Today, I am reading and commenting on Genesis 26-28.
The first thing which struck me in this passage was the comment about Isaac harvesting 100 times more grain than he planted one year. We think of Isaac as a nomadic shepherd, yet here we have it being recounted that he planted crops…and the harvest he got from those crops played a significant role in him being a wealthy man. Clearly Isaac was starting to put down roots. It was a short time after this that the ruler of the Philistines demanded that he move because he was becoming a threat to them. It took some time before Isaac was able to find a place far enough from the Philistines to settle again without conflict, but once he did they made a treaty with him.
We get yet another hint about the differences between the Canaanites and the family of Abraham in today’s passage. We are told that Esau married two Hittite women and that they made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah. We are given no hint as to what they did which made life miserable for them, just that it was bad enough to make a valid excuse for sending Jacob off to Rebekah’s family. Further telling is that when Esau learned that Jacob had been sent to their Uncle Laban to marry one of his daughters Esau married one of Ishmael’s daughters. All of this indicates that there was some significant cultural difference between Abraham’s family and the people living in the land of Canaan. Related to this whole mystery, at least in my mind, is Jacob’s reaction to his vision at Bethel. After seeing the vision, Jacob declares that if God will see him safely on his journey and home again that God will indeed be his god as if there were other gods to choose from.