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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.
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The Birth of Isaac
1And Yahweh visited Sarah as he had said. And Yahweh did to Sarah as he had promised. 2And she conceived, and Sarah bore to Abraham a son in his old age at the appointed time that God had told him. 3And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. 4And Abraham circumcised Isaac his son when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5And Abraham was one hundred years old when Isaac his son was born to him. 6And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; all who hear will laugh for me.” 7And she said, “Who would announce to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne a son to Abraham in his old age.”
Hagar and Ishmael
8And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned. 9And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne Abraham, mocking. 10Then she said to Abraham, “Drive out this slave woman and her son, for the son of this slave woman will not be heir with my son, with Isaac.” 11And the matter displeased Abraham very much#Literally “was very bad in the eyes of Abraham” on account of his son. 12Then God said to Abraham, “Do not be displeased#Literally “Do not let it be bad” on account of the boy and on account of the slave woman. Listen to everything that Sarah said to you,#Literally “Everything Sarah said to you, listen with respect to her voice” for through Isaac your offspring will be named. 13And I will also make the son of the slave woman into a nation, for he is your offspring.” 14Then Abraham rose up early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder. And he sent her away with the child, and she went, wandering about in the wilderness, in Beersheba. 15And when the water was finished from the skin, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16And she went and she sat a good distance away,#Literally “she sat with respect to her, opposite, far away, as the shooting of a bow” for she said, “Let me not see the child’s death.” So she sat away from him and lifted up her voice and wept. 17And God heard the cry#Or “voice” of the boy and the angel of God called to Hagar from the heavens and said to her, “What is the matter#Literally “What to you” Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the cry#Or “voice” of the boy from where he is.#Literally “in which he is there” 18Get up, take up the boy and take him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.” 19And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave a drink to the boy. 20And God was with the boy, and he grew and lived in the wilderness. And he became an expert with a bow.#Literally “an archer with the bow” 21And he lived in the wilderness of Paran. And his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
The Covenant Between Abraham and Abimelech
22And it happened that at that time, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you, in all that you do. 23So now, swear to me here by God that you will not deal with me falsely, or with my descendants, or my posterity. According to the kindness that I have done to you, you shall pledge to do with me and with the land where you have dwelled as an alien.” 24And Abraham said, “I swear.” 25Then Abraham complained to Abimelech on account of the well of water that servants of Abimelech had seized. 26And Abimelech said, “I do not know who did this thing, neither did you tell me, nor have I heard of it except for today.” 27And Abraham took sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. And the two of them made#Literally “cut” a covenant. 28Then Abraham set off seven ewe-lambs of the flock by themselves. 29And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe-lambs that you have set off by themselves?” 30And he said, “You shall take the seven ewe-lambs from my hand as proof on my behalf#Literally “for the sake that it shall be a witness for me” that I dug this well.” 31Therefore that place is called Beersheba, because there the two of them swore an oath. 32And they made#Literally “cut” a covenant at Beersheba. And Abimelech, and Phicol his army commander stood and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33And he#That is, Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of Yahweh, the everlasting God.#Literally “El-Olam” 34And Abraham dwelled as an alien in the land of the Philistines many days.