Gen 21:22 And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:
Abimelech was king of Gerar, the same that is spoken of in the preceding chapter, and Phichol was the general of his army. Phichol means, voice of all. The natural man, exercising authority, apart from God.
God is with you in all you do. This was evident to the king, the blessings of the LORD. Abraham had the presence and the power of God. Abimalech, a worldly "religious" man had his own religion, but not the power of God.
2 Tim 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Gen 21:23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
Gen 21:24 And Abraham said, I will swear.
Abraham had deceived Abimelech before, when he said Sarah was his sister. He asks that Abraham not lie to him, nor his son, nor his grandson: return the kindness I had given to you. Abraham swore to it.
This was as a peace treaty with the Philistines. Maybe this is why Israel seeks to make peace with the current Philistines, the Palestinians? God would say later, in the time of Moses, to destroy the evil people, for the land was promised to Israel and the people in the land were worshipping idols and doing everything opposing the way of God.
Exo 23:27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.
Exo 23:28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.
Exo 23:29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.
Exo 23:30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.
Abimelech was not wanting to worship with Abraham, perhaps he considered him a threat. Many religions consider the people of faith in the Living God a threat. Let's be "tolerant" of one another. We are not interested in that city that you seek, but we have cities of our own right here, and we have great plans and programs to develop them and to make them nice places to live. Now, Abraham, I want you to promise me you won't get involved in our programs and plans and mess everything up. Abraham did agree to have a covenant, a peace treaty with this king, but there was one thing bothering him, the well, which was symbolic of the word of God. His people were messing with it.
Gen 21:25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.
Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
It "comes with force", and power upon the souls of men: it was attended with the demonstration of the Spirit, and of power; with persecution. Another well. There was the well of water that sprang up for Hagar, now this well. A well speaks of the water of the word. Jesus is the well, the Word of God. The religious people wish to stop the flow of living water. They take a little of the word and twist it's meaning. Some have no use at all for the well, they wish to stop it. Jesus, the Living Word; the one who refreshes and brings new life.
On the Internet we spoke with a woman who uses tarot cards and mediitates and receives directions from the spirits. Openly Pagan, she had no use for the Bible, the well, for she said it was written by men. She said we were Fundies, and had closed minds. Yes I love the fundamental truths of the word of God, written by men inspired of God. Fundies have more fun, more joy, because they have God within. The source of truth is the Holy Spirit who opens the word to us, drinking from the spring of living waters. We know Jesus, the source of life, why would we want to go to a false religion?
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Tim 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Gen 21:26 And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.
Jer 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
Gen 21:27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.
Sheep and oxen were used in making covenants, as they were sacrificed, cut the sacrifice in pieces and passed between them, in token of the compact and agreement they entered into with each other; signifying that whoever broke it deserved to be cut in pieces as those creatures were. Some of the animals may also have been given as gifts.
Gen 21:28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
Gen 21:29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?
Gen 21:30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.
They were a living reminder to Abimelech of the covenant. Seven refers to the filness, the fulness of the covenant between them. The well signified life and the living word, without which the man of faith could not survive. Perhaps they symbolized living sacrifices and the grace of God?
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Gen 21:31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.
Beersheba from Be'er meaning spring and sheba, meaning oath. Well of the oath or well of the seven.
Gen 21:32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
These Philistines originally came from Egypt.
Gen 21:33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.
Groves, were used as places of worship. The pagans worshipped the trees, as today. This has almost eliminated the lumber industry in much of the United States. Abraham was different, he planted a grove as a place to worship the everlasting God who, is from everlasting to everlasting, or "the God of the world", the Creator and upholder of it, and the preserver of all creatures in it; him Abraham invoked in this place, prayed unto him, and gave him thanks for all the mercies he had received from him. It would be a place of shade in the arid desert, watered by the well of Beersheba, a place of refreshing, as Jesus is this to us. Jesus is the well of life, the Living Word.
Jesus spoke to the outcast Samaritan woman, at the well
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
John 4:11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
John 4:12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Jesus receives the outcasts of the world, those who religious people have no use for.
Gen 21:34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.
Abraham sojourned very quietly and comfortably for many years, chiefly at Beersheba; the Jewish writers say he sojourned here twenty six years. Here, he found rest from the well, the spring of living waters, the word of God.