Genesis 11-25 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
The Tower of Babylon
11 The whole earth had the same language and vocabulary.[a] 2 As people[b] migrated from the east,[c] they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to each other, “Come, let us make oven-fired bricks.” (They used brick for stone and asphalt for mortar.) 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky. Let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered throughout the earth.”
5 Then the Lord came down to look over the city and the tower that the humans[d] were building. 6 The Lord said, “If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let’s go down there and confuse their language so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So from there the Lord scattered them throughout the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 Therefore it is called Babylon,[e][f] for there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the Lord scattered them throughout the earth.
From Shem to Abram
10 These are the family records of Shem. Shem lived 100 years and fathered Arpachshad two years after the flood. 11 After he fathered Arpachshad, Shem lived 500 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 12 Arpachshad lived 35 years[g] and fathered Shelah. 13 After he fathered Shelah, Arpachshad lived 403 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 14 Shelah lived 30 years and fathered Eber. 15 After he fathered Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 16 Eber lived 34 years and fathered Peleg. 17 After he fathered Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 18 Peleg lived 30 years and fathered Reu. 19 After he fathered Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 20 Reu lived 32 years and fathered Serug. 21 After he fathered Serug, Reu lived 207 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 22 Serug lived 30 years and fathered Nahor. 23 After he fathered Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 24 Nahor lived 29 years and fathered Terah. 25 After he fathered Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and fathered other sons and daughters. 26 Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27 These are the family records of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran, and Haran fathered Lot. 28 Haran died in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans, during his father Terah’s lifetime. 29 Abram and Nahor took wives: Abram’s wife was named Sarai, and Nahor’s wife was named Milcah. She was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30 Sarai was unable to conceive; she did not have a child.
31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran’s son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 Terah lived 205 years and died in Haran.
The Call of Abram
12 The Lord said to Abram:
Go out from your land,
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated, and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the site of Shechem, at the oak of Moreh. (At that time the Canaanites were in the land.) 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved on to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. He built an altar to the Lord there, and he called on the name of the Lord. 9 Then Abram journeyed by stages to the Negev.
Abram in Egypt
10 There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt to stay there for a while because the famine in the land was severe. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me but let you live. 13 Please say you’re my sister so it will go well for me because of you, and my life will be spared on your account.” 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh, so the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s household. 16 He treated Abram well because of her, and Abram acquired flocks and herds, male and female donkeys, male and female slaves, and camels.
17 But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his household with severe plagues because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh sent for Abram and said, “What have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She’s my sister,’ so that I took her as my wife? Now, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave his men orders about him, and they sent him away with his wife and all he had.
Abram and Lot Separate
13 Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev—he, his wife, and all he had, and Lot with him. 2 Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. 3 He went by stages from the Negev to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had formerly been, 4 to the site where he had built the altar. And Abram called on the name of the Lord there.
5 Now Lot, who was traveling with Abram, also had flocks, herds, and tents. 6 But the land was unable to support them as long as they stayed together, for they had so many possessions that they could not stay together, 7 and there was quarreling between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. (At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land.)
8 So Abram said to Lot, “Please, let’s not have quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, since we are relatives.[k] 9 Isn’t the whole land before you? Separate from me: if you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.”
10 Lot looked out and saw that the entire plain[l] of the Jordan as far as[m] Zoar was well watered everywhere like the Lord’s garden and the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose the entire plain of the Jordan for himself. Then Lot journeyed eastward, and they separated from each other. 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, but Lot lived in the cities on the plain and set up his tent near Sodom. 13 (Now the men of Sodom were evil, sinning immensely[n] against the Lord.)
14 After Lot had separated from him, the Lord said to Abram, “Look from the place where you are. Look north and south, east and west, 15 for I will give you and your offspring forever all the land that you see. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Get up and walk around the land, through its length and width, for I will give it to you.”
18 So Abram moved his tent and went to live near the oaks of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord.
Abram Rescues Lot
14 In those days King Amraphel of Shinar, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Chedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim[o] 2 waged war against King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, and King Shemeber of Zeboiim, as well as the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 3 All of these came as allies to the Siddim Valley (that is, the Dead Sea). 4 They were subject to Chedorlaomer for twelve years, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites in the mountains of Seir, as far as El-paran by the wilderness. 7 Then they came back to invade En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they defeated the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who lived in Hazazon-tamar.
