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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
1Adonai remembered Sarah as he had said, and Adonai did for Sarah what he had promised. 2Sarah conceived and bore Avraham a son in his old age, at the very time God had said to him. 3Avraham called his son, born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Yitz’chak. 4Avraham circumcised his son Yitz’chak when he was eight days old, as God had ordered him to do.
(v) 5Avraham was one hundred years old when his son Yitz’chak [laughter] was born to him. 6Sarah said, “God has given me good reason to laugh; now everyone who hears about it will laugh with me.” 7And she said, “Who would have said to Avraham that Sarah would nurse children? Nevertheless, I have borne him a son in his old age!”
8The child grew and was weaned, and Avraham gave a great banquet on the day that Yitz’chak was weaned. 9But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom Hagar had borne to Avraham, making fun of Yitz’chak; 10so Sarah said to Avraham, “Throw this slave-girl out! And her son! I will not have this slave-girl’s son as your heir along with my son Yitz’chak!”
11Avraham became very distressed over this matter of his son. 12But God said to Avraham, “Don’t be distressed because of the boy and your slave-girl. Listen to everything Sarah says to you, because it is your descendants through Yitz’chak who will be counted. 13But I will also make a nation from the son of the slave-girl, since he is descended from you.”
14Avraham got up early in the morning, took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child; then he sent her away. After leaving, she wandered in the desert around Be’er-Sheva. 15When the water in the skin was gone, she left the child under a bush, 16and went and sat down, looking the other way, about a bow-shot’s distance from him; because she said, “I can’t bear to watch my child die.” So she sat there, looking the other way, crying out and weeping. 17God heard the boy’s voice, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong with you, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, because God has heard the voice of the boy in his present situation. 18Get up, lift the boy up, and hold him tightly in your hand, because I am going to make him a great nation.” 19Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went, filled the skin with water and gave the boy water to drink.
20God was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21He lived in the Pa’ran Desert, and his mother chose a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
(vi) 22At that time Avimelekh and Pikhol the commander of his army spoke to Avraham. They said, “God is with you in everything you do. 23Therefore, swear to me here by God that you will never deal falsely with me or with my son or grandson; but according to the kindness with which I have treated you, you will treat me and the land in which you have lived as a foreigner. 24Avraham said, “I swear it.”
25Now Avraham had complained to Avimelekh about a well which Avimelekh’s servants had seized. 26Avimelekh answered, “I don’t know who has done this. You didn’t tell me, and I heard about it only today.” 27Avraham took sheep and cattle and gave them to Avimelekh, and the two of them made a covenant. 28Avraham put seven female lambs from the flock by themselves. 29Avimelekh asked Avraham, “What is the meaning of these seven female lambs you have put by themselves?” 30He answered, “You are to accept these seven female lambs from me as witness that I dug this well.” 31This is why that place was called Be’er-Sheva [well of seven, well of an oath] — because they both swore an oath there. 32When they made the covenant at Be’er-Sheva, Avimelekh departed with Pikhol the commander of his army and returned to the land of the P’lishtim. 33Avraham planted a tamarisk tree in Be’er-Sheva, and there he called on the name of Adonai, the everlasting God. 34Avraham lived for a long time as a foreigner in the land of the P’lishtim.