Genesis 26:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 26:15, NIV: "So all the wells that his father's servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth."

Genesis 26:15, ESV: "(Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.)"

Genesis 26:15, KJV: "For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth."

Genesis 26:15, NASB: "Now all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up by filling them with dirt."

Genesis 26:15, NLT: "So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac's wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham."

Genesis 26:15, CSB: "Philistines stopped up all the wells that his father's servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham, filling them with dirt."

What does Genesis 26:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous verse told us the Philistines were envious of Isaac's enormous and growing wealth. Despite a famine which would have left most people struggling (Genesis 26:1), Isaac has managed a hundredfold return on his crops (Genesis 26:12–13). This explosive growth made Isaac and his family a dominant force in their region. This has already generated envy among the Philistines, and will soon result in fear (Genesis 26:16).

As happened with Abraham (Genesis 21:25–26), water rights have now become a point of contention between Isaac and Abimelech's people. The famine in the land might have been tied to a drought; this would make arguments over wells even more heated.

Isaac, apparently, had been using wells dug by Abraham's servants in the days that Abraham lived in Gerar (Genesis 21:30). Now the Philistines had filled those wells up with dirt, to slow down Isaac's progress and keep him from using the water. When something similar happened to Abraham, the prior king had claimed ignorance and, eventually, had made a treaty with Abraham (Genesis 21:31–33). This time, Abimelech's response to the dispute over water will be much different.