8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and lined up for battle in the Siddim Valley 9 against King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Shinar, and King Arioch of Ellasar—four kings against five. 10 Now the Siddim Valley contained many asphalt pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them,[p] but the rest fled to the mountains. 11 The four kings took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food and went on. 12 They also took Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, for he was living in Sodom, and they went on.
13 One of the survivors came and told Abram the Hebrew, who lived near the oaks belonging to Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eshcol and the brother of Aner. They were bound by a treaty with[q] Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken prisoner, he assembled[r] his 318 trained men, born in his household, and they went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 And he and his servants deployed against them by night, defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah to the north of Damascus. 16 He brought back all the goods and also his relative Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the other people.
17 After Abram returned from defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the Shaveh Valley (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 Melchizedek, king of Salem,[s] brought out bread and wine; he was a priest to God Most High. 19 He blessed him and said:
Abram is blessed by God Most High,
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people, but take the possessions for yourself.”
22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand in an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread or sandal strap or anything that belongs to you, so you can never say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will take nothing[u] except what the servants have eaten. But as for the share of the men who came with me—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre—they can take their share.”
The Abrahamic Covenant
15 After these events, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
Do not be afraid, Abram.
your reward will be very great.
2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me, since I am childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” [v] 3 Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a slave born in[w] my house will be my heir.”
4 Now the word of the Lord came to him: “This one will not be your heir; instead, one who comes from your own body[x] will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “Your offspring will be that numerous.”
6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
7 He also said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”
8 But he said, “Lord God, how can I know that I will possess it?”
9 He said to him, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
10 So he brought all these to him, cut them in half, and laid the pieces opposite each other, but he did not cut the birds in half. 11 Birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was setting, a deep sleep came over Abram, and suddenly great terror and darkness descended on him.
13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know this for certain: Your offspring will be resident aliens for four hundred years in a land that does not belong to them and will be enslaved and oppressed.[y] 14 However, I will judge the nation they serve, and afterward they will go out with many possessions. 15 But you will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”[z]
17 When the sun had set and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch appeared and passed between the divided animals. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “I give this land to your offspring, from the Brook of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River: 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hethites, Perizzites, Rephaim, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
Hagar and Ishmael
16 Abram’s wife Sarai had not borne any children for him, but she owned an Egyptian slave named Hagar. 2 Sarai said to Abram, “Since the Lord has prevented me from bearing children, go to my slave; perhaps through her I can build a family.” And Abram agreed to what Sarai said.[aa] 3 So Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar, her Egyptian slave, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife for him. This happened after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan ten years. 4 He slept with[ab] Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she saw that she was pregnant, her mistress became contemptible to her. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for my suffering![ac] I put my slave in your arms,[ad] and when she saw that she was pregnant, I became contemptible to her. May the Lord judge between me and you.”
6 Abram replied to Sarai, “Here, your slave is in your hands; do whatever you want with her.” Then Sarai mistreated her so much that she ran away from her.
7 The angel of the Lord found her by a spring in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. 8 He said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?”
She replied, “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai.”
9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her authority.” 10 The angel of the Lord said to her, “I will greatly multiply your offspring, and they will be too many to count.”
11 The angel of the Lord said to her, “You have conceived and will have a son. You will name him Ishmael,[ae] for the Lord has heard your cry of affliction. 12 This man will be like a wild donkey. His hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him; he will settle near all his relatives.”
13 So she named the Lord who spoke to her: “You are El-roi,”[af] for she said, “In this place, have I actually seen the one who sees me?” [ag] 14 That is why the well is called Beer-lahai-roi.[ah] It is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar gave birth to Abram’s son, and Abram named his son (whom Hagar bore) Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to him.
17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him, saying, “I am God Almighty. Live[ai] in my presence and be blameless. 2 I will set up my covenant between me and you, and I will multiply you greatly.”
