Genesis 26:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 26:10, NIV: "Then Abimelek said, 'What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.'"

Genesis 26:10, ESV: "Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.”"

Genesis 26:10, KJV: "And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us."

Genesis 26:10, NASB: "And Abimelech said, 'What is this that you have done to us? One of the people might easily have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.'"

Genesis 26:10, NLT: "'How could you do this to us?' Abimelech exclaimed. 'One of my people might easily have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin.'"

Genesis 26:10, CSB: "Then Abimelech said, "What is this you've done to us? One of the people could easily have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.""

What does Genesis 26:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the prior verses, Isaac repeated one of his father's failures by lying about his wife, to protect his own life (Genesis 20:2–6). Abimelech's accusation in this verse is absolutely right. Isaac failed to face the possibility of protecting himself, or his wife, from someone who might try to take her from him. This cowardice has put Abimelech's whole kingdom at risk of violating a marriage—something even a pagan nation of that era apparently considered a grievous mistake.

While it's all but certain this is not the exact same Abimelech who dealt with Abraham—in a very similar situation in Genesis 20—this king most likely knows that story. At that time, the Lord came to Abimelech in a dream and called him a dead man for innocently taking Sarah to be his wife because of Abraham's lie. This Abimelech is aware of the great guilt that would have fallen on him and/or his people if one of them had done the same with Rebekah. His anger is justified.

Again, Isaac's failure to trust God has led to grave danger for those near him. He, however, continues to be protected by God's promise to be with him, as the following verse will make clear.