Cycles begin to appear as we move into the life and events of Isaac. He marries a relative as his father had. Rebekah would be his second cousin, the daughter of his cousin. Like his mother, she also is considered barren. Barrenness also becomes a consistent and recurring theme amongst the Old Testament people. By continuing his covenant promises and advancing his plans through barren lines, God shows us his faithfulness, the value of trusting in his great power, a theme of provision especially when all seems hopeless. Even more, this cycle of divine intervention in the womb prefigures and prepares us for Mary’s virgin birth of Christ. Other patterns also emerge in Isaac’s life. He shows a similar bent for deception, in outright lying about Rebekah being his sister. Surely he learned the tactic from his parents, but theirs was not truly a lie.
There is also a continued relationship with Abimelech, and tension over land and wells. One purpose in all this is to establish Israel’s claim of rightful possession of the land of Canaan. Abraham, in a somewhat unexpected break from tradition, gives everything he owns to Isaac, and nothing to his other children. This means everything gained in the treaty with Abimelech, especially the well, belongs to Isaac’s descendants. The field he bought, which contained the cave Machpelah where Abraham and Sarah were buried, belong to Isaac, and Israel after him. The wells Isaac dug, and any other land he purchases belong to his descendants. We also see that God is with Isaac as he was with Abraham and desires to continue his covenant relationship through Isaac and his line.