3 Then Abram fell facedown and God spoke with him: 4 “As for me, here is my covenant with you: You will become the father of many nations. 5 Your name will no longer be Abram;[aj] your name will be Abraham,[ak] for I will make you the father of many nations. 6 I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings come from you. 7 I will confirm my covenant that is between me and you and your future offspring throughout their generations. It is a permanent covenant to be your God and the God of your offspring after you. 8 And to you and your future offspring I will give the land where you are residing—all the land of Canaan—as a permanent possession, and I will be their God.”
9 God also said to Abraham, “As for you, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations are to keep my covenant. 10 This is my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you, which you are to keep: Every one of your males must be circumcised. 11 You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskin to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and you.[al] 12 Throughout your generations, every male among you is to be circumcised at eight days old—every male born in your household or purchased from any foreigner and not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or purchased, he must be circumcised. My covenant will be marked in your flesh as a permanent covenant. 14 If any male is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that man will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
15 God said to Abraham, “As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai, for Sarah[am] will be her name. 16 I will bless her; indeed, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she will produce nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
17 Abraham fell facedown. Then he laughed and said to himself, “Can a child be born to a hundred-year-old man? Can Sarah, a ninety-year-old woman, give birth?” 18 So Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael were acceptable[an] to you!”
19 But God said, “No. Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac.[ao] I will confirm my covenant with him as a permanent covenant for his future offspring. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you. I will certainly bless him; I will make him fruitful and will multiply him greatly. He will father twelve tribal leaders, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But I will confirm my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.” 22 When he finished talking with him, God withdrew[ap] from Abraham.
23 So Abraham took his son Ishmael and those born in his household or purchased—every male among the members of Abraham’s household—and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on that very day, just as God had said to him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised. 26 On that same day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27 And all the men of his household—whether born in his household or purchased from a foreigner—were circumcised with him.
Abraham’s Three Visitors
18 The Lord appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day. 2 He looked up, and he saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them, bowed to the ground, 3 and said, “My lord, if I have found favor with you, please do not go on past your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, that you may wash your feet and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 I will bring a bit of bread so that you may strengthen yourselves.[aq] This is why you have passed your servant’s way. Later, you can continue on.”
“Yes,” they replied, “do as you have said.”
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Knead three measures[ar] of fine flour and make bread.”[as] 7 Abraham ran to the herd and got a tender, choice calf. He gave it to a young man, who hurried to prepare it. 8 Then Abraham took curds[at] and milk, as well as the calf that he had prepared, and set them before the men. He served[au] them as they ate under the tree.
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he answered.
10 The Lord said, “I will certainly come back to you in about a year’s time, and your wife Sarah will have a son!” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him.
13 But the Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Can I really have a baby when I’m old?’ 14 Is anything impossible for the Lord? At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son.”
15 Sarah denied it. “I did not laugh,” she said, because she was afraid.
But he replied, “No, you did laugh.”
Abraham’s Plea for Sodom
16 The men got up from there and looked out over Sodom, and Abraham was walking with them to see them off. 17 Then the Lord said, “Should I hide what I am about to do from Abraham? 18 Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen[ax] him so that he will command his children and his house after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. This is how the Lord will fulfill to Abraham what he promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious. 21 I will go down to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to me. If not, I will find out.”
22 The men turned from there and went toward Sodom while Abraham remained standing before the Lord.[ay] 23 Abraham stepped forward and said, “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away instead of sparing the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people who are in it? 25 You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won’t the Judge of the whole earth do what is just?”
26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Then Abraham answered, “Since I have ventured to speak to my lord—even though I am dust and ashes— 28 suppose the fifty righteous lack five. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?”
He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29 Then he spoke to him again, “Suppose forty are found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it on account of forty.”
30 Then he said, “Let my lord not be angry, and I will speak further. Suppose thirty are found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 Then he said, “Since I have ventured to speak to my lord, suppose twenty are found there?”
He replied, “I will not destroy it on account of twenty.”
32 Then he said, “Let my lord not be angry, and I will speak one more time. Suppose ten are found there?”
He answered, “I will not destroy it on account of ten.” 33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he departed, and Abraham returned to his place.
