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Genesis 21

21
The Birth of Isaac
1The LORD blessed Sarah, as he had promised, 2#Heb 11.11and she became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham when he was old. The boy was born at the time God had said he would be born. 3Abraham named him Isaac, 4#Gen 17.12; Acts 7.8and when Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded. 5Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac was born. 6Sarah said, “God has brought me joy and laughter.#21.6 laughter: The name Isaac in Hebrew means “he laughs” (see also 17.17–19). Everyone who hears about it will laugh with me.” 7Then she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
8The child grew, and on the day that he was weaned, Abraham gave a great feast.
Hagar and Ishmael are Sent Away
9One day Ishmael, whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham, was playing with#21.9 playing with; or making fun of. Sarah's son Isaac.#21.9 Some ancient translations with Sarah's son Isaac; Hebrew does not have these words. 10#Gal 4.29–30Sarah saw them and said to Abraham, “Send this slave and her son away. The son of this woman must not get any part of your wealth, which my son Isaac should inherit.” 11This troubled Abraham very much, because Ishmael was also his son. 12#Rom 9.7; Heb 11.18But God said to Abraham, “Don't be worried about the boy and your slave Hagar. Do whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that you will have the descendants I have promised. 13I will also give many children to the son of the slave woman, so that they will become a nation. He too is your son.”
14Early the next morning Abraham gave Hagar some food and a leather bag full of water. He put the child on her back and sent her away. She left and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15When the water was all gone, she left the child under a bush 16and sat down about a hundred metres away. She said to herself, “I can't bear to see my child die.” While she was sitting there, she#21.16 she; one ancient translation the child. began to cry.
17God heard the boy crying, and from heaven the angel of God spoke to Hagar, “What are you troubled about, Hagar? Don't be afraid. God has heard the boy crying. 18Get up, go and pick him up, and comfort him. I will make a great nation out of his descendants.” 19Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well. She went and filled the leather bag with water and gave some to the boy. 20God was with the boy as he grew up; he lived in the wilderness of Paran and became a skilful hunter. 21His mother found an Egyptian wife for him.
The Agreement between Abraham and Abimelech
22 # Gen 26.26 At that time Abimelech went with Phicol, the commander of his army, and said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23So make a vow here in the presence of God that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants. I have been loyal to you, so promise that you will also be loyal to me and to this country in which you are living.”
24Abraham said, “I promise.”
25Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well which the servants of Abimelech had seized. 26Abimelech said, “I don't know who did this. You didn't tell me about it, and this is the first I have heard of it.” 27Then Abraham gave some sheep and cattle to Abimelech, and the two of them made an agreement. 28Abraham separated seven lambs from his flock, 29and Abimelech asked him, “Why did you do that?”
30Abraham answered, “Accept these seven lambs. By doing this, you admit that I am the one who dug this well.” 31And so the place was called Beersheba,#21.31 Beersheba: This name in Hebrew means “Well of the Vow” or “Well of Seven” (see also 26.33). because it was there that the two of them made a vow.
32After they had made this agreement at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol went back to Philistia. 33Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and worshipped the LORD, the Everlasting God. 34Abraham lived in Philistia for a long time.
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Chapter 21
Abraham's sons
1The Lord was kind to Sarah. He did what he had promised to do for her. 2Sarah became pregnant. She gave birth to a son for Abraham when he was very old. This happened at the time when God had said that it would. #21:2 See Genesis 18:10.
3Abraham called his son ‘Isaac’. This is the son that Sarah gave birth to. 4When Isaac was 8 days old, Abraham circumcised him. That is what God had told him to do. #21:4 See Genesis 17.
5Abraham was 100 years old when his son, Isaac, was born. 6Sarah said, ‘Now God has made me laugh. Everyone who hears about what has happened will be happy with me.’ 7She also said, ‘Abraham would never have thought that I would feed a child at my breasts. But I have given birth to a son for him, even when he is old.’
8The child grew stronger, and he began to eat food. On that day, Abraham prepared a big party meal.
9Then Sarah saw that Ishmael was laughing at Isaac. (Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Hagar, the Egyptian servant.) 10So, Sarah said to Abraham, ‘Send that slave woman and her son away from here. Ishmael must never receive any of our family's things. Everything must belong to my own son, Isaac.’
11This made Abraham very sad, because Ishmael was his own son.
12God said to Abraham, ‘Do not be upset about Ishmael or about Hagar. Do whatever Sarah tells you. Your family's descendants will come through Isaac, not Ishmael. 13But, because Ishmael is also your son, I will make his descendants become a great nation of people too.’
14Abraham woke up early the next morning. He took some food and some water in a bottle that was made from animal skin. He gave them to Hagar and he put them on her shoulders. Then he sent Hagar away, with their son, Ishmael.
She went and she travelled round the wilderness of Beersheba. #21:14 The wilderness of Beersheba is dry and hot. There is not much water there. 15After they had drunk all the water, Hagar put her son in the shade under a bush. 16She herself went and sat down about 100 metres away from him. She thought, ‘I cannot watch the boy die.’ As she sat there, she began to cry.
17Ishmael was crying and God heard him. The angel of God spoke to Hagar from heaven. He said, ‘What is the trouble, Hagar? Do not be afraid. God has heard the boy while he is crying there. 18Go over to him and lift him up. Take hold of his hand and help him to stand. I will make him become a great nation of people.’ #21:18 God has already told Hagar this, when she ran away from Sarah See Genesis 16:10.
19Then God then helped Hagar to see clearly. She saw a well with water in it. She went to the well and she filled the bottle with water. She gave the boy some water to drink.
20God took care of Ishmael while he grew up. The boy lived in the desert. He became a hunter of wild animals. 21He lived in the Paran wilderness. Hagar, his mother, found an Egyptian wife for him to marry.
Abraham and Abimelech make an agreement together
22At that time Phicol was the leader of King Abimelech's army. Abimelech and Phicol said to Abraham, ‘We see that God helps you in everything that you do. 23So, please make a promise to me in front of God. Promise that you will never deceive me, or my children, or my descendants. You are living here in this land as a stranger. I have been kind to you, so please show that you will also be kind to us.’ 24Abraham said, ‘I promise to do all that.’
25One day, Abraham complained to Abimelech about a certain well of water. Abimelech's servants had taken the well from Abraham. They said that the well belonged to them. 26Abimelech said, ‘I do not know who has done this. You did not tell me before. I did not hear about it until today.’
27So, Abraham brought some sheep and some cows and he gave them to Abimelech. The two men made a promise to help each other. 28Abraham took 7 female lambs from the sheep. He put them in a different place from the other animals. 29Abimelech asked Abraham, ‘Why have you put these seven lambs in a different place?’ 30Abraham replied, ‘You must accept these seven lambs as a gift from me. That will show that you agree that I dug this well. Everyone will know that it belongs to me.’ 31Because of that, the name of the place became ‘Beersheba’, because the two men made a promise there. #21:31 ‘Beersheba’ means ‘well of seven’ or ‘well of the promise’.
32In that way, they made a promise at Beersheba to help one another. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the leader of his army, returned to the land of the Philistines.
33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba. #21:33 A tamarisk tree is a tree that can grow in a dry place. In that place, he worshipped the Lord who is God for ever.
34Abraham lived in the land of the Philistines for a long time.