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The Birth of Isaac

21 And Yahweh visited Sarah as he had said. And Yahweh did to Sarah as he had promised. And she conceived, and Sarah bore to Abraham a son in his old age at the appointed time that God had told him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised Isaac his son when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was one hundred years old when Isaac his son was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; all who hear will laugh for me.” And she said, “Who would announce to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne a son to Abraham in his old age.”

Hagar and Ishmael

And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne Abraham, mocking. 10 Then she said to Abraham, “Drive out this slave woman and her son, for the son of this slave woman will not be heir with my son, with Isaac.” 11 And the matter displeased Abraham very much[a] on account of his son. 12 Then God said to Abraham, “Do not be displeased[b] on account of the boy and on account of the slave woman. Listen to everything that Sarah said to you,[c] for through Isaac your offspring will be named. 13 And I will also make the son of the slave woman into a nation, for he is your offspring.” 14 Then Abraham rose up early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder. And he sent her away with the child, and she went, wandering about in the wilderness, in Beersheba. 15 And when the water was finished from the skin, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16 And she went and she sat a good distance away,[d] for she said, “Let me not see the child’s death.” So she sat away from him and lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the cry[e] of the boy and the angel of God called to Hagar from the heavens and said to her, “What is the matter[f] Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the cry[g] of the boy from where he is.[h] 18 Get up, take up the boy and take him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.” 19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave a drink to the boy. 20 And God was with the boy, and he grew and lived in the wilderness. And he became an expert with a bow.[i] 21 And he lived in the wilderness of Paran. And his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

The Covenant Between Abraham and Abimelech

22 And it happened that at that time, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you, in all that you do. 23 So now, swear to me here by God that you will not deal with me falsely, or with my descendants, or my posterity. According to the kindness that I have done to you, you shall pledge to do with me and with the land where you have dwelled as an alien.” 24 And Abraham said, “I swear.” 25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelech on account of the well of water that servants of Abimelech had seized. 26 And Abimelech said, “I do not know who did this thing, neither did you tell me, nor have I heard of it except for today.” 27 And Abraham took sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. And the two of them made[j] a covenant. 28 Then Abraham set off seven ewe-lambs of the flock by themselves. 29 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe-lambs that you have set off by themselves?” 30 And he said, “You shall take the seven ewe-lambs from my hand as proof on my behalf[k] that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore that place is called Beersheba, because there the two of them swore an oath. 32 And they made[l] a covenant at Beersheba. And Abimelech, and Phicol his army commander stood and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 And he[m] planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of Yahweh, the everlasting God.[n] 34 And Abraham dwelled as an alien in the land of the Philistines many days.


  1. Genesis 21:11 Literally “was very bad in the eyes of Abraham”
  2. Genesis 21:12 Literally “Do not let it be bad”
  3. Genesis 21:12 Literally “Everything Sarah said to you, listen with respect to her voice”
  4. Genesis 21:16 Literally “she sat with respect to her, opposite, far away, as the shooting of a bow”
  5. Genesis 21:17 Or “voice”
  6. Genesis 21:17 Literally “What to you”
  7. Genesis 21:17 Or “voice”
  8. Genesis 21:17 Literally “in which he is there”
  9. Genesis 21:20 Literally “an archer with the bow”
  10. Genesis 21:27 Literally “cut”
  11. Genesis 21:30 Literally “for the sake that it shall be a witness for me”
  12. Genesis 21:32 Literally “cut”
  13. Genesis 21:33 That is, Abraham
  14. Genesis 21:33 Literally “El-Olam”