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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
1 Then the Lord visited Sarah, just as he had promised; and he fulfilled what he had spoken.
2 And she conceived and gave birth to a son in her old age, at the time that God had foretold to her.
3 And Abraham called the name of his son, whom Sarah bore for him, Isaac.
4 And he circumcised him on the eighth day, just as God had instructed him,
5 when he was one hundred years old. Indeed, at this stage of his father's life, Isaac was born.
6 And Sarah said: "God has brought laughter to me. Whoever will hear of it will laugh with me."
7 And again, she said: "Hearing this, who would believe Abraham, that Sarah breast-fed a son, to whom she gave birth, despite being elderly?"
8 And the boy grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day of his weaning.
9 And when Sarah had seen the son of Hagar the Egyptian playing with her son Isaac, she said to Abraham:
10 "Cast out this woman servant and her son. For the son of a woman servant will not be heir with my son Isaac."
11 Abraham took this grievously, for the sake of his son.
12 And God said to him: "Let it not seem harsh to you concerning the boy and your woman servant. In all that Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice. For your offspring will be invoked in Isaac.
13 Yet I will also make the son of the woman servant into a great nation, for he is your offspring."
14 And so Abraham arose in the morning, and taking bread and a skin of water, he placed it upon her shoulder, and he handed over the boy, and he released her. And when she had departed, she wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
15 And when the water in the skin had been consumed, she set aside the boy, under one of the trees that were there.
16 And she moved away and sat in a distant area, as far as a bow can reach. For she said, "I shall not see the boy die." And so, sitting opposite her, he lifted up his voice and wept.
17 But God heard the voice of the boy. And an Angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, saying: "What are you doing, Hagar? Do not be afraid. For God has heeded the voice of the boy, from the place where he is.
18 Rise up. Take the boy and hold him by the hand. For I will make of him a great nation."
19 And God opened her eyes. And seeing a well of water, she went and filled the skin, and she gave the boy to drink.
20 And God was with him. And he grew, and he stayed in the wilderness, and he became a young man, an archer.
21 And he lived in the desert of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
22 At the same time, Abimelech and Phicol, the leader of his army, said to Abraham: "God is with you in everything that you do.
23 Therefore, swear by God that you will do no harm to me, and to my posterity, and to my stock. But according to the mercy that I have done to you, you will do to me and to the land, to which you have turned as a newcomer."
24 And Abraham said, "I will swear."
25 And he reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which his servants had taken away by force.
26 And Abimelech responded, "I do not know who did this thing, but you also did not reveal it to me, nor have I heard of it, before today."
27 And so Abraham took sheep and oxen, and he gave them to Abimelech. And both of them struck a pact.
28 And Abraham set aside seven female lambs from the flock.
29 Abimelech said to him, "What purpose have these seven female lambs, which you have caused to stand separately?"
30 But he said, "You will receive seven female lambs from my hand, so that they may be a testimony for me, that I dug this well."
31 For this reason, that place was called Beersheba, because there both of them did swear.
32 And they initiated a pact on behalf of the well of oath.
33 Then Abimelech and Phicol, the leader of his army, rose up, and they returned to the land of the Palestinians. In truth, Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the Lord God Eternal.
34 And he was a settler in the land of the Palestinians for many days.