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Genesis 21

21
1The Lord came to help Sarah as he'd said he would. The Lord did for Sarah what he'd promised. 2She became pregnant and had a son for Abraham when he was old, at the exact time God said she would. 3Abraham named their son Isaac. 4Abraham circumcised him when Isaac was eight days old, following God's command. 5Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born.
6Sarah declared, “God has made me laugh,#21:6. Isaac means “he laughs.” and all those who hear about this will laugh with me.” 7She also said, “Would anyone have announced to Abraham that Sarah was going to have children to nurse? But now I have had a son for Abraham even when he was old!”
8The baby grew up, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a large feast. 9But Sarah noticed that Ishmael, Hagar the Egyptian's son she'd had for Abraham, was making fun of Isaac. 10So she went to Abraham and told him, “You have to get rid of this slave woman and this son of hers! A slave woman's son is not going to be one of your heirs and inherit together with my son Isaac!”
11Abraham felt very bad about it because Ishmael was his son. 12But God told Abraham, “Don't feel bad about the boy and the slave woman. Do whatever Sarah tells you, because it's through Isaac that your descendants will be counted. 13Don't worry—I will also make the son of the slave woman into a nation because he's your son.”
14Abraham got up early the next morning. He packed up some food and a skin of water which he gave to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder. Then he sent her and the boy away. She left and wandered through the Desert of Beersheba.
15When the water ran out, she left the boy under one of the bushes. 16She went and sat down some way off, a few hundred yards away,#21:16. “A few hundred yards away”: literally, “a bowshot.” saying, “I can't bear to watch my son die!” As she sat down she burst into tears.
17God heard the boy's cries, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What's the matter, Hagar? Don't be afraid! God has heard the boy crying from where he is. 18Get up, go over and help the boy up, and encourage him, for I will make him into a great nation.”
19God opened her eyes and she saw a well nearby. She went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20God blessed Ishmael and he grew up, living in the desert. He became a skilled archer. 21He lived in the Desert of Paran. His mother chose a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
22Around this time Abimelech came with Phicol, the commander of his army, to see Abraham. “God blesses you in everything you do,” Abimelech said. 23“So swear to me right here and now that you won't betray me, my children, or my descendants. In the same way I've proved I'm trustworthy to you, do the same to me and my country where you're currently living.”
24“I so swear,” Abraham replied. 25Then Abraham raised an issue with Abimelech of a well that Abimelech's servants had taken by force.
26“I don't know who did this, and you didn't mention it before. I haven't heard anything about it until today,” Abimelech responded.
27Then Abraham gave Abimelech some of his sheep and cattle, and the two of them made an agreement. 28Abraham also separated out seven female lambs from the flock.
29“What are these seven female lambs for that you've separated from the flock?” Abimelech asked.
30“I'm giving you these seven female lambs in return for your admission that I dug this well,” Abraham replied. 31That's why he called the place Beersheba,#21:31. Beersheba means both “well of swearing” and “well of seven.” because the two of them swore and oath to each other.
32After making the agreement at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army left and went home to the country of the Philistines. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and there he worshiped the Lord, the Eternal God. 34Abraham lived in the country of the Philistines for a long time.
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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.