The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
19 The two angels entered Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in Sodom’s gateway. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them. He bowed with his face to the ground 2 and said, “My lords, turn aside to your servant’s house, wash your feet, and spend the night. Then you can get up early and go on your way.”
“No,” they said. “We would rather spend the night in the square.” 3 But he urged them so strongly that they followed him and went into his house. He prepared a feast and baked unleavened bread for them, and they ate.
4 Before they went to bed, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, the whole population, surrounded the house. 5 They called out to Lot and said, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!”
6 Lot went out to them at the entrance and shut the door behind him. 7 He said, “Don’t do this evil, my brothers. 8 Look, I’ve got two daughters who haven’t been intimate with a man. I’ll bring them out to you, and you can do whatever you want[az] to them. However, don’t do anything to these men, because they have come under the protection of my roof.”
9 “Get out of the way!” they said, adding, “This one came here as an alien, but he’s acting like a judge! Now we’ll do more harm to you than to them.” They put pressure on Lot and came up to break down the door. 10 But the angels[ba] reached out, brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 They struck the men who were at the entrance of the house, both young and old, with blindness[bb] so that they were unable to find the entrance.
12 Then the angels said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here: a son-in-law, your sons and daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of this place, 13 for we are about to destroy this place because the outcry against its people is so great before the Lord, that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were going to marry[bc] his daughters. “Get up,” he said. “Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 At daybreak the angels urged Lot on: “Get up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment[bd] of the city.” 16 But he hesitated. Because of the Lord’s compassion for him, the men grabbed his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters. They brought him out and left him outside the city.
17 As soon as the angels got them outside, one of them[be] said, “Run for your lives! Don’t look back and don’t stop anywhere on the plain! Run to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”
18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords[bf]—please. 19 Your servant has indeed found favor with you, and you have shown me great kindness by saving my life. But I can’t run to the mountains; the disaster will overtake me, and I will die. 20 Look, this town is close enough for me to flee to. It is a small place. Please let me run to it—it’s only a small place, isn’t it?—so that I can survive.”
21 And he said to him, “All right,[bg] I’ll grant your request[bh] about this matter too and will not demolish the town you mentioned. 22 Hurry up! Run to it, for I cannot do anything until you get there.” Therefore the name of the city is Zoar.[bi]
23 The sun had risen over the land when Lot reached Zoar. 24 Then out of the sky the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah burning sulfur from the Lord. 25 He demolished these cities, the entire plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and whatever grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar of salt.
27 Early in the morning Abraham went to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of the plain, and he saw that smoke was going up from the land like the smoke of a furnace. 29 So it was, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham and brought Lot out of the middle of the upheaval when he demolished the cities where Lot had lived.
The Origin of Moab and Ammon
30 Lot departed from Zoar and lived in the mountains along with his two daughters, because he was afraid to live in Zoar. Instead, he and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man in the land to sleep with us as is the custom of all the land. 32 Come, let’s get our father to drink wine so that we can sleep with him and preserve our father’s line.” 33 So they got their father to drink wine that night, and the firstborn came and slept with her father; he did not know when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the firstborn said to the younger, “Look, I slept with my father last night. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight so you can go sleep with him and we can preserve our father’s line.” 35 That night they again got their father to drink wine, and the younger went and slept with him; he did not know when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn gave birth to a son and named him Moab.[bj] He is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger also gave birth to a son, and she named him Ben-ammi.[bk] He is the father of the Ammonites of today.
Sarah Rescued from Abimelech
20 From there Abraham traveled to the region of the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was staying in Gerar, 2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar had Sarah brought to him.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “You are about to die because of the woman you have taken, for she is a married woman.”[bl]
4 Now Abimelech had not approached her, so he said, “Lord, would you destroy a nation even though it is innocent? 5 Didn’t he himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I did this with a clear conscience[bm] and clean[bn] hands.”
6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you did this with a clear conscience.[bo] I have also kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I have not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, know that you will certainly die, you and all who are yours.”
