Genesis 26:15
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.
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(15) The wells.—In the East the digger of a well is regarded as a public benefactor; but the Philistines stopped those that Abraham had digged, probably because they regarded his possession of them, though confirmed by the covenant between him and Abimelech (Genesis 21:32), as an intrusion upon their rights as the people of the country, Envious, too, at the rapid increase of an alien’s wealth, they determined to drive Isaac away; and for this no expedient would be more effectual than the preventing him from procuring water for his cattle. Following upon this came an express command of the king to depart, which Isaac obeyed; for he had sought refuge there because of the famine, and had no right to continue at Gerar, if the people refused their hospitality.

26:12-17 God blessed Isaac. Be it observed, for the encouragement of poor tenants who occupy other people's lands, and are honest and industrious, that God blessed him with a great increase. The Philistines envied Isaac. It is an instance of the vanity of the world; for the more men have of it, the more they are envied, and exposed to censure and injury. Also of the corruption of nature; for that is an ill principle indeed, which makes men grieve at the good of others. They made Isaac go out of their country. That wisdom which is from above, will teach us to give up our right, and to draw back from contentions. If we are wrongfully driven from one place, the Lord will make room for us in another.The growing prosperity of Isaac. "And Isaac sowed in that land." This does not imply a fixed property in the soil, but only an annual tenancy. "A hundred-fold." The rates of increase vary from thirty to a hundred. Sixty-fold is very good, and was not unusual in Palestine. A hundred-fold was rare, and only in spots of extraordinary fertility. Babylonia, however, yielded two hundred and even three hundred-fold, according to Herodotus (I. 193). Thus, the Lord began to "bless him." The amazing growth of the stranger's wealth in flocks and herds and servants awakens the envy of the inhabitants. The digging of the well was an enterprise of great interest in rural affairs. It conferred a sort of ownership on the digger, especially in a country where water was precious. And in a primeval state of society the well was the scene of youthful maidens drawing water for domestic use, and of young men and sometimes maidens watering the bleating flocks and lowing herds, and therefore the gathering center of settled life. Hence, the envious Philistines were afraid that from a sojourner he would go on to be a settler, and acquire rights of property. They accordingly took the most effectual means of making his abiding place uncomfortable, when they stopped up the wells. At length the sovereign advised a separation, if he did not enjoin the departure of Isaac.15. all the wells which his father's servants had digged … the Philistines had stopped, &c.—The same base stratagem for annoying those against whom they have taken an umbrage is practiced still by choking the wells with sand or stones, or defiling them with putrid carcases. No text from Poole on this verse.

For all the wells which his father's servants had digged, in the days of Abraham his father,.... For the watering of his flocks and herds, see Genesis 21:25,

the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth; that they might be of no use; and this they did through envy to him, and is mentioned as a proof of it.

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.
15. his father’s servants] Cf. Genesis 21:25.

had stopped them] Wells were of priceless value to large owners of cattle and sheep. The “Philistines” adopted the most malignant method of spiting the Hebrews, and of rendering their continued sojourn in the land impossible. See 2 Kings 3:25.

Verse 15. - For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father (vide Genesis 21:30), the philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. This act, commonly regarded as legitimate in ancient warfare, was practically to Isaac an act of expulsion, it being impossible for flocks and herds to exist without access to water supplies. It was probably, as the text indicates, the outcome of envy, rather than inspired by fear that Isaac in digging and possessing wells was tacitly claiming the ownership of the land. Genesis 26:15Being thus blessed of Jehovah, Isaac became increasingly (הלוך, vid., Genesis 8:3) greater (i.e., stronger), until he was very powerful and his wealth very great; so that the Philistines envied him, and endeavoured to do him injury by stopping up and filling with rubbish all the wells that had been dug in his father's time; and even Abimelech requested him to depart, because he was afraid of his power. Isaac then encamped in the valley of Gerar, i.e., in the "undulating land of Gerar," through which the torrent (Jurf) from Gerar flows from the south-east (Ritter, Erdk. 14, pp. 1084-5).
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