Genesis 21

The Birth of Isaac

1The Lord came to Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what He had promised. a 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time God had told him. b 3 Abraham named his son who was born to him – the one Sarah bore to him – Isaac. c 4When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him. d 5 Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him. e

6 Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and everyone who hears will laugh with me.”
Isaac = He laughs; Gn 17:19
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

8 The 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. j
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!” k

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/ seed: This term is used literally or metaphorically to refer to plants or grain, sowing or harvest, male reproductive seed, human children or physical descendants, and also to spiritual children or to Christ (G13:16).
offspring will be traced through Isaac. o
13But I will also make a nation of the slave’s son p 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. s

17 God 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, u and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the waterskin and gave the boy a drink. 20 God 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

22 At that time Abimelech, accompanied by Phicol the commander of his army, v said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. w 23 Swear 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. x

26 Abimelech 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.”

27 Abraham 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. z
28 Abraham 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.”
31 Therefore that place was called Beer-sheba
= Well of the Oath, or Seven Wells
ac 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/Yah: Or The Lord; the personal name of God in Hebrew; "Yah" is the shortened form of the name.
Yahweh, the Everlasting God. ae
34And Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines for many days.
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