8 Early in the morning Abimelech got up, called all his servants together, and personally[bp] told them all these things, and the men were terrified.
9 Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said to him, “What have you done to us? How did I sin against you that you have brought such enormous guilt on me and on my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.” 10 Abimelech also asked Abraham, “What made you do this?”
11 Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘There is absolutely no fear of God in this place. They will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 So when God had me wander from my father’s house, I said to her: Show your loyalty to me wherever we go and say about me: ‘He’s my brother.’”
14 Then Abimelech took flocks and herds and male and female slaves, gave them to Abraham, and returned his wife Sarah to him. 15 Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you. Settle wherever you want.”[bq] 16 And he said to Sarah, “Look, I am giving your brother one thousand pieces of silver. It is a verification of your honor[br] to all who are with you. You are fully vindicated.”
17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female slaves so that they could bear children, 18 for the Lord had completely closed all the wombs in Abimelech’s household on account of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
The Birth of Isaac
21 The Lord came to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time God had told him. 3 Abraham named his son who was born to him—the one Sarah bore to him—Isaac. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and everyone who hears will laugh with me.”[bs] 7 She also said, “Who would have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne a son for him[bt] 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. 9 But Sarah saw the son mocking—the one Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham. 10 So 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!”
11 This was very distressing to[bu] Abraham because of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed[bv] about the boy and about your slave. Whatever Sarah says to you, listen to her, because your offspring will be traced through Isaac, 13 and I will also make a nation of the slave’s son because he is your offspring.”
14 Early in the morning Abraham got up, took bread and a waterskin, put them on Hagar’s shoulders, and sent her and the boy away. She left and wandered in the Wilderness of Beer-sheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she left the boy under one of the bushes 16 and went and sat at a distance, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I can’t bear to watch the boy die!” While she sat at a distance, she[bw] wept loudly.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the[bx] 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 boy crying from the place where he is. 18 Get up, help the boy up, and grasp his hand, for I will make him a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well. 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. 21 He 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, said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 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 resident alien.”
24 And Abraham said, “I swear it.” 25 But Abraham complained to Abimelech because of the well that Abimelech’s servants had seized.
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 flocks and herds and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant. 28 Abraham separated seven ewe lambs from the flock. 29 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “Why have you separated these seven ewe lambs?”
30 He replied, “You are to accept the seven ewe lambs from me so that this act[by] will serve as my witness that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore that place was called Beer-sheba[bz] because it was there that the two of them swore an oath. 32 After 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.
33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham lived as an alien in the land of the Philistines for many days.
The Sacrifice of Isaac
22 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he answered.
2 “Take your son,” he said, “your only son Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
3 So Abraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took with him two of his young men and his son Isaac. He split wood for a burnt offering and set out to go to the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.” 6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac. In his hand he took the fire and the knife, and the two of them walked on together.
7 Then Isaac spoke to his father Abraham and said, “My father.”
And he replied, “Here I am, my son.”
Isaac said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide[ca] the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Then the two of them walked on together.
9 When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac[cb] and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”
He replied, “Here I am.”
12 Then he said, “Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from me.” 13 Abraham looked up and saw a ram[cc] caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 And Abraham named that place The Lord Will Provide,[cd] so today it is said: “It will be provided[ce] on the Lord’s mountain.”
15 Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn,” this is the Lord’s declaration: “Because you have done this thing and have not withheld your only son, 17 I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the city gates of their enemies. 18 And all the nations of the earth will be blessed[cf] by your offspring because you have obeyed my command.”
19 Abraham went back to his young men, and they got up and went together to Beer-sheba. And Abraham settled in Beer-sheba.
20 Now after these things Abraham was told, “Milcah also has borne sons to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz his firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 And Bethuel fathered Rebekah. Milcah bore these eight to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
23 Now Sarah lived 127 years; these were all the years of her life. 2 Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.
3 Then Abraham got up from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hethites: 4 “I am an alien residing among you. Give me burial property among you so that I can bury my dead.”[cg]
5 The Hethites replied to Abraham,[ch] 6 “Listen to us, my lord. You are a prince of God[ci] among us. Bury your dead in our finest burial place.[cj] None of us will withhold from you his burial place for burying your dead.”
