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Genesis 21

21
Chapter 21
Abraham's sons
1The Lord was kind to Sarah. He did what he had promised to do for her. 2Sarah became pregnant. She gave birth to a son for Abraham when he was very old. This happened at the time when God had said that it would. #21:2 See Genesis 18:10.
3Abraham called his son ‘Isaac’. This is the son that Sarah gave birth to. 4When Isaac was 8 days old, Abraham circumcised him. That is what God had told him to do. #21:4 See Genesis 17.
5Abraham was 100 years old when his son, Isaac, was born. 6Sarah said, ‘Now God has made me laugh. Everyone who hears about what has happened will be happy with me.’ 7She also said, ‘Abraham would never have thought that I would feed a child at my breasts. But I have given birth to a son for him, even when he is old.’
8The child grew stronger, and he began to eat food. On that day, Abraham prepared a big party meal.
9Then Sarah saw that Ishmael was laughing at Isaac. (Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Hagar, the Egyptian servant.) 10So, Sarah said to Abraham, ‘Send that slave woman and her son away from here. Ishmael must never receive any of our family's things. Everything must belong to my own son, Isaac.’
11This made Abraham very sad, because Ishmael was his own son.
12God said to Abraham, ‘Do not be upset about Ishmael or about Hagar. Do whatever Sarah tells you. Your family's descendants will come through Isaac, not Ishmael. 13But, because Ishmael is also your son, I will make his descendants become a great nation of people too.’
14Abraham woke up early the next morning. He took some food and some water in a bottle that was made from animal skin. He gave them to Hagar and he put them on her shoulders. Then he sent Hagar away, with their son, Ishmael.
She went and she travelled round the wilderness of Beersheba. #21:14 The wilderness of Beersheba is dry and hot. There is not much water there. 15After they had drunk all the water, Hagar put her son in the shade under a bush. 16She herself went and sat down about 100 metres away from him. She thought, ‘I cannot watch the boy die.’ As she sat there, she began to cry.
17Ishmael was crying and God heard him. The angel of God spoke to Hagar from heaven. He said, ‘What is the trouble, Hagar? Do not be afraid. God has heard the boy while he is crying there. 18Go over to him and lift him up. Take hold of his hand and help him to stand. I will make him become a great nation of people.’ #21:18 God has already told Hagar this, when she ran away from Sarah See Genesis 16:10.
19Then God then helped Hagar to see clearly. She saw a well with water in it. She went to the well and she filled the bottle with water. She gave the boy some water to drink.
20God took care of Ishmael while he grew up. The boy lived in the desert. He became a hunter of wild animals. 21He lived in the Paran wilderness. Hagar, his mother, found an Egyptian wife for him to marry.
Abraham and Abimelech make an agreement together
22At that time Phicol was the leader of King Abimelech's army. Abimelech and Phicol said to Abraham, ‘We see that God helps you in everything that you do. 23So, please make a promise to me in front of God. Promise that you will never deceive me, or my children, or my descendants. You are living here in this land as a stranger. I have been kind to you, so please show that you will also be kind to us.’ 24Abraham said, ‘I promise to do all that.’
25One day, Abraham complained to Abimelech about a certain well of water. Abimelech's servants had taken the well from Abraham. They said that the well belonged to them. 26Abimelech said, ‘I do not know who has done this. You did not tell me before. I did not hear about it until today.’
27So, Abraham brought some sheep and some cows and he gave them to Abimelech. The two men made a promise to help each other. 28Abraham took 7 female lambs from the sheep. He put them in a different place from the other animals. 29Abimelech asked Abraham, ‘Why have you put these seven lambs in a different place?’ 30Abraham replied, ‘You must accept these seven lambs as a gift from me. That will show that you agree that I dug this well. Everyone will know that it belongs to me.’ 31Because of that, the name of the place became ‘Beersheba’, because the two men made a promise there. #21:31 ‘Beersheba’ means ‘well of seven’ or ‘well of the promise’.
32In that way, they made a promise at Beersheba to help one another. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the leader of his army, returned to the land of the Philistines.
33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba. #21:33 A tamarisk tree is a tree that can grow in a dry place. In that place, he worshipped the Lord who is God for ever.
34Abraham lived in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
21
Isaac Is Born
1The Lord graciously remembered and visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for her as He had promised. 2So Sarah conceived and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. 3Abraham named his son Isaac (laughter), the son to whom Sarah gave birth. 4So Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, just as God had commanded him. 5Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born. 6Sarah said, “God has made me laugh; all who hear [about our good news] will laugh with me.” 7And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have given birth to a son by him in his old age.”
8The child [Isaac] grew and was #This was probably when the child was about three years of age. Samuel served in the sanctuary from the time that he was weaned (1 Sam 1:22-28), and a Hebrew mother is quoted in 2 Maccabees 7:27 as saying to her son that she nursed him for three years.weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.
Sarah Turns against Hagar
9Now [as time went on] Sarah saw [Ishmael] the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, #Ishmael was old enough to know better than to ridicule or tease his much younger brother, and his behavior was inappropriate and thoughtless.mocking [Isaac]. 10Therefore she said to Abraham, “Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.” 11The situation #Lit was very displeasing in the eyes of Abraham.distressed Abraham greatly because of his son [Ishmael]. 12God said to Abraham, “Do not let it distress you because of Ishmael and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her and do what she asks, for your descendants will be named through Isaac. 13And I will also make a nation of [Ishmael] the son of the maid, because he is your descendant.” 14So Abraham got up early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her #Ishmael was born when Abraham was eighty-six years old (Gen 16:16), so Ishmael was about fourteen when Isaac was born, and about sixteen or seventeen years old when Isaac was weaned (Gen 21:8; 2 Chr 31:16).away. And she left [but lost her way] and wandered [aimlessly] in the Wilderness of Beersheba.
15When the water in the skin was all gone, Hagar abandoned the boy under one of the bushes. 16Then she went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away, for she said, “Do not let me see the boy die.” And as she sat down opposite him, she raised her voice and wept. 17God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy from where he is [resting]. 18Get up, help the boy up, and hold him by the hand, for I will make him a great nation.” 19Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the [empty] skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20God was with Ishmael, and he grew and developed; and he lived in the wilderness and became an [expert] archer. 21He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Covenant with Abimelech
22Now at that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do; 23so now, swear to me here by God that you will not deal unfairly with me [by breaking any agreements we have] or with my son or with my descendants, but as I have treated you with kindness, you shall do the same to me and to the land in which you have sojourned (temporarily lived).” 24And Abraham said, “I will swear.” 25Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well of water which the servants of Abimelech had [violently] seized [from him], 26Abimelech said, “I do not know who did this thing. Indeed, you did not tell me, and I did not hear of it until today.”
27So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a covenant (binding agreement). 28Then Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs of the flock, 29and Abimelech said to Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs which you have set apart?” 30Abraham said, “You are to accept these seven ewe lambs from me as a witness for me, that I dug this well.” 31Therefore that place was called Beersheba (Well of the Oath or Well of the Seven), because there the two of them swore an oath. 32So they made a covenant at Beersheba; then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, got up and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord [in prayer], #Heb El Olam.the Eternal God. 34And Abraham lived [as a resident alien] in the land of the Philistines for #I.e. an extended period of time.many days.