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Genesis 21

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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.
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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.