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Genesis 21

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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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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 bowshot 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 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 and 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.