All’s Well That Ends Well
There was yet another great famine in the land, so Isaac went down to Gerar where the Philistines lived. 2 Then the Lord appeared to him and said: ‘Don’t go down to Egypt!’
Isaac replied, ‘I wasn’t planning to…’
3 The Lord ignored him and continued, ‘You will live where I tell you to live, because if you do, I will bless you. 4 I will make your descendants multiply like rabbits, and the whole land will be covered in your seed.’
5 ‘Be a good boy like your father. Don’t ask questions, just obey!’
‘What, like the time you commanded him to tie me up and kill me?’
The Lord coughed and spluttered, ‘Er… Well… That was a test. Anyway, I’m a busy god. Must be moving on.’
6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar, 7 and when the Philistines asked about Rebekah, Isaac said, ‘she is my sister,’ because that lie worked out so well for his dad.
8 One day, King Abimelech looked in Isaac’s window and saw him playing smoosh the oyster with Rebekah. So, Abimelech vomited in their window box. 9 Later, he summoned Isaac and said, ‘I just heard that Rebekah is actually your wife. Why did you say, “She is my sister”?’
Isaac replied, ‘It’s a sexual roleplay thing.’
10 So Abimelech vomited again.
‘But she is my cousin,’ added Isaac.
11 When Abimelech came to, he made a proclamation to his people, ‘Nobody go near Isaac and his wife. They are sick puppies!’
12 Then Isaac decided to buy a farm, and he grew a bumper crop. 13 He began to prosper, and he continued to prosper until he was prosperous, 14 what with all his prosperity and shit. 15 He became so prosperous that the Philistines were envious, so they decided to go out and steal all of his father Abraham’s wells.
16 Isaac went to Abimelech to complain, but all Abimelech said was, ‘Fuck off.’
17 So Isaac fucked off and set up camp in Gerar. 18 He managed to get his father’s wells back from the Philistines who had stolen them, and he called them the same names as his father had; the wells not the Philistines. Then Isaac sent his servants off to dig some more wells, because you just can’t have enough wells.
19 One day, Isaac overheard his herdsmen arguing with Philistines who were trying to sneak off with one of his wells. 20 Luckily, Isaac’s herdsmen were skilled at goat-kune-do, and they fought off the filthy Philistine interlopers. So, Isaac named the well Esek, which means ‘nice try, you sneaky bastards’.
21 Later, the Philistines tried to steal another well, but God sent a plague of haemorrhoids, and they waddled off. So, Isaac named the well ‘Sit? Nah!’ 22 After that, Isaac dug another well, and the Philistines stayed away, so he called the well Rehoboth, which means ‘thank fuck for that’.
23 One day, Isaac went up to Beersheba, and the Lord appeared to him in a flash of light. Isaac nearly shit himself. 24 The Lord said, ‘Don’t be alarmed.’
‘Too late,’ replied Isaac.
The Lord ignored him and continued, ‘I am God, the same God who had a special relationship with your father.’
‘I know who you are,’ snapped Isaac. ‘We’ve spoken before.’
‘I’ve got a surprise for you, little fella.’
‘I will make your descendants multiply like rabbits, and the whole land will be covered in your seed.’
‘Yes,’ groaned Isaac. ‘We’ve been over this before… Look, what will it take to get you to sod off?’
‘Erm… an altar.’
25 So Isaac built the Lord an altar, and then he got his servants to dig the same well that his father had already dug, which you wouldn’t expect to take very long. Maybe they just waved a spade over it and said ‘Tada! It’s finished.’
26 Just then, Abimelech turned up with General Phicol and one of his friends, for some reason. 27 And Isaac said to them, ‘What are you doing here? You told me to fuck off, and it really hurt my feelings.’
28 Abimelech looked sheepishly and said, ‘Yeah, I’m sorry for freaking out. We’ve come to call a truce.'
29 ‘You see, you have all these wells, and you prospered until you were prosperous, so you’re too powerful to have as an enemy. Here, I had my chef prepare a picnic.’
30 So he set down his picnic basket, and they ate cheese and scones and drank lashings of ginger beer. 31 The next morning, they shook hands, and Abimelech left.
32 It came to pass that Isaac’s servants, who had been ‘digging’ the well all this time, struck water. 33 So Isaac decided to call the place Beersheba, which coincidentally was the same name his father had given it decades earlier.
34 Meanwhile, Esau, who was 40 years old, married two Hittite women: Judith the daughter of Beeri, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon. 35 This really concerned his parents, because, frankly, they were bigots.