Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army.
Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar,.... After Isaac was settled at Beersheba, and was still increasing in his family and substance, of which Abimelech very probably was informed; and fearing lest he should resent his being sent out of his country by him, and the ill treatment he met with afterwards from the herdmen of Gerar in the valley about the wells, and should employ his riches and power against him, and fall upon him, and take his kingdom from him, he took a journey from Gerar to Beersheba, to pay Isaac a visit, and make a covenant with him: and
Ahuzzath one of his friends; Jarchi and Jonathan take Ahuzzath for an appellative, and interpret it of a collection or company of his friends, which the king took along with him to attend him in his journey: but it seems rather to be the proper name of a man, who was very intimate and familiar with the king, and always kept him company, and so went along with him to Beersheba:
and Phichol the chief captain of his army; his general, as the other was his principal counsellor or prime minister. There was one of this name, and in the same office, in the days of Abraham, and who attended the then present king, who also was called Abimelech on a like account as here, Genesis 21:22; but as the one affair was at the distance of an hundred years or more from the other, it is probable, that as this Abimelech might be the son of that Abimelech that lived in the times of Abraham, so this Phichol might be the son of him that lived then, and who succeeded his father in his office; though some think that Phichol is the name of an office, and signifies "the mouth of all", by whom the addresses of the people were made to the king; but this is not likely, since he is described by his office as general of the army; which is very different from the master of the ceremonies, or anything of that kind, and plainly shows it to be the name of a man.