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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
Isaac Is Born
1The Lord was gracious to Sarah, just as he had said he would be. The Lord did for Sarah what he had promised to do. 2Sarah became pregnant. She had a son by Abraham when he was old. The child was born at the exact time God had promised. 3Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah had by him. 4When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him. He did it exactly as God had commanded him. 5Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6Sarah said, “God has given laughter to me. Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would breast-feed children? But I’ve had a son by him when he is old.”
Abraham Sends Hagar and Ishmael Away
8Isaac grew. The time came for his mother to stop breast-feeding him. On that day Abraham prepared a big celebration. 9But Sarah saw Ishmael making fun of Isaac. Ishmael was the son Hagar had by Abraham. Hagar was Sarah’s Egyptian slave. 10Sarah said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman! Get rid of her son! That woman’s son will never have a share of the family’s property. All of it belongs to my son Isaac.”
11What Sarah said upset Abraham very much. After all, Ishmael was his son. 12But God said to Abraham, “Do not be so upset about the boy and your slave Hagar. Listen to what Sarah tells you, because your family line will continue through Isaac. 13I will also make the son of your slave into a nation. I will do it because he is your child.”
14Early the next morning Abraham got some food and a bottle of water. The bottle was made out of animal skin. He gave the food and water to Hagar, placing them on her shoulders. Then he sent her away with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
15When the water in the bottle was gone, she put the boy under a bush. 16Then she sat down about as far away as a person can shoot an arrow. She thought, “I can’t stand to watch the boy die.” As she sat there, she began to sob.
17God heard the boy crying. Then the angel of God called out to Hagar from heaven. He said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid. God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18Lift up the boy and take him by the hand. I will make him into a great nation.”
19Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the bottle with water and gave the boy a drink.
20God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and learned to shoot a bow and arrow. 21While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.
The Agreement at Beersheba
22At that time Abimelek and his army commander, Phicol, spoke to Abraham. They said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23Now make a promise to me here while God is watching. Give me your word that you will treat me fairly. Promise that you will treat my children and their children the same way. I’ve been kind to you. Now you be kind to me and the country where you are living as an outsider.”
24Abraham said, “I give you my word that I’ll do it.”
25Then Abraham complained to Abimelek that his servants had taken over a well of water. 26But Abimelek said, “I don’t know who has done this. You didn’t tell me. And today is the first time I heard about it.”
27So Abraham gave Abimelek sheep and cattle. The two men came to an agreement. 28Then Abraham picked out seven female lambs from his flock. 29Abimelek asked Abraham, “What’s the meaning of these seven female lambs? Why have you picked them out and set them apart?”
30Abraham replied, “Accept the seven lambs from me. They will be a witness that I dug this well.”
31So that place was named Beersheba. That’s because there the two men came to an agreement.
32After the agreement had been made at Beersheba, Abimelek went back to the land of the Philistines. His army commander, Phicol, went with him. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba. There he called on the name of the Lord, the God who lives forever. 34Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.