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Genesis 21

21
A Baby for Sarah
1The Lord cared for Sarah as he had said. He did for her what he had promised. 2Sarah became pregnant. And she 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. Sarah gave birth to this son of Abraham. 4Abraham circumcised Isaac when he was eight days old as God had commanded.
5Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born. 6And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh.# The Hebrew words for “he laughed” and “Isaac” sound the same. Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. 7No one thought that I would be able to have Abraham’s child. But I have given Abraham a son while he is old.”
Hagar and Ishmael
8Isaac grew and became old enough to eat food. At that time 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. When we die, our son Isaac will inherit everything we have. I don’t want her son to inherit any of our things.”
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. I will do this 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. Hagar carried these things and her son. She went and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
15Later, all the water was gone from the bag. So Hagar put her son under a bush. 16Then she went away a short distance and sat down. Hagar thought, “My son will die. 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 the boy up. 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. Then she gave the boy a drink.
20God was with the boy as he grew up. Ishmael lived in the desert. He learned to shoot with a bow very well. 21He lived in the Desert of Paran. His mother found a wife for him in Egypt.
Abraham’s Bargain with Abimelech
22Then Abimelech came with Phicol, 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 my children and my descendants. Be kind to me and to this land where you have lived as a stranger. Be as kind to me as I have been to you.”
24And Abraham said, “I promise.” 25Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about Abimelech’s servants. They had captured 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. That will prove that you believe I dug this well.”
31So that place was called Beersheba# This name means “well of the promise” or “well of seven.” because they made a promise to each other there.
32So Abraham and Abimelech made an agreement at Beersheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, went back to the land of the Philistines.
33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba. There Abraham 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
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.