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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
Abraham and Sarah had a son, Isaac
1God was good to Sarah, and he kept his promise to her, 2and a baby started to grow inside her. Then that baby boy was born at the time that God said he would be born. Abraham was an old man, but Sarah had a baby boy, and Abraham was his father.#Hebrews 11:11 3Abraham called him Isaac. That name means laugh.
4And when Isaac was 8 days old, Abraham did the young man operation on him, just like God told him to do, to show that Isaac belonged to God.#Genesis 17:12; Acts 7:8
5Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. 6Sarah said, “God is giving me something to laugh about now, and everyone that hears this story will be happy with me, and they will laugh too.” 7She also said, “Nobody reckoned that I can ever have a kid. But look, Abraham is old now, but I had a baby boy, and Abraham is his father.”
Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away from his camp
8When Isaac was about 3 years old, he stopped drinking Sarah’s milk, and Abraham gave him a big party. 9Then Sarah saw Ishmael laughing at Isaac. Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Hagar. Hagar was Sarah’s worker, and she was from Egypt country. 10Then Sarah said to Abraham, “When you die, my son Isaac has to get all your things. I don’t want Ishmael to get anything, he is just the son of a worker woman. So you have to tell that woman and her son to get out of our camp. Send them right away from here.”#Galatians 4:29-30
11Abraham was really upset by what Sarah said. Ishmael was his son, so Abraham reckoned it was wrong to send him away. 12But God said to Abraham, “Don’t worry about Ishmael or his mother. You see, the family that I promised you will come from Isaac, not from Ishmael. So listen to Sarah, and do what she says.#Romans 9:7; Hebrews 11:18 13Don’t worry, I will give Ishmael a big family too. Later on, his family will grow into a big nation. I will do that for him, because he is your son too.”
14So early the next morning, Abraham got some food, and a leather water bag. He put them on Hagar’s shoulder, and he sent her and Ishmael out of his camp. They walked around in the desert country near Beersheba. 15They kept going until there was no water left in the water bag. Then they stopped, and Hagar left Ishmael in the shade of a little tree. 16And then she went and sat by herself a little way from him, because she thought, “I don’t want to watch him die.” And she started to cry out loud.
17Ishmael was crying too, and God heard him, and he sent an angel messenger from heaven to talk to Hagar. The angel said, “Why are you upset? Don’t worry. God has heard Ishmael crying, under that tree. 18Go and take care of him. Listen, I will give him a big family, and they will become a great nation.” 19Then God showed her a water-hole. So she got up and filled her water bag, and she gave Ishmael a drink.
20-21God kept Ishmael safe as he grew up in the desert called Paran. He learned how to use a bow and arrows properly, so he became a good hunter. And later on, Hagar got a wife for him from Egypt country.
Abraham and Abimelek made strong promises to each other
22-23One day, Abimelek went to talk to Abraham. Abimelek was the big boss of the country where Abraham lived. And Ficol, the leader of Abimelek’s army, went with him. Abimelek said to Abraham, “You know, you are not one of my people. You came from another place to live here in my country. But I have been good to you, and to all your people. So I want you to promise me that you will never try to trick me, or my kids, or anyone that is born into my family. I want you to promise that you will be good to them. We know that God is very good to you, and he helps you with everything you do. So I want you to make that promise to me while God is listening. I want you to tell God to punish you if you break that promise.”#Genesis 26:26
24So Abraham made that promise to Abimelek. He said those words in the way that Abimelek wanted.
25But then Abraham also complained to Abimelek. He said, “I’ve got a problem. Some of your workers took one of my water-holes, and then they stopped my workers from getting any water there.”
26Abimelek said, “I’m sorry, Abraham. I don’t know who did that. I never heard about it, and you didn’t you tell me about it until now.”
27At that time, Abraham gave Abimelek some of his sheep, and goats, and cows, and the 2 men made strong promises to each other. 28Then Abraham also picked out 7 young female sheep from his animals, and he put them to one side. 29Abimelek asked him, “Why did you put these 7 sheep to one side? What do you mean by that?”
30Abraham said, “I want to give you these sheep as a special present. Take them. That’s how you can show people that you agree with me, that I dug that water-hole and that I own it.”
31From that time on, that place was called Beersheba. That name means water-hole where they made a promise. It was where Abraham and Abimelek made strong promises to each other.
32After they made those promises, Abimelek and Ficol went back to their home, in Philistia country. 33Then Abraham showed respect to God there in Beersheba. He called God by his special name Yahweh, and he planted a special tree to remember that place. Yahweh is the true God that lives for ever.
34Abraham and all his people lived for a long time in the country that belonged to the Philistia mob.