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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
The Birth of Isaac
1The Lord came to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.#Gn 17:16; 18:10; Gl 4:23 2Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time God had told him.#Gn 17:21; 18:10,14; Heb 11:11 3Abraham named his son who was born to him — the one Sarah bore to him — Isaac.#Gn 17:19 4When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him.#Gn 17:10,12; Ac 7:8 5Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.#Gn 17:1,17; Rm 4:19
6Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and everyone who hears will laugh with me.”#21:6 Isaac = He Laughs; Gn 17:19#Gn 18:12–15 7She also said, “Who would have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne a son for him#21:7 Sam, Tg Jonathan; MT omits him in his old age.”
Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away
8The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned. 9But Sarah saw the son mocking — the one Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham.#Gn 16:1,15; Gl 4:29 10So she said to Abraham, “Drive out this slave with her son, for the son of this slave will not be a coheir with my son Isaac!” #Gl 4:30
11This was very distressing to#21:11 Lit was very bad in the eyes of Abraham because of his son. 12But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed#21:12 Lit “Let it not be bad in your eyes about the boy and about your slave. Whatever Sarah says to you, listen to her, because your offspring will be traced through Isaac,#Rm 9:7; Heb 11:18 13and I will also make a nation of the slave’s son#Gn 16:10; 21:18; 25:12–18 because he is your offspring.”
14Early in the morning Abraham got up, took bread and a waterskin, put them on Hagar’s shoulders, and sent her and the boy away. She left and wandered in the Wilderness of Beer-sheba. 15When the water in the skin was gone, she left the boy under one of the bushes 16and went and sat at a distance, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I can’t bear to watch the boy die!” While she sat at a distance, she#21:16 LXX reads the boy wept loudly.#Jr 6:26; Am 8:10
17God heard the boy crying, and the#21:17 Or an angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the boy crying from the place where he is. 18Get up, help the boy up, and grasp his hand, for I will make him a great nation.” 19Then God opened her eyes,#Nm 22:31; 2Kg 6:17–18,20; Lk 24:16,31 and she saw a well. So she went and filled the waterskin and gave the boy a drink. 20God was with the boy, and he grew; he settled in the wilderness and became an archer. 21He settled in the Wilderness of Paran, and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Abraham’s Covenant with Abimelech
22At that time Abimelech, accompanied by Phicol the commander of his army,#Gn 20:2; 26:1,26 said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do.#Gn 26:28 23Swear to me by God here and now, that you will not break an agreement with me or with my children and descendants. As I have been loyal to you, so you will be loyal to me and to the country where you are a resident alien.”
24And Abraham said, “I swear it.” 25But Abraham complained to Abimelech because of the well that Abimelech’s servants had seized.#Gn 26:15,18,20–22
26Abimelech replied, “I don’t know who did this thing. You didn’t report anything to me, so I hadn’t heard about it until today.”
27Abraham took flocks and herds and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant.#Gn 26:31 28Abraham separated seven ewe lambs from the flock. 29And Abimelech said to Abraham, “Why have you separated these seven ewe lambs?”
30He replied, “You are to accept the seven ewe lambs from me so that this act#21:30 Lit that it will serve as my witness that I dug this well.” 31Therefore that place was called Beer-sheba#21:31 = Well of the Oath, or Seven Wells#Gn 26:33 because it was there that the two of them swore an oath. 32After they had made a covenant at Beer-sheba, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, left and returned to the land of the Philistines.
33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God.#Ps 45:6; 48:14; 90:2; 93:2; Is 40:28; Jr 10:10; Rm 16:26; Heb 13:8 34And Abraham lived as an alien in the land of the Philistines for many days.