96. "And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, 'She is my sister" (Beresheet 26:7), that is, just like Abraham said, "SHE IS MY SISTER," REFERRING TO THE SHECHINAH. For the Shechinah was with Isaac and his wife, and he said of the Shechinah, "SHE IS MY SISTER," as it is written, "Say to wisdom, 'you are my sister'" (Mishlei 7:4). Thus, he was strengthened BY THE SHECHINAH and said, "She is my sister." Abraham and Isaac deserved TO SAY OF THE SHECHINAH, "SHE IS MY SISTER." This is assuredly so because of the verse IN WHICH ZEIR ANPIN SAID TO THE SHECHINAH, "My sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled" (Shir Hashirim 5:2). ABRAHAM AND ISAAC WERE A CHARIOT TO ZEIR ANPIN and were therefore worthy, LIKE ZEIR ANPIN, of saying ABOUT THE SHECHINAH, "She is my sister." Thus, the Righteous were strengthened by the Holy One, blessed be He, THAT IS, THEY BECAME A CHARIOT TO HIM.
97. "And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time...with Rivkah his wife" (Beresheet 26:8). IT IS SAID "with (Heb. et) Rivkah his wife," precisely, which alludes to the Shechinah that was with Rivkah, BECAUSE ET ('WITH'), AS WE KNOW, IS THE NAME OF THE SHECHINAH. Another explanation asks if we could possibly conceive of Isaac performing his marital duties during the daytime. We have learned that the children of Yisrael are holy and abstain from cohabitation in the daytime. Therefore, how could Isaac, who was holy, cohabit during the day?
98. HE ANSWERS, Assuredly Abimelech was wise and looked at the wisdom of the stars, that is called a 'window,' as it is written here, "out at a window" (Beresheet 26:8), and elsewhere, "The mother of Sisra looked out at a window" (Shoftim 5:28). As THE WINDOW there REFERS TO astrology, so THE WINDOW here REFERS to astrology. And he saw there that it was not as Isaac said, but that he surely was sporting with her, and she was his wife. Then, "Abimelech called Isaac..." (Beresheet 26:9) Rabbi Yosi said that it would have befitted Abimelech to do this to Isaac AND TAKE HIS WIFE, as he did to Abraham, were it not for the Holy One, blessed be He, who reproved him earlier FOR WHAT HE DID TO ABRAHAM, SAYING "BEHOLD, YOU ARE A DEAD MAN, BECAUSE OF THE WOMAN..." (BERESHEET 20:3).
99. Come and behold, it is written, "Because I thought, 'Surely the fear of Elohim is not in this place'" (Beresheet 20:11). According to Rabbi Aba, this is the reason why he said, "She is my sister." He wanted to cleave to the Shechinah, as it is written, "Say to wisdom, [NAMELY, THE SHECHINAH] you are my sister." Why? Because they had no faith in them, for if they had faith, he would not have needed that. But because they had no faith, he said, 'SHE IS MY SISTER.' He therefore said, "Because I thought, 'Surely the fear of Elohim is not in this place." The fear of Elohim is Faith.
100. Rabbi Elazar said that this is because the Shechinah does not live outside the Holy Land. Therefore, there is no fear of Elohim in this place, AS FEAR MEANS THE SHECHINAH. This is not Her place, and She does not dwell here. And Isaac was strengthened by the faith, WHICH IS THE SHECHINAH, when he saw the Shechinah dwelling in his wife.