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Genesis 21

21
A Baby for Sarah
1The Lord cared for Sarah as he had said and did for her what he had promised. 2Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. Everything happened at the time God had said it would. 3Abraham named his son Isaac, the son Sarah gave birth to. 4He circumcised Isaac when he was eight days old as God had commanded.
5Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born. 6And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. 7No one thought that I would be able to have Abraham’s child, but even though Abraham is old I have given him a son.”
Hagar and Ishmael Leave
8Isaac grew, and when he became old enough to eat food, Abraham gave a great feast. 9But Sarah saw Ishmael making fun of Isaac. (Ishmael was the son of Abraham by Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian slave.) 10So Sarah said to Abraham, “Throw out this slave woman and her son. Her son should not inherit anything; my son Isaac should receive it all.”
11This troubled Abraham very much because Ishmael was also his son. 12But God said to Abraham, “Don’t be troubled about the boy and the slave woman. Do whatever Sarah tells you. The descendants I promised you will be from Isaac. 13I will also make the descendants of Ishmael into a great nation because he is your son, too.”
14Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a leather bag full of water. He gave them to Hagar and sent her away. Carrying these things and her son, Hagar went and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
15Later, when all the water was gone from the bag, Hagar put her son under a bush. 16Then she went away a short distance and sat down. She thought, “My son will die, and I cannot watch this happen.” She sat there and began to cry.
17God heard the boy crying, and God’s angel called to Hagar from heaven. He said, “What is wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid! God has heard the boy crying there. 18Help him up and take him by the hand. I will make his descendants into a great nation.”
19Then God showed Hagar a well of water. So she went to the well and filled her bag with water and gave the boy a drink.
20God was with the boy as he grew up. Ishmael lived in the desert and became an archer. 21He lived in the Desert of Paran, and his mother found a wife for him in Egypt.
Abraham’s Bargain with Abimelech
22Then Abimelech came with Phicol, the commander of his army, and said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23So make a promise to me here before God that you will be fair with me and my children and my descendants. Be kind to me and to this land where you have lived as a stranger—as kind as I have been to you.”
24And Abraham said, “I promise.” 25Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about Abimelech’s servants who had seized a well of water.
26But Abimelech said, “I don’t know who did this. You never told me about this before today.”
27Then Abraham gave Abimelech some sheep and cattle, and they made an agreement. 28Abraham also put seven female lambs in front of Abimelech.
29Abimelech asked Abraham, “Why did you put these seven female lambs by themselves?”
30Abraham answered, “Accept these lambs from me to prove that you believe I dug this well.”
31So that place was called Beersheba because they made a promise to each other there.
32After Abraham and Abimelech made the agreement at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, went back to the land of the Philistines.
33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba and prayed to the Lord, the God who lives forever. 34And Abraham lived as a stranger in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
21
Isaac Is Born
1The Lord was gracious to Sarah, just as he had said he would be. The Lord did for Sarah what he had promised to do. 2Sarah became pregnant. She had a son by Abraham when he was old. The child was born at the exact time God had promised. 3Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah had by him. 4When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him. He did it exactly as God had commanded him. 5Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6Sarah said, “God has given laughter to me. Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would breast-feed children? But I’ve had a son by him when he is old.”
Abraham Sends Hagar and Ishmael Away
8Isaac grew. The time came for his mother to stop breast-feeding him. On that day Abraham prepared a big celebration. 9But Sarah saw Ishmael making fun of Isaac. Ishmael was the son Hagar had by Abraham. Hagar was Sarah’s Egyptian slave. 10Sarah said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman! Get rid of her son! That woman’s son will never have a share of the family’s property. All of it belongs to my son Isaac.”
11What Sarah said upset Abraham very much. After all, Ishmael was his son. 12But God said to Abraham, “Do not be so upset about the boy and your slave Hagar. Listen to what Sarah tells you, because your family line will continue through Isaac. 13I will also make the son of your slave into a nation. I will do it because he is your child.”
14Early the next morning Abraham got some food and a bottle of water. The bottle was made out of animal skin. He gave the food and water to Hagar, placing them on her shoulders. Then he sent her away with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
15When the water in the bottle was gone, she put the boy under a bush. 16Then she sat down about as far away as a person can shoot an arrow. She thought, “I can’t stand to watch the boy die.” As she sat there, she began to sob.
17God heard the boy crying. Then the angel of God called out to Hagar from heaven. He said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid. God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18Lift up the boy and take him by the hand. I will make him into a great nation.”
19Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the bottle with water and gave the boy a drink.
20God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and learned to shoot a bow and arrow. 21While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.
The Agreement at Beersheba
22At that time Abimelek and his army commander, Phicol, spoke to Abraham. They said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23Now make a promise to me here while God is watching. Give me your word that you will treat me fairly. Promise that you will treat my children and their children the same way. I’ve been kind to you. Now you be kind to me and the country where you are living as an outsider.”
24Abraham said, “I give you my word that I’ll do it.”
25Then Abraham complained to Abimelek that his servants had taken over a well of water. 26But Abimelek said, “I don’t know who has done this. You didn’t tell me. And today is the first time I heard about it.”
27So Abraham gave Abimelek sheep and cattle. The two men came to an agreement. 28Then Abraham picked out seven female lambs from his flock. 29Abimelek asked Abraham, “What’s the meaning of these seven female lambs? Why have you picked them out and set them apart?”
30Abraham replied, “Accept the seven lambs from me. They will be a witness that I dug this well.”
31So that place was named Beersheba. That’s because there the two men came to an agreement.
32After the agreement had been made at Beersheba, Abimelek went back to the land of the Philistines. His army commander, Phicol, went with him. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba. There he called on the name of the Lord, the God who lives forever. 34Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.