7 Then Abraham rose and bowed down to the Hethites, the people of the land. 8 He said to them, “If you are willing for me to bury my dead, listen to me and ask Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf 9 to give me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him; it is at the end of his field. Let him give it to me in your presence, for the full price, as burial property.”
10 Ephron was sitting among the Hethites. So in the hearing[ck] of all the Hethites who came to the gate of his city, Ephron the Hethite answered Abraham: 11 “No, my lord. Listen to me. I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. I give it to you in the sight[cl] of my people. Bury your dead.”
12 Abraham bowed down to the people of the land 13 and said to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, “Listen to me, if you please. Let me pay the price of the field. Accept it from me, and let me bury my dead there.”
14 Ephron answered Abraham and said to him, 15 “My lord, listen to me. Land worth four hundred shekels of silver—what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.” 16 Abraham agreed with Ephron, and Abraham weighed out to Ephron the silver that he had agreed to in the hearing of the Hethites: four hundred standard shekels[cm] of silver. 17 So Ephron’s field at Machpelah near Mamre—the field with its cave and all the trees anywhere within the boundaries of the field—became 18 Abraham’s possession in the sight of all the Hethites who came to the gate of his city. 19 After this, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field at Machpelah near Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 The field with its cave passed from the Hethites to Abraham as burial property.
A Wife for Isaac
24 Abraham was now old, getting on in years,[cn] and the Lord had blessed him in everything. 2 Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his household who managed all he owned, “Place your hand under my thigh, 3 and I will have you swear by the Lord, God of heaven and God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live, 4 but will go to my land and my family to take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5 The servant said to him, “Suppose the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Should I have your son go back to the land you came from?”
6 Abraham answered him, “Make sure that you don’t take my son back there. 7 The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from my native land, who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘I will give this land to your offspring’—he will send his angel before you, and you can take a wife for my son from there. 8 If the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you are free from this oath to me, but don’t let my son go back there.” 9 So the servant placed his hand under his master Abraham’s thigh and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
10 The servant took ten of his master’s camels, and with all kinds of his master’s goods in hand, he went to Aram-naharaim, to Nahor’s town. 11 At evening, the time when women went out to draw water, he made the camels kneel beside a well outside the town.
12 “Lord, God of my master Abraham,” he prayed, “make this happen for me today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 I am standing here at the spring where the daughters of the men of the town are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the girl to whom I say, ‘Please lower your water jug so that I may drink,’ and who responds, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels also’—let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
15 Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah—daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor—coming with a jug on her shoulder. 16 Now the girl was very beautiful, a virgin—no man had been intimate with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me have a little water from your jug.”
18 She replied, “Drink, my lord.” She quickly lowered her jug to her hand and gave him a drink. 19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll also draw water for your camels until they have had enough to drink.”[co] 20 She quickly emptied her jug into the trough and hurried to the well again to draw water. She drew water for all his camels 21 while the man silently watched her to see whether or not the Lord had made his journey a success.
22 As the camels finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing half a shekel, and for her wrists two bracelets weighing ten shekels of gold. 23 “Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
24 She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25 She also said to him, “We have plenty of straw and feed and a place to spend the night.”
26 Then the man knelt low, worshiped the Lord, 27 and said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld his kindness and faithfulness from my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28 The girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and Laban ran out to the man at the spring. 30 As soon as he had seen the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he had heard his sister Rebekah’s words—“The man said this to me!”—he went to the man. He was standing there by the camels at the spring.
31 Laban said, “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord. Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32 So the man came to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and feed were given to the camels, and water was brought to wash his feet and the feet of the men with him.
33 A meal was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I have to say.”
So Laban said, “Please speak.”
34 “I am Abraham’s servant,” he said. 35 “The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become rich. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys. 36 Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master in her[cp] old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37 My master put me under this oath: ‘You will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I live 38 but will go to my father’s family and to my clan to take a wife for my son.’ 39 But I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman will not come back with me?’ 40 He said to me, ‘The Lord before whom I have walked will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, and you will take a wife for my son from my clan and from my father’s family. 41 Then you will be free from my oath if you go to my family and they do not give her to you—you will be free from my oath.’
