, NASB: "So they made a covenant at Beersheba; and Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, got up and returned to the land of the Philistines."

Genesis 21:32, NLT: "After making their covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech left with Phicol, the commander of his army, and they returned home to the land of the Philistines."

Genesis 21:32, CSB: "After they had made a covenant at Beer-sheba, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, left and returned to the land of the Philistines."

What does Genesis 21:32 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

A solemn treaty between Abimelech, king of Gerar, and Abraham has just been completed. Abimelech and Abraham have exchanged animals as part of an agreement for their households to treat each other agreeably. Abraham has also claimed formal ownership of the well he dug, and which was taken at some point by men serving under Abimelech. His symbolic price for these rights was seven sheep. This agreement was significant enough that the name of the well's location was changed to Beersheba, meaning "well of the oath" or "well of seven."

Now Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, return home. We're told that Gerar is located in the land of Philistines. These Philistines may have been the forerunners to those who would later plague Israel in the time of Saul and David. Or, the text may be saying that Gerar was in a region which would later be occupied by the Philistines.