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Genesis 21

21
The birth of Isaac
1Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3Abraham gave the name Isaac#21:3 Isaac means he laughs. to the son Sarah bore him. 4When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.’ 7And she added, ‘Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.’
Hagar and Ishmael sent away
8The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. 9But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10and she said to Abraham, ‘Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.’
11The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12But God said to him, ‘Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring#21:12 Or seed will be reckoned. 13I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.’
14Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
15When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16Then she went off and sat down about a bow-shot away, for she thought, ‘I cannot watch the boy die.’ And as she sat there, she#21:16 Hebrew; Septuagint the child began to sob.
17God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.’
19Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.
The treaty at Beersheba
22At that time Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, ‘God is with you in everything you do. 23Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you now reside as a foreigner the same kindness that I have shown to you.’
24Abraham said, ‘I swear it.’
25Then Abraham complained to Abimelek about a well of water that Abimelek’s servants had seized. 26But Abimelek said, ‘I don’t know who has done this. You did not tell me, and I heard about it only today.’
27So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelek, and the two men made a treaty. 28Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock, 29and Abimelek asked Abraham, ‘What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?’
30He replied, ‘Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this well.’
31So that place was called Beersheba,#21:31 Beersheba can mean well of seven or well of the oath. because the two men swore an oath there.
32After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God. 34And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
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Abraham and Sarah had a son, Isaac
1God was good to Sarah, and he kept his promise to her, 2and a baby started to grow inside her. Then that baby boy was born at the time that God said he would be born. Abraham was an old man, but Sarah had a baby boy, and Abraham was his father.#Hebrews 11:11 3Abraham called him Isaac. That name means laugh.
4And when Isaac was 8 days old, Abraham did the young man operation on him, just like God told him to do, to show that Isaac belonged to God.#Genesis 17:12; Acts 7:8
5Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. 6Sarah said, “God is giving me something to laugh about now, and everyone that hears this story will be happy with me, and they will laugh too.” 7She also said, “Nobody reckoned that I can ever have a kid. But look, Abraham is old now, but I had a baby boy, and Abraham is his father.”
Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away from his camp
8When Isaac was about 3 years old, he stopped drinking Sarah’s milk, and Abraham gave him a big party. 9Then Sarah saw Ishmael laughing at Isaac. Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Hagar. Hagar was Sarah’s worker, and she was from Egypt country. 10Then Sarah said to Abraham, “When you die, my son Isaac has to get all your things. I don’t want Ishmael to get anything, he is just the son of a worker woman. So you have to tell that woman and her son to get out of our camp. Send them right away from here.”#Galatians 4:29-30
11Abraham was really upset by what Sarah said. Ishmael was his son, so Abraham reckoned it was wrong to send him away. 12But God said to Abraham, “Don’t worry about Ishmael or his mother. You see, the family that I promised you will come from Isaac, not from Ishmael. So listen to Sarah, and do what she says.#Romans 9:7; Hebrews 11:18 13Don’t worry, I will give Ishmael a big family too. Later on, his family will grow into a big nation. I will do that for him, because he is your son too.”
14So early the next morning, Abraham got some food, and a leather water bag. He put them on Hagar’s shoulder, and he sent her and Ishmael out of his camp. They walked around in the desert country near Beersheba. 15They kept going until there was no water left in the water bag. Then they stopped, and Hagar left Ishmael in the shade of a little tree. 16And then she went and sat by herself a little way from him, because she thought, “I don’t want to watch him die.” And she started to cry out loud.
17Ishmael was crying too, and God heard him, and he sent an angel messenger from heaven to talk to Hagar. The angel said, “Why are you upset? Don’t worry. God has heard Ishmael crying, under that tree. 18Go and take care of him. Listen, I will give him a big family, and they will become a great nation.” 19Then God showed her a water-hole. So she got up and filled her water bag, and she gave Ishmael a drink.
20-21God kept Ishmael safe as he grew up in the desert called Paran. He learned how to use a bow and arrows properly, so he became a good hunter. And later on, Hagar got a wife for him from Egypt country.
Abraham and Abimelek made strong promises to each other
22-23One day, Abimelek went to talk to Abraham. Abimelek was the big boss of the country where Abraham lived. And Ficol, the leader of Abimelek’s army, went with him. Abimelek said to Abraham, “You know, you are not one of my people. You came from another place to live here in my country. But I have been good to you, and to all your people. So I want you to promise me that you will never try to trick me, or my kids, or anyone that is born into my family. I want you to promise that you will be good to them. We know that God is very good to you, and he helps you with everything you do. So I want you to make that promise to me while God is listening. I want you to tell God to punish you if you break that promise.”#Genesis 26:26
24So Abraham made that promise to Abimelek. He said those words in the way that Abimelek wanted.
25But then Abraham also complained to Abimelek. He said, “I’ve got a problem. Some of your workers took one of my water-holes, and then they stopped my workers from getting any water there.”
26Abimelek said, “I’m sorry, Abraham. I don’t know who did that. I never heard about it, and you didn’t you tell me about it until now.”
27At that time, Abraham gave Abimelek some of his sheep, and goats, and cows, and the 2 men made strong promises to each other. 28Then Abraham also picked out 7 young female sheep from his animals, and he put them to one side. 29Abimelek asked him, “Why did you put these 7 sheep to one side? What do you mean by that?”
30Abraham said, “I want to give you these sheep as a special present. Take them. That’s how you can show people that you agree with me, that I dug that water-hole and that I own it.”
31From that time on, that place was called Beersheba. That name means water-hole where they made a promise. It was where Abraham and Abimelek made strong promises to each other.
32After they made those promises, Abimelek and Ficol went back to their home, in Philistia country. 33Then Abraham showed respect to God there in Beersheba. He called God by his special name Yahweh, and he planted a special tree to remember that place. Yahweh is the true God that lives for ever.
34Abraham and all his people lived for a long time in the country that belonged to the Philistia mob.