42 “Today when I came to the spring, I prayed: Lord, God of my master Abraham, if only you will make my journey successful! 43 I am standing here at a spring. Let the young woman[cq] who comes out to draw water, and I say to her, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jug,’ 44 and who responds to me, ‘Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels also’—let her be the woman the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.
45 “Before I had finished praying silently, there was Rebekah coming with her jug on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please let me have a drink.’ 46 She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels also.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels. 47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She responded, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 48 Then I knelt low, worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who guided me on the right way to take the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49 Now, if you are going to show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; if not, tell me, and I will go elsewhere.”[cr]
50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter.[cs] 51 Rebekah is here in front of you. Take her and go, and let her be a wife for your master’s son, just as the Lord has spoken.”
52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then he brought out objects of silver and gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious gifts to her brother and her mother. 54 Then he and the men with him ate and drank and spent the night.
When they got up in the morning, he said, “Send me to my master.”
56 But he responded to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has made my journey a success. Send me away so that I may go to my master.”
57 So they said, “Let’s call the girl and ask her opinion.”[cv]
58 They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
She replied, “I will go.” 59 So they sent away their sister Rebekah with the one who had nursed and raised her,[cw] and Abraham’s servant and his men.
60 They blessed Rebekah, saying to her:
Our sister, may you become
61 Then Rebekah and her female servants got up, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62 Now Isaac was returning from Beer-lahai-roi,[cy] for he was living in the Negev region. 63 In the early evening Isaac went out to walk[cz] in the field, and looking up he saw camels coming. 64 Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she got down from her camel 65 and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
The servant answered, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done.
67 And Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah and took Rebekah to be his wife. Isaac loved her, and he was comforted after his mother’s death.
Abraham’s Other Wife and Sons
25 Abraham had taken[da] another wife, whose name was Keturah, 2 and she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan. Dedan’s sons were the Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. 4 And Midian’s sons were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were sons of Keturah. 5 Abraham gave everything he owned to Isaac. 6 But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of his concubines, and while he was still alive he sent them eastward, away from his son Isaac, to the land of the East.
7 This is the length of Abraham’s life:[db] 175 years. 8 He took his last breath and died at a good old age, old and contented,[dc] and he was gathered to his people. 9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hethite. 10 This was the field that Abraham bought from the Hethites. Abraham was buried there with his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who lived near Beer-lahai-roi.
Ishmael’s Family Records
12 These are the family records of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s slave, bore to Abraham. 13 These are the names of Ishmael’s sons; their names according to the family records are Nebaioth, Ishmael’s firstborn, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 These are Ishmael’s sons, and these are their names by their settlements and encampments: twelve leaders[dd] of their clans.[de] 17 This is the length[df] of Ishmael’s life: 137 years. He took his last breath and died, and was gathered to his people. 18 And they[dg] settled from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt as you go toward Asshur.[dh] He[di] stayed near[dj] all his relatives.
The Birth of Jacob and Esau
19 These are the family records of Isaac son of Abraham. Abraham fathered Isaac. 20 Isaac was forty years old when he took as his wife Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The Lord was receptive to his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived. 22 But the children inside her struggled with each other, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” [dk] So she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 And the Lord said to her:
Two nations are in your womb;
24 When her time came to give birth, there were indeed twins in her womb. 25 The first one came out red-looking,[dl] covered with hair[dm] like a fur coat, and they named him Esau. 26 After this, his brother came out grasping Esau’s heel with his hand. So he was named Jacob.[dn] Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.
Esau Sells His Birthright
27 When the boys grew up, Esau became an expert hunter, an outdoorsman,[do] but Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home.[dp] 28 Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for wild game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field exhausted. 30 He said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff, because I’m exhausted.” That is why he was also named Edom.[dq]
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32 “Look,” said Esau, “I’m about to die, so what good is a birthright to me?”
33 Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to Jacob and sold his birthright to him. 34 Then Jacob gave bread and lentil stew to Esau; he ate, drank, got up, and went away. So Esau despised his birthright.