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Genesis 21

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.
21
Finally, a Baby for Sarah
1The Lord came back to visit Sarah as he said he would, and he kept his promise to her. 2At exactly the time God said it would happen, Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. 3Abraham named his son Isaac.#21:3 Isaac This name means “he laughs” or “he is happy.” 4Abraham did what God commanded and circumcised Isaac when he was eight days old.
5Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born. 6Sarah said, “God has made me happy, and everyone who hears about this will be happy with me. 7No one thought that I, Sarah, would be able to have Abraham’s child. But I have given Abraham a son, even though he is old.”
Trouble at Home
8Isaac continued to grow, and soon he was old enough to begin eating solid food. So Abraham gave a big party. 9Sarah saw Hagar’s son playing. (Hagar was the Egyptian slave woman who gave birth to Abraham’s first son.) 10Sarah said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son. Send them away! When we die, our son Isaac will get everything we have. I don’t want that slave woman’s son sharing these things with my son Isaac!”
11This upset Abraham very much. He was worried about his son Ishmael. 12But God said to Abraham, “Don’t worry about the boy and the slave woman. Do what Sarah wants. Your descendants will be those who come through Isaac. 13But I will also bless the son of your slave woman. He is your son, so I will make a great nation from his family also.”
14Early the next morning Abraham took some food and water and gave them to Hagar. She carried them and left with her boy. She left that place and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
15After some time, when all their drinking water was gone, Hagar put her son under a bush. 16Then she walked a short distance away and sat down. She thought her son would die because there was no water. She did not want to watch him die. She sat there and began to cry.
17God heard the boy crying, and God’s angel called to Hagar from heaven. He said, “What is wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid! God has heard the boy crying there. 18Go help the boy. Hold his hand and lead him. I will make him the father of many people.”
19Then God allowed Hagar to see a well of water. So she went to the well and filled her bag with water. Then she gave water to the boy to drink.
20God continued to be with the boy while he grew up. Ishmael lived in the desert and became a hunter. He learned to shoot a bow very well. 21His mother found a wife for him in Egypt. They continued to live in the Paran desert.
Abraham’s Bargain With Abimelech
22Then Abimelech and Phicol spoke with Abraham. Phicol was the commander of Abimelech’s army. They said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23So make a promise to me here before God. Promise that you will be fair with me and with my children. Promise that you will be kind to me and this country where you have lived. Promise that you will be as kind to me as I have been to you.”
24And Abraham said, “I promise to treat you the same way you have treated me.” 25Then Abraham complained to Abimelech because Abimelech’s servants had captured a well of water.
26But Abimelech said, “I don’t know who did this. You never told me about this before today!”
27So Abraham and Abimelech made an agreement. Abraham gave Abimelech some sheep and cattle as proof of the agreement. 28Abraham also put seven#21:28 seven The Hebrew word for “seven” is like the Hebrew word for “oath” or “promise,” and it is like the last part of the name Beersheba. The seven animals were proof of this promise. female lambs in front of Abimelech.
29Abimelech asked Abraham, “Why did you put these seven female lambs by themselves?”
30Abraham answered, “When you accept these lambs from me, it will be proof that I dug this well.”
31So after that, the well was called Beersheba.#21:31 Beersheba This name means “well of the oath.” Abraham gave the well this name because it was the place where they made a promise to each other.
32So Abraham and Abimelech made an agreement at Beersheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, his military commander, went back to the country of the Philistines.
33Abraham planted a special tree at Beersheba and prayed to the Lord, the God who lives forever. 34And Abraham lived as a stranger for a long time in the country of the Philistines.