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Genesis 16-17 Common English Bible (CEB)

Hagar and the Ishmaelites’ origins

16 Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to have children. Since she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar, Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from giving birth, so go to my servant. Maybe she will provide me with children.” Abram did just as Sarai said. After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took her Egyptian servant Hagar and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when she realized that she was pregnant, she no longer respected her mistress. Sarai said to Abram, “This harassment is your fault. I allowed you to embrace my servant, but when she realized she was pregnant, I lost her respect. Let the Lord decide who is right, you or me.”

Abram said to Sarai, “Since she’s your servant, do whatever you wish to her.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and she ran away from Sarai.

The Lord’s messenger found Hagar at a spring in the desert, the spring on the road to Shur, and said, “Hagar! Sarai’s servant! Where did you come from and where are you going?”

She said, “From Sarai my mistress. I’m running away.”

The Lord’s messenger said to her, “Go back to your mistress. Put up with her harsh treatment of you.” 10 The Lord’s messenger also said to her,

“I will give you many children,
        so many they can’t be counted!”

11 The Lord’s messenger said to her,

“You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son.
        You will name him Ishmael[a]
        because the Lord has heard about your harsh treatment.
12 He will be a wild mule of a man;
        he will fight everyone, and they will fight him.
        He will live at odds with all his relatives.”[b]

13 Hagar named the Lord who spoke to her, “You are El Roi”[c] because she said, “Can I still see after he saw me?”[d] 14 Therefore, that well is called Beer-lahai-roi;[e] it’s the well between Kadesh and Bered. 15 Hagar gave birth to a son for Abram, and Abram named him Ishmael. 16 Abram was 86 years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael for Abram.

God’s covenant with Abraham

17 When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai.[f] Walk with me and be trustworthy. I will make a covenant between us and I will give you many, many descendants.” Abram fell on his face, and God said to him, “But me, my covenant is with you; you will be the ancestor of many nations. And because I have made you the ancestor of many nations, your name will no longer be Abram[g] but Abraham.[h] I will make you very fertile. I will produce nations from you, and kings will come from you. I will set up my covenant with you and your descendants after you in every generation as an enduring covenant. I will be your God and your descendants’ God after you. I will give you and your descendants the land in which you are immigrants, the whole land of Canaan, as an enduring possession. And I will be their God.”

God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants in every generation. 10 This is my covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Circumcise every male. 11 You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it will be a symbol of the covenant between us. 12 On the eighth day after birth, every male in every generation must be circumcised, including those who are not your own children: those born in your household and those purchased with silver from foreigners. 13 Be sure you circumcise those born in your household and those purchased with your silver. Your flesh will embody my covenant as an enduring covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male whose flesh of his foreskin remains uncircumcised will be cut off from his people. He has broken my covenant.”

15 God said to Abraham, “As for your wife Sarai, you will no longer call her Sarai. Her name will now be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and even give you a son from her. I will bless her so that she will become nations, and kings of peoples will come from her.”

17 Abraham fell on his face and laughed. He said to himself, Can a 100-year-old man become a father, or Sarah, a 90-year-old woman, have a child? 18 To God Abraham said, “If only you would accept Ishmael!”

19 But God said, “No, your wife Sarah will give birth to a son for you, and you will name him Isaac.[i] I will set up my covenant with him and with his descendants after him as an enduring covenant. 20 As for Ishmael, I’ve heard your request. I will bless him and make him fertile and give him many, many descendants. He will be the ancestor of twelve tribal leaders, and I will make a great nation of him. 21 But I will set up my covenant with Isaac, who will be born to Sarah at this time next year.” 22 When God finished speaking to him, God ascended, leaving Abraham alone.

23 Abraham took his son Ishmael, all those born in his household, and all those purchased with his silver—that is, every male in Abraham’s household—and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that same day, just as God had told him to do. 24 Abraham was 99 years old when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, 25 and his son Ishmael was 13 years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised. 26 That same day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27 All the men of his household, those born in his household and those purchased with silver from foreigners, were circumcised with him.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 16:11 Or God hears
  2. Genesis 16:12 Or He will reside near all his relatives.
  3. Genesis 16:13 Or God who sees or God whom I’ve seen
  4. Genesis 16:13 Heb uncertain; or Have I really seen God and survived?
  5. Genesis 16:14 Or the