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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
1-4God visited Sarah exactly as he said he would; God did to Sarah what he promised: Sarah became pregnant and gave Abraham a son in his old age, and at the very time God had set. Abraham named him Isaac. When his son was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him just as God had commanded.
5-6Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born.
Sarah said,
God has blessed me with laughter
and all who get the news will laugh with me!
7She also said,
Whoever would have suggested to Abraham
that Sarah would one day nurse a baby!
Yet here I am! I’ve given the old man a son!
8The baby grew and was weaned. Abraham threw a big party on the day Isaac was weaned.
9-10One day Sarah saw the son that Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham, poking fun at her son Isaac. She told Abraham, “Get rid of this slave woman and her son. No child of this slave is going to share inheritance with my son Isaac!”
11-13The matter gave great pain to Abraham—after all, Ishmael was his son. But God spoke to Abraham, “Don’t feel badly about the boy and your maid. Do whatever Sarah tells you. Your descendants will come through Isaac. Regarding your maid’s son, be assured that I’ll also develop a great nation from him—he’s your son, too.”
14-16Abraham got up early the next morning, got some food together and a canteen of water for Hagar, put them on her back and sent her away with the child. She wandered off into the desert of Beersheba. When the water was gone, she left the child under a shrub and went off, fifty yards or so. She said, “I can’t watch my son die.” As she sat, she broke into sobs.
17-18Meanwhile, God heard the boy crying. The angel of God called from Heaven to Hagar, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid. God has heard the boy and knows the fix he’s in. Up now; go get the boy. Hold him tight. I’m going to make of him a great nation.”
19Just then God opened her eyes. She looked. She saw a well of water. She went to it and filled her canteen and gave the boy a long, cool drink.
20-21God was on the boy’s side as he grew up. He lived out in the desert and became a skilled archer. He lived in the Paran wilderness. And his mother got him a wife from Egypt.
22-23At about that same time, Abimelech and the captain of his troops, Phicol, spoke to Abraham: “No matter what you do, God is on your side. So swear to me that you won’t do anything underhanded to me or any of my family. For as long as you live here, swear that you’ll treat me and my land as well as I’ve treated you.”
24Abraham said, “I swear it.”
25-26At the same time, Abraham confronted Abimelech over the matter of a well of water that Abimelech’s servants had taken. Abimelech said, “I have no idea who did this; you never told me about it; this is the first I’ve heard of it.”
27-28So the two of them made a covenant. Abraham took sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. Abraham set aside seven sheep from his flock.
29Abimelech said, “What does this mean? These seven sheep you’ve set aside.”
30Abraham said, “It means that when you accept these seven sheep, you take it as proof that I dug this well, that it’s my well.”
31-32That’s how the place got named Beersheba (the Oath-Well), because the two of them swore a covenant oath there. After they had made the covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech and his commander, Phicol, left and went back to Philistine territory.
33-34Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and worshiped God there, praying to the Eternal God. Abraham lived in Philistine country for a long time.