Genesis 26:18-22 - Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them. Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him. Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land.” Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well. Genesis 26:32-33 - That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, “We’ve found water!” He called it Shibah, and to this day the name of the town has been Beersheba. Read Genesis 26:17-35.
“Well, well, well” is admittedly an archaic phrase that was used to express surprise in situations that today would call for “Hey!” or “Wow!” We’re using this outdated expression here, of course, not to indicate surprise, but as a mental hook to help us remember the important lessons of Genesis 26. In this chapter, we have the record of Isaac’s return to Beersheba from living among the Philistines. Along the way he dug a number of wells. Because water is an absolute necessity of life, and water sources in that area were scarce (both then and now), forces which were unfriendly to Isaac either took over his wells for themselves or filled them in so that Isaac would be discouraged and move on. Isaac did move on, but he continued to dig wells all along the way—well, well, well!