What does Genesis 26:33 mean?
ESV: He called it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.
NIV: He called it Shibah, and to this day the name of the town has been Beersheba.
NASB: So he called it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.
CSB: He called it Sheba. Therefore the name of the city is still Beer-sheba today.
NLT: So Isaac named the well Shibah (which means 'oath'). And to this day the town that grew up there is called Beersheba (which means 'well of the oath').
KJV: And he called it Shebah: therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba unto this day.
NKJV: So he called it Shebah. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.
Verse Commentary:
Isaac has just concluded brief negotiations with the local king, Abimelech (Genesis 26:26–31). This agreement establishes peace and also serves to remind Isaac that God's promises are true. Just as God honored His oaths to Abraham, He will do so with Abraham's son, Isaac. As the feast celebrating the peace treaty concludes, Isaac's servants came with the good news that the well they've been digging yielded water. This is likely the well whose construction was described verse 25.

Isaac's habit is to name wells for the circumstances surrounding their discovery. He calls this one Shibah, which sounds like the Hebrew word for "oath," to celebrate the oaths for peace he has just exchanged with King Abimelech. Thus the name Abraham had given this place is reinforced (Genesis 21:31–34). Beersheba means "well of the oath."
Verse Context:
Genesis 26:6–35 describes Isaac's interactions with the Philistines while living in and around the land of Gerar. After Isaac is caught in a lie about Rebekah being his sister, king Abimelech is angry. However, he protects Isaac and Rebekah. God blesses Isaac abundantly, and his wealth grows to the point where his power provokes the king to send him away. Following a series of disputes over water rights, the king and Isaac eventually make a treaty of peace. God appears to Isaac for a second time, telling him not to fear, and renewing His promises.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 26 focuses on God's assurances to Isaac to be with him and to bless him, mostly while Isaac and his household are settled in the land of the Philistines. Just as Abraham did, Isaac fearfully lies about his wife being his sister, nearly bringing disaster on Abimelech and his kingdom. Still, God blesses Isaac with greater and greater abundance to the point that Abimelech sends Isaac away because he has become too powerful. After continued disputes over water rights, Abimelech and Isaac eventually make a covenant of peace.
Chapter Context:
Genesis 26 seems to jump back in time to the season before Jacob and Esau were born, as described in the previous chapter. This is common in ancient literature. The Lord establishes and renews His covenant promises to Isaac, blessing him abundantly in the land of Philistines during a time of famine. Eventually, Abimelech sends Isaac away due to his growing power and disputes over water rights, but they end up forming a peace treaty. Esau's marriage to foreign women creates strife, adding more fuel to the controversy which is soon to occur. In the next chapter, Jacob will steal his older brother's rightful blessing.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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