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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
1The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. 2She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would. 3And Abraham named their son Isaac. 4Eight days after Isaac was born, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded. 5Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.
6And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter.#21:6 The name Isaac means “he laughs.” All who hear about this will laugh with me. 7Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!”
Hagar and Ishmael Are Sent Away
8When Isaac grew up and was about to be weaned, Abraham prepared a huge feast to celebrate the occasion. 9But Sarah saw Ishmael—the son of Abraham and her Egyptian servant Hagar—making fun of her son, Isaac.#21:9 As in Greek version and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew lacks of her son, Isaac. 10So she turned to Abraham and demanded, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son. He is not going to share the inheritance with my son, Isaac. I won’t have it!”
11This upset Abraham very much because Ishmael was his son. 12But God told Abraham, “Do not be upset over the boy and your servant. Do whatever Sarah tells you, for Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted. 13But I will also make a nation of the descendants of Hagar’s son because he is your son, too.”
14So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba.
15When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. 16Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards#21:16 Hebrew a bowshot. away. “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears.
17But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”
19Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.
20And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful archer, 21and he settled in the wilderness of Paran. His mother arranged for him to marry a woman from the land of Egypt.
Abraham’s Covenant with Abimelech
22About this time, Abimelech came with Phicol, his army commander, to visit Abraham. “God is obviously with you, helping you in everything you do,” Abimelech said. 23“Swear to me in God’s name that you will never deceive me, my children, or any of my descendants. I have been loyal to you, so now swear that you will be loyal to me and to this country where you are living as a foreigner.”
24Abraham replied, “Yes, I swear to it!” 25Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well that Abimelech’s servants had taken by force from Abraham’s servants.
26“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” Abimelech answered. “I have no idea who is responsible. You have never complained about this before.”
27Abraham then gave some of his sheep, goats, and cattle to Abimelech, and they made a treaty. 28But Abraham also took seven additional female lambs and set them off by themselves. 29Abimelech asked, “Why have you set these seven apart from the others?”
30Abraham replied, “Please accept these seven lambs to show your agreement that I dug this well.” 31Then he named the place Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”), because that was where they had sworn the oath.
32After making their covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech left with Phicol, the commander of his army, and they returned home to the land of the Philistines. 33Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he worshiped the Lord, the Eternal God.#21:33 Hebrew El-Olam. 34And Abraham lived as a foreigner in Philistine country for a long time.