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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’s birth
1The LORD was attentive to Sarah just as he had said, and the LORD carried out just what he had promised her. 2She became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham when he was old, at the very time God had told him. 3Abraham named his son—the one Sarah bore him—Isaac.#21.3 Or he laughs 4Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old just as God had commanded him. 5Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born. 6Sarah said, “God has given me laughter. Everyone who hears about it will laugh with me.”#21.6 Or God has made a joke of me. Everyone who hears about it will laugh at me. 7She said, “Who could have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse sons? But now I’ve given birth to a son when he was old!”
Hagar and Ishmael evicted
8The boy grew and stopped nursing. On the day he stopped nursing, Abraham prepared a huge banquet. 9Sarah saw Hagar’s son laughing, the one Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham. 10So she said to Abraham, “Send this servant away with her son! This servant’s son won’t share the inheritance with my son Isaac.”
11This upset Abraham terribly because the boy was his son. 12God said to Abraham, “Don’t be upset about the boy and your servant. Do everything Sarah tells you to do because your descendants will be traced through Isaac. 13But I will make of your servant’s son a great nation too, because he is also your descendant.” 14Abraham got up early in the morning, took some bread and a flask of water, and gave it to Hagar. He put the boy in her shoulder sling and sent her away.
She left and wandered through the desert near Beer-sheba. 15Finally the water in the flask ran out, and she put the boy down under one of the desert shrubs. 16She walked away from him about as far as a bow shot and sat down, telling herself, I can’t bear to see the boy die. She sat at a distance, cried out in grief, and wept.
17God heard the boy’s cries, and God’s messenger called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “Hagar! What’s wrong? Don’t be afraid. God has heard the boy’s cries over there. 18Get up, pick up the boy, and take him by the hand because I will make of him a great nation.” 19Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well. She went over, filled the water flask, and gave the boy a drink. 20God remained with the boy; he grew up, lived in the desert, and became an expert archer. 21He lived in the Paran desert, and his mother found him an Egyptian wife.
Abraham’s treaty with the Philistines
22At that time Abimelech, and Phicol commander of his forces, said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything that you do. 23So give me your word under God that you won’t cheat me, my children, or my descendants. Just as I have treated you fairly, so you must treat me and the land in which you are an immigrant.”
24Abraham said, “I give you my word.” 25Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well that Abimelech’s servants had seized.
26Abimelech said, “I don’t know who has done this, and you didn’t tell me. I didn’t even hear about it until today.” 27Abraham took flocks and cattle, gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them drew up a treaty.#21.27 Or covenant 28Abraham set aside, by themselves, seven female lambs from the flock. 29So Abimelech said to Abraham, “What are these seven lambs you’ve set apart?”
30Abraham said, “These seven lambs that you take from me will attest that I dug this well.” 31Therefore, the name of that place is Beer-sheba#21.31 Or Well of seven; or Well of giving one’s word because there they gave each other their word. 32After they drew up a treaty#21.32 Or covenant at Beer-sheba, Abimelech, and Phicol commander of his forces, returned to the land of the Philistines. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and he worshipped there in the name of the LORD, El Olam.#21.33 Or the eternal God 34Abraham lived as an immigrant in the Philistines’ land for a long time.