Genesis 21
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The Birth of Isaac

1The Lord visited Sarah just as he had said he would and did for Sarah what he had promised. 2So Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the appointed time that God had told him. 3Abraham named his son – whom Sarah bore to him – Isaac. 4When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him just as God had commanded him to do. 5(Now Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.)

6Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7She went on to say, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have given birth to a son for him in his old age!”

8The child grew and was weaned. Abraham prepared a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9But Sarah noticed the son of Hagar the Egyptian – the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham – mocking. 10So she said to Abraham, “Banish that slave woman and her son, for the son of that slave woman will not be an heir along with my son Isaac!”

11Sarah’s demand displeased Abraham greatly because Ishmael was his son. 12But God said to Abraham, “Do not be upset about the boy or your slave wife. Do all that Sarah is telling you because through Isaac your descendants will be counted. 13But I will also make the son of the slave wife into a great nation, for he is your descendant too.”

14Early in the morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He put them on her shoulders, gave her the child, and sent her away. So she went wandering aimlessly through the wilderness of Beer Sheba. 15When the water in the skin was gone, she shoved the child under one of the shrubs. 16Then she went and sat down by herself across from him at quite a distance, about a bowshot away; for she thought, “I refuse to watch the child die.” So she sat across from him and wept uncontrollably.

17But God heard the boy’s voice. The angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the boy’s voice right where he is crying. 18Get up! Help the boy up and hold him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19Then God enabled Hagar to see a well of water. She went over and filled the skin with water, and then gave the boy a drink.

20God was with the boy as he grew. He lived in the wilderness and became an archer. 21He lived in the wilderness of Paran. His mother found a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

22At that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do. 23Now swear to me right here in God’s name that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants. Show me, and the land where you are staying, the same loyalty that I have shown you.”

24Abraham said, “I swear to do this.” 25But Abraham lodged a complaint against Abimelech concerning a well that Abimelech’s servants had seized. 26“I do not know who has done this thing,” Abimelech replied. “Moreover, you did not tell me. I did not hear about it until today.”

27Abraham took some sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. The two of them made a treaty. 28Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs apart from the flock by themselves. 29Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 30He replied, “You must take these seven ewe lambs from my hand as legal proof that I dug this well.” 31That is why he named that place Beer Sheba, because the two of them swore an oath there.

32So they made a treaty at Beer Sheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, returned to the land of the Philistines. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer Sheba. There he worshiped the Lord, the eternal God. 34So Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for quite some time.

Genesis 20
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