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Genesis 21

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.
21
1The Lord came to help Sarah as he'd said he would. The Lord did for Sarah what he'd promised. 2She became pregnant and had a son for Abraham when he was old, at the exact time God said she would. 3Abraham named their son Isaac. 4Abraham circumcised him when Isaac was eight days old, following God's command. 5Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born.
6Sarah declared, “God has made me laugh,#21:6. Isaac means “he laughs.” and all those who hear about this will laugh with me.” 7She also said, “Would anyone have announced to Abraham that Sarah was going to have children to nurse? But now I have had a son for Abraham even when he was old!”
8The baby grew up, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a large feast. 9But Sarah noticed that Ishmael, Hagar the Egyptian's son she'd had for Abraham, was making fun of Isaac. 10So she went to Abraham and told him, “You have to get rid of this slave woman and this son of hers! A slave woman's son is not going to be one of your heirs and inherit together with my son Isaac!”
11Abraham felt very bad about it because Ishmael was his son. 12But God told Abraham, “Don't feel bad about the boy and the slave woman. Do whatever Sarah tells you, because it's through Isaac that your descendants will be counted. 13Don't worry—I will also make the son of the slave woman into a nation because he's your son.”
14Abraham got up early the next morning. He packed up some food and a skin of water which he gave to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder. Then he sent her and the boy away. She left and wandered through the Desert of Beersheba.
15When the water ran out, she left the boy under one of the bushes. 16She went and sat down some way off, a few hundred yards away,#21:16. “A few hundred yards away”: literally, “a bowshot.” saying, “I can't bear to watch my son die!” As she sat down she burst into tears.
17God heard the boy's cries, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What's the matter, Hagar? Don't be afraid! God has heard the boy crying from where he is. 18Get up, go over and help the boy up, and encourage him, for I will make him into a great nation.”
19God opened her eyes and she saw a well nearby. She went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20God blessed Ishmael and he grew up, living in the desert. He became a skilled archer. 21He lived in the Desert of Paran. His mother chose a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
22Around this time Abimelech came with Phicol, the commander of his army, to see Abraham. “God blesses you in everything you do,” Abimelech said. 23“So swear to me right here and now that you won't betray me, my children, or my descendants. In the same way I've proved I'm trustworthy to you, do the same to me and my country where you're currently living.”
24“I so swear,” Abraham replied. 25Then Abraham raised an issue with Abimelech of a well that Abimelech's servants had taken by force.
26“I don't know who did this, and you didn't mention it before. I haven't heard anything about it until today,” Abimelech responded.
27Then Abraham gave Abimelech some of his sheep and cattle, and the two of them made an agreement. 28Abraham also separated out seven female lambs from the flock.
29“What are these seven female lambs for that you've separated from the flock?” Abimelech asked.
30“I'm giving you these seven female lambs in return for your admission that I dug this well,” Abraham replied. 31That's why he called the place Beersheba,#21:31. Beersheba means both “well of swearing” and “well of seven.” because the two of them swore and oath to each other.
32After making the agreement at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army left and went home to the country of the Philistines. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and there he worshiped the Lord, the Eternal God. 34Abraham lived in the country of the Philistines for a long time.