Genesis 26:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 26:2, NIV: "The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, 'Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live."

Genesis 26:2, ESV: "And the LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you."

Genesis 26:2, KJV: "And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:"

Genesis 26:2, NASB: "And the LORD appeared to him and said, 'Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you."

Genesis 26:2, NLT: "The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, 'Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you."

Genesis 26:2, CSB: "The LORD appeared to him and said, "Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land that I tell you about;"

What does Genesis 26:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Famines were not uncommon in the land of Canaan, and they often forced migrations as people moved around to find more fertile territory and food. These might have been caused by periods of pests, drought, or other environmental problems. Genesis 12 describes the famine that forced Abraham and Sarah to travel with their company down to Egypt in search of relief.

This is another, separate famine. Isaac and his family have moved to Gerar, where Abimelech rules as king of the Philistines. Now the Lord appears to Isaac and commands him not to go to Egypt. Perhaps relations between the Egyptians and the family of Abraham have not yet healed—Abraham was evicted from the country many decades prior for lying about his wife (Genesis 12:18–20).

As the following verses will make clear, the Lord wants to show Isaac that He will provide the same blessing and protection to him that He gave to Abraham. His instructions to Isaac echo those given to Abraham, many decades earlier (Genesis 12:1).