Genesis 26:6-11    Isaac to Abimelech, “Rebekah is My Sister”

6 So Isaac dwelt in Gerar. 7 And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, "She is my sister"; for he was afraid to say, "She is my wife," because he thought, "lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to behold."


8 Now it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, showing endearment to Rebekah his wife. 9 Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, "Quite obviously she is your wife; so how could you say, 'She is my sister'?" And Isaac said to him, "Because I said, 'Lest I die on account of her.' " 10 And Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the people might soon have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us." 11 So Abimelech charged all his people, saying, "He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death." NKJV


Facts revealed:

Y      In obedience to the Word of God, Isaac remained in the land of Canaan, the promised land, but he dwelt in Gerar of the Philistines which was near Gaza.

Y      Isaac like Abraham before him feared the people of the Philistines because of the great beauty of his wife Rebekah, thinking that they would kill him for her if he told them that she was his wife, so he said “she was his sister.”   [Genesis 20:1-18]

Y      Abimelech saw Isaac playing with his wife and asked Isaac why he had told him that she was his sister.

Y      Isaac used the same reasoning that Abraham had used to the same man, “Lest I die on account of her.”

Y      Abimelech demonstrated that he still desired to be a righteous king and said, “What is this you have done to us?  One of the people might soon have lain with your wife and you would have brought guilt on us.” 


So before God gave the laws on Mount Sinai regarding adultery, it was already recognized as a sin and one that would bring guilt on the people of the land.  This is confirmed by God’s Law where God said, “For all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled.” [Leviticus 18:6-30]

Y      Abimelech being an honorable man, warned all his people that anyone who touched Isaac or his wife would be put to death.

Y      So we realize that Abimelech had the same attitude toward righteousness in the time of Isaac as he had shown in the time of Abraham at least 75 years earlier.  [Genesis 20:1-18]