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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
The Birth of Isaac
1The Lord came to Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what He had promised. # Gn 17:16; 18:10; Gl 4:23 2Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time God had told him. # Gn 17:21; 18:10,14; Heb 11:11 3Abraham named his son who was born to him — the one Sarah bore to him — Isaac. # Gn 17:19 4When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him. # Gn 17:10,12; Ac 7:8 5Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him. # Gn 17:1,17; Rm 4:19
6Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and everyone who hears will laugh with me.” # Isaac = He laughs; Gn 17:19 # Gn 18:12-15 7She also said, “Who would have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne a son for him # Sam, Tg Jonathan; MT omits him in his old age.”
Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away
8The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned. 9But Sarah saw the son mocking # LXX, Vg add Isaac her son — the one Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham. # Gn 16:1,15; Gl 4:29 10So she said to Abraham, “Drive out this slave with her son, for the son of this slave will not be a coheir with my son Isaac! ” # Gl 4:30
11Now this was a very difficult thing for # Lit was very bad in the eyes of Abraham because of his son. 12But God said to Abraham, “Do not be concerned # Lit Let it not be bad in your eyes about the boy and your slave. Whatever Sarah says to you, listen to her, because your offspring will be traced through Isaac. # Rm 9:7; Heb 11:18 13But I will also make a nation of the slave’s son # Gn 16:10; 21:18; 25:12-18 because he is your offspring.”
14Early in the morning Abraham got up, took bread and a waterskin, put them on Hagar’s shoulders, and sent her and the boy away. # To “send away” a woman = divorce her; Dt 24:1. To “send away” a slave = free her; Dt 15:13. She left and wandered in the Wilderness of Beer-sheba. 15When the water in the skin was gone, she left the boy under one of the bushes. 16Then she went and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I can’t bear to watch the boy die! ” So as she sat nearby, she # LXX reads the boy wept loudly. # Jr 6:26; Am 8:10
17God heard the voice of the boy, and the # Or an angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy from the place where he is. 18Get up, help the boy up, and support him, for I will make him a great nation.” 19Then God opened her eyes, # Nm 22:31; 2Kg 6:17-18,20; Lk 24:16,31 and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the waterskin and gave the boy a drink. 20God was with the boy, and he grew; he settled in the wilderness and became an archer. 21He settled in the Wilderness of Paran, and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Abraham’s Covenant with Abimelech
22At that time Abimelech, accompanied by Phicol the commander of his army, # Gn 20:2; 26:1,26 said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. # Gn 26:28 23Swear to me by God here and now, that you will not break an agreement with me or with my children and descendants. As I have been loyal to you, so you will be loyal to me and to the country where you are a foreign resident.”
24And Abraham said, “I swear it.” 25But Abraham complained to Abimelech because of the water well that Abimelech’s servants had seized. # Gn 26:15,18,20-22
26Abimelech replied, “I don’t know who did this thing. You didn’t report anything to me, so I hadn’t heard about it until today.”
27Abraham took sheep and cattle # A covenant or treaty was regularly ratified by animal sacrifice (Gn 8:20–9:9; 15:9-17; Ex 24:8) and often involved an exchange of gifts (1Kg 15:19; Hs 12:1). The animals here could serve both purposes. and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant. # Gn 26:31 28Abraham separated seven ewe lambs from the flock. 29And Abimelech said to Abraham, “Why have you separated these seven ewe lambs? ”
30He replied, “You are to accept the seven ewe lambs from my hand so that this act # Lit that it will serve as my witness that I dug this well.” 31Therefore that place was called Beer-sheba # = Well of the Oath, or Seven Wells # Gn 26:33 because it was there that the two of them swore an oath. 32After they had made a covenant at Beer-sheba, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, left and returned to the land of the Philistines.
33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and there he called on the name of Yahweh, the Everlasting God. # Ps 45:6; 48:14; 90:2; 93:2; Is 40:28; Jr 10:10; Rm 16:26; Heb 13:8 34And Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines for many days.