Isaac was a farmer while he lived among the Philistines. The Lord blessed his harvest so much that he became more and more wealthy. Eventually, his wealth was so great that the Philistines became jealous. They decided to plug up some wells Abraham had dug. In time, Abimelech asked Isaac to leave their country. He said, “You’ve become too powerful. We feel you’re a threat to us.”
Isaac moved to another valley, and his servants unplugged some of Abraham’s wells. They also dug some new ones. Suddenly they found precious spring water. The herdsmen in that area said, “That water belongs to us.” So Isaac’s servants went and dug other wells, and again found water. Again, the herdsmen said, “That’s our water.”
They went to another area and dug some more wells. This time, no one argued about the water they found. Isaac said, “Finally! The Lord has made room for us. We can now prosper at this spot. He called that place, “Plenty of Room.”
Abimelech and a delegation from the Philistines went to Isaac. When he saw them he said, “You sent me away in anger. So why have you come to me now?”
Abimelech said, “It’s clear to us that the Lord has been with you all this time. We want a treaty with you. We were good to you when you lived among us. Yes, we sent you away, but it was in peace. Now, let’s agree that you’ll treat us the same way and won’t harm us.”
So Isaac prepared a banquet, and they all ate and drank together. The next morning they each gave an oath that they would live in peace with one another.
As Abimelech and his delegation left, servants came and told Isaac about their newest well. They said, “We’ve found water.” So he called the place Beer-sheba, which means, “Well of the Oath.”