This was spitefully done. Because they had not flocks of their own to water at these wells, they would not leave them for the use of others; so absurd a thing is malice. And it was perfidiously done, contrary to the covenant of friendship they had made with Abraham, ch. 21:31, 32. No bonds will hold ill-nature.
Just as Abraham’s prosperity became the occasion for the conflict between his shepherds and those of Lot (13:5–7), so also Isaac’s wealth angered the Philistines
That they destroyed “all” of the wells indicates the intensity of their ire.
We should deny ourselves both in our rights and in our conveniences, rather than quarrel: a wise and a good man will rather retire into obscurity, like Isaac here into a valley, than sit high to be the butt of envy and ill-will.
Clearly the narrative intends to point to the patriarchs as those whose lives most clearly pictured the kind of blessing God intended his people to enjoy. At the same time, these narratives point to the stark reality that even the fathers did not enjoy the full blessing. They too had to face adversity; but they trusted God, and he blessed them amid the conflict.
Those that open the fountains of truth must expect contradiction.
What is often the lot even of the most quiet and peaceable men in this world; those that avoid striving yet cannot avoid being striven with, Ps. 120:7.
The efficacy of the blessing did not rely on the merit of Abraham but rather was on account of the divine commitment made to Abraham and his descendants.