Genesis 15-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Abram Promised a Son
15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,
“Do not fear, Abram,
2 Abram said, “O Lord [b]God, what will You give me, since I [c]am childless, and the [d]heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “[e]Since You have given no [f]offspring to me, [g]one born in my house is my heir.” 4 Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own [h]body, he shall be your heir.” 5 And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your [i]descendants be.” 6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7 And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to [j]possess it.” 8 He said, “O Lord [k]God, how may I know that I will [l]possess it?” 9 So He said to him, “[m]Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 Then he [n]brought all these to Him and cut them [o]in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. 11 The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, [p]terror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your [q]descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, [r]where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. 14 But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with [s]many possessions. 15 As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16 Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”
17 It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying,
“To your [t]descendants I have given this land,
19 the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite 20 and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim 21 and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”
Sarai and Hagar
16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will [u]obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 After Abram had [v]lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. 4 He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight. 5 And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you. I gave my maid into your [w]arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her [x]sight. May the Lord judge between [y]you and me.” 6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your [z]power; do to her what is good in your [aa]sight.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence.
7 Now the angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?” And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” 9 Then the angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself [ab]to her authority.” 10 Moreover, the angel of the Lord said to her, “I will greatly multiply your [ac]descendants so that [ad]they will be too many to count.” 11 The angel of the Lord said to her further,
“Behold, you are with child,
13 Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “[ai]You are [aj]a God who sees”; for she said, “Have I even [ak]remained alive here after seeing Him?” 14 Therefore the well was called [al]Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to [am]him.
Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision
17 Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him,
3 Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying,
4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you,
6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. 7 I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your [as]descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your [at]descendants after you. 8 I will give to you and to your [au]descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
9 God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your [av]descendants after you throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your [aw]descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your [ax]descendants. 13 A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but [ay]Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will [az]come from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” 19 But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name [ba]Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his [bb]descendants after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall [bc]become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.” 22 When He finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.
23 Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all the servants who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the very same day, as God had said to him. 24 Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 In the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son. 27 All the men of his household, who were born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
Birth of Isaac Promised
18 Now the Lord appeared to him by the [bd]oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth, 3 and said, “[be]My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not [bf]pass Your servant by. 4 Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and [bg]rest yourselves under the tree; 5 and I will [bh]bring a piece of bread, that you may [bi]refresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have [bj]visited your servant.” And they said, “So do, as you have said.” 6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “[bk]Quickly, prepare three [bl]measures of fine flour, knead it and make bread cakes.” 7 Abraham also ran to the herd, and took a tender and [bm]choice calf and gave it to the servant, and he hurried to prepare it. 8 He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree [bn]as they ate.
9 Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” 10 He said, “I will surely return to you [bo]at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past [bp]childbearing. 12 Sarah laughed [bq]to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” 13 And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed [br]bear a child, when I am so old?’ 14 Is anything too [bs]difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, [bt]at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” 15 Sarah denied it however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16 Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off. 17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 since Abraham will surely become a great and [bu]mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed? 19 For I have [bv]chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” 20 And the Lord said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21 I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”
22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 23 Abraham came near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not [bw]spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from You to do [bx]such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth [by]deal justly?” 26 So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will [bz]spare the whole place on their account.” 27 And Abraham replied, “Now behold, I have [ca]ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 He spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.” 30 Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 And he said, “Now behold, I have [cb]ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.” 32 Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.” 33 As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the Lord departed, and Abraham returned to his place.
The Doom of Sodom
19 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and [cc]bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” 3 Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4 Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people [cd]from every quarter; 5 and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may [ce]have relations with them.” 6 But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, 7 and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. 8 Now behold, I have two daughters who have not [cf]had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them [cg]whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the [ch]shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in [ci]as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against [cj]Lot and came near to break the door. 10 But the men reached out their [ck]hands and brought Lot into the house [cl]with them, and shut the door. 11 They [cm]struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.
12 Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; 13 for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who [cn]were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the Lord will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his sons-in-law [co]to be jesting.
15 When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the [cp]punishment of the city.” 16 But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the [cq]hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the Lord was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city. 17 When they had brought them outside, [cr]one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay [cs]anywhere in the valley; escape to the [ct]mountains, or you will be swept away.” 18 But Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lords! 19 Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the [cu]mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die; 20 now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) [cv]that my life may be saved.” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this [cw]request also, not to overthrow the town of which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the town was called [cx]Zoar.
23 The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, 25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the [cy]valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the Lord; 28 and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the [cz]valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a [da]furnace.
29 Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the [db]valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.
Lot Is Debased
30 Lot went up from Zoar, and [dc]stayed in the [dd]mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to [de]stay in Zoar; and he [df]stayed in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31 Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man [dg]on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve [dh]our family through our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 34 On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve [di]our family through our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 As for the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the [dj]sons of Ammon to this day.
20 Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the [dk]Negev, and [dl]settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar. 2 Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is [dm]married.” 4 Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a nation, even though [dn]blameless? 5 Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my [do]hands I have done this.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also [dp]kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 Now therefore, restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”
8 So Abimelech arose early in the morning and called all his servants and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were greatly frightened. 9 Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And [dq]how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me [dr]things that ought not to be done.” 10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What have you [ds]encountered, that you have done this thing?” 11 Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely there is no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. 12 Besides, she actually is my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife; 13 and it came about, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is [dt]the kindness which you will show to me: [du]everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’” 14 Abimelech then took sheep and oxen and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and restored his wife Sarah to him. 15 Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; [dv]settle wherever [dw]you please.” 16 To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; behold, it is [dx]your vindication before all who are with you, and before all men you are cleared.” 17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children. 18 For the Lord had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
Isaac Is Born
21 Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had [dy]promised. 2 So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. 4 Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh [dz]with me.” 7 And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
8 The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.
Sarah Turns against Hagar
9 Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, [ea]mocking. 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, “Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son [eb]Isaac.” 11 The matter [ec]distressed Abraham greatly because of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “[ed]Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac [ee]your descendants shall be named. 13 And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your [ef]descendant.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a [eg]skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was used up, she [eh]left the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away, for she said, “Do not let me [ei]see the boy die.” And she sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice and wept. 17 God heard the lad crying; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by [ej]the hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the [ek]skin with water and gave the lad a drink.
Covenant with Abimelech
22 Now it came about at that time that Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do; 23 now therefore, swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my offspring or with my posterity, but according to the kindness that I have shown to you, you shall show to me and to the land in which you have sojourned.” 24 Abraham said, “I swear it.” 25 But Abraham [en]complained to Abimelech because of the well of water which the servants of Abimelech had seized. 26 And Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, nor did I hear of it [eo]until today.”
27 Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant. 28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 Abimelech said to Abraham, “What do these seven ewe lambs mean, which you have set by themselves?” 30 He said, “You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand so that it may be a witness to me, that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because there the two of them took an oath. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba; and Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, arose and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines for many days.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the New Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.