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Genesis 21

21
Sarah has a son
1The LORD was good to Sarah and kept his promise. 2Although Abraham was very old, Sarah had a son exactly at the time God had said.#He 11.11. 3Abraham named his son Isaac, 4and when the boy was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, just as the LORD had commanded.#Gn 17.12; Ac 7.8.
5Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac was born, 6and Sarah said, “God has made me laugh.#21.6 God has made me laugh: In Hebrew “Isaac” sounds like “laugh”. Now everyone will laugh with me. 7Who would have dared to tell Abraham that some day I would have a child? But in his old age, I have given him a son.”
8The time came when Sarah no longer had to nurse Isaac,#21.8 no longer had to nurse Isaac: In ancient Israel mothers nursed their children until they were about three years old. Then there was a family celebration. and on that day Abraham gave a big feast.
Hagar and Ishmael are sent away
9-10One day, Sarah noticed Hagar's son Ishmael#21.9,10 Ishmael: The son of Abraham and Hagar, who was Sarah's slave woman (see 16.1-16). playing,#21.9,10 playing: Hebrew; one ancient translation “playing with her son Isaac”. and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that Egyptian slave woman and her son! I don't want him to inherit anything. It should all go to my son.”#21.9,10 Get rid…son: When Abraham accepted Ishmael as his son, it gave Ishmael the right to inherit part of what Abraham owned. But slaves who were given their freedom lost the right to inherit such property.#Ga 4.29,30.
11Abraham was worried about Ishmael. 12But God said, “Abraham, don't worry about your slave woman and the boy. Just do what Sarah tells you. Isaac will inherit your family name,#Ro 9.7; He 11.18. 13but the son of the slave woman is also your son, and I will make his descendants into a great nation.”
14Early the next morning Abraham gave Hagar an animal skin full of water and some bread. Then he put the boy on her shoulder and sent them away.
They wandered around in the desert near Beersheba, 15and after they had run out of water, Hagar put her son under a bush. 16Then she sat down a long way off, because she could not bear to watch him die. And she cried bitterly.
17When God heard the boy crying, the angel of God called out to Hagar from heaven and said, “Hagar, why are you worried? Don't be afraid. I have heard your son crying. 18Help him up and hold his hand, because I will make him the father of a great nation.” 19Then God let her see a well. So she went to the well and filled the skin with water, then gave some to her son.
20-21God blessed Ishmael, and as the boy grew older, he became an expert with his bow and arrows. He lived in the Paran Desert, and his mother chose an Egyptian woman for him to marry.
A peace treaty
22About this time Abimelech and his army commander Phicol said to Abraham, “God blesses everything you do!#Gn 26.26. 23Now I want you to promise in the name of God that you will always be loyal to me and my descendants, just as I have always been loyal to you in this land where you have lived as a foreigner.” 24And so, Abraham promised.
25One day, Abraham told Abimelech, “Some of your servants have taken over one of my wells.”
26“This is the first I've heard about it,” Abimelech replied. “Why haven't you said something before? I don't have any idea who did it.” 27Abraham gave Abimelech some sheep and cattle, and then the two men made a peace treaty.
28Abraham separated seven female lambs from his flock of sheep, 29and Abimelech asked, “Why have you done this?”
30Abraham told him, “I want you to accept these seven lambs as proof that I dug this well.” 31So they called the place Beersheba,#21.31 Beersheba: Meaning “Well of Good Fortune” or “Peace Treaty Well”. because they made a treaty there.
32When the treaty was completed, Abimelech and his army commander Phicol went back to the land of the Philistines. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree#21.33 tamarisk tree: A tall shade tree that has deep roots and needs little water. in Beersheba and worshipped the eternal LORD God. 34Then Abraham lived a long time as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines.
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.