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B'resheet (Gen) 21

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1Adonai remembered Sarah as he had said, and Adonai did for Sarah what he had promised. 2Sarah conceived and bore Avraham a son in his old age, at the very time God had said to him. 3Avraham called his son, born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Yitz’chak. 4Avraham circumcised his son Yitz’chak when he was eight days old, as God had ordered him to do.
(v) 5Avraham was one hundred years old when his son Yitz’chak [laughter] was born to him. 6Sarah said, “God has given me good reason to laugh; now everyone who hears about it will laugh with me.” 7And she said, “Who would have said to Avraham that Sarah would nurse children? Nevertheless, I have borne him a son in his old age!”
8The child grew and was weaned, and Avraham gave a great banquet on the day that Yitz’chak was weaned. 9But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom Hagar had borne to Avraham, making fun of Yitz’chak; 10so Sarah said to Avraham, “Throw this slave-girl out! And her son! I will not have this slave-girl’s son as your heir along with my son Yitz’chak!”
11Avraham became very distressed over this matter of his son. 12But God said to Avraham, “Don’t be distressed because of the boy and your slave-girl. Listen to everything Sarah says to you, because it is your descendants through Yitz’chak who will be counted. 13But I will also make a nation from the son of the slave-girl, since he is descended from you.”
14Avraham got up early in the morning, took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child; then he sent her away. After leaving, she wandered in the desert around Be’er-Sheva. 15When the water in the skin was gone, she left the child under a bush, 16and went and sat down, looking the other way, about a bow-shot’s distance from him; because she said, “I can’t bear to watch my child die.” So she sat there, looking the other way, crying out and weeping. 17God heard the boy’s voice, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong with you, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, because God has heard the voice of the boy in his present situation. 18Get up, lift the boy up, and hold him tightly in your hand, because I am going to make him a great nation.” 19Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went, filled the skin with water and gave the boy water to drink.
20God was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21He lived in the Pa’ran Desert, and his mother chose a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
(vi) 22At that time Avimelekh and Pikhol the commander of his army spoke to Avraham. They said, “God is with you in everything you do. 23Therefore, swear to me here by God that you will never deal falsely with me or with my son or grandson; but according to the kindness with which I have treated you, you will treat me and the land in which you have lived as a foreigner. 24Avraham said, “I swear it.”
25Now Avraham had complained to Avimelekh about a well which Avimelekh’s servants had seized. 26Avimelekh answered, “I don’t know who has done this. You didn’t tell me, and I heard about it only today.” 27Avraham took sheep and cattle and gave them to Avimelekh, and the two of them made a covenant. 28Avraham put seven female lambs from the flock by themselves. 29Avimelekh asked Avraham, “What is the meaning of these seven female lambs you have put by themselves?” 30He answered, “You are to accept these seven female lambs from me as witness that I dug this well.” 31This is why that place was called Be’er-Sheva [well of seven, well of an oath] — because they both swore an oath there. 32When they made the covenant at Be’er-Sheva, Avimelekh departed with Pikhol the commander of his army and returned to the land of the P’lishtim. 33Avraham planted a tamarisk tree in Be’er-Sheva, and there he called on the name of Adonai, the everlasting God. 34Avraham lived for a long time as a foreigner in the land of the P’lishtim.
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Finally, a Baby for Sarah
1The Lord came back to visit Sarah as he said he would, and he kept his promise to her. 2At exactly the time God said it would happen, Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. 3Abraham named his son Isaac.#21:3 Isaac This name means “he laughs” or “he is happy.” 4Abraham did what God commanded and circumcised Isaac when he was eight days old.
5Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born. 6Sarah said, “God has made me happy, and everyone who hears about this will be happy with me. 7No one thought that I, Sarah, would be able to have Abraham’s child. But I have given Abraham a son, even though he is old.”
Trouble at Home
8Isaac continued to grow, and soon he was old enough to begin eating solid food. So Abraham gave a big party. 9Sarah saw Hagar’s son playing. (Hagar was the Egyptian slave woman who gave birth to Abraham’s first son.) 10Sarah said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son. Send them away! When we die, our son Isaac will get everything we have. I don’t want that slave woman’s son sharing these things with my son Isaac!”
11This upset Abraham very much. He was worried about his son Ishmael. 12But God said to Abraham, “Don’t worry about the boy and the slave woman. Do what Sarah wants. Your descendants will be those who come through Isaac. 13But I will also bless the son of your slave woman. He is your son, so I will make a great nation from his family also.”
14Early the next morning Abraham took some food and water and gave them to Hagar. She carried them and left with her boy. She left that place and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
15After some time, when all their drinking water was gone, Hagar put her son under a bush. 16Then she walked a short distance away and sat down. She thought her son would die because there was no water. She did not want to watch him die. 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. 18Go help the boy. Hold his hand and lead him. I will make him the father of many people.”
19Then God allowed Hagar to see a well of water. So she went to the well and filled her bag with water. Then she gave water to the boy to drink.
20God continued to be with the boy while he grew up. Ishmael lived in the desert and became a hunter. He learned to shoot a bow very well. 21His mother found a wife for him in Egypt. They continued to live in the Paran desert.
Abraham’s Bargain With Abimelech
22Then Abimelech and Phicol spoke with Abraham. Phicol was the commander of Abimelech’s army. They said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23So make a promise to me here before God. Promise that you will be fair with me and with my children. Promise that you will be kind to me and this country where you have lived. Promise that you will be as kind to me as I have been to you.”
24And Abraham said, “I promise to treat you the same way you have treated me.” 25Then Abraham complained to Abimelech because Abimelech’s servants had captured a well of water.
26But Abimelech said, “I don’t know who did this. You never told me about this before today!”
27So Abraham and Abimelech made an agreement. Abraham gave Abimelech some sheep and cattle as proof of the agreement. 28Abraham also put seven#21:28 seven The Hebrew word for “seven” is like the Hebrew word for “oath” or “promise,” and it is like the last part of the name Beersheba. The seven animals were proof of this promise. female lambs in front of Abimelech.
29Abimelech asked Abraham, “Why did you put these seven female lambs by themselves?”
30Abraham answered, “When you accept these lambs from me, it will be proof that I dug this well.”
31So after that, the well was called Beersheba.#21:31 Beersheba This name means “well of the oath.” Abraham gave the well this name because it was the place where they made a promise to each other.
32So Abraham and Abimelech made an agreement at Beersheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, his military commander, went back to the country of the Philistines.
33Abraham planted a special tree at Beersheba and prayed to the Lord, the God who lives forever. 34And Abraham lived as a stranger for a long time in the country of the Philistines.