Daily Word

Permanent foothold -Abraham | Genesis 21:25-34

25 But Abraham complained to Abimelech because of the well of water which the servants of Abimelech had seized. 26 And Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, nor did I hear of it until today.”

27 So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant. 28 But Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 Then Abimelech said to Abraham, “What do these seven ewe lambs mean, which you have set by themselves?” 30 He said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand so that it may be a witness for me, that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because there the two of them took an oath.

32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba; and Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, got up and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham resided in the land of the Philistines for many days.

Genesis 21:25-34 (NASB)

Tables turned

Continuing from yesterday, Abimeleh comes to Abraham to make a treaty for he sees that Abraham is becoming stronger and God is with him. In their first encounter, Abraham was fearful. In this encounter the tables seem to be turned and Abimelech is fearful. Based on what? Based on God’s intervention – the miracle promised son.

Confidence found

It seems Abraham, upon the birth of Isaac, gained new confidence. “In contrast to Abraham’s earlier fear of Abimelech (ch. 20), we now see him boldly standing up to this powerful king. His changed attitude evidently resulted from God’s grace in blessing the patriarch as He had promised.” (planobiblechapel.org) Abraham boldly confronted Abimelech about the well situation.

Covenant of equals

This covenant was like the one God instituted with Abraham in Genesis 15:7-21. There, God sealed the covenant for both He and Abraham. Here, Abraham and Abimelech are equals so they both seal it. 

Abraham added the young, female (ewe) lambs to the transaction to purchase rights to the well. Wells are quite important in arid lands to shepherds so having one was a sign of prosperity but also permanency.

Abraham gains a Foothold

With this well, Abraham gains a permanent foothold in Canaan. It’s nowhere near possession of the whole land as God promised but it’s a start; just like Isaac is a start to a mighty nation. So Abraham plants a tamarisk tree which is known for long life; it’s an evergreen – indicating life. And Abraham called on the name of the Lord signifying his trust in, relationship with and worship of the Everlasting God.


  • Do you see Jesus as the Everlasting God? He, The promised Child, is proclaimed in Isaiah 9:6 to be the Everlasting Father. Take a moment to consider this and respond.
  • Can you look to how God has blessed and provided for you then give thanks…and trust Him for the current situation!
Foothold. Image from Amazon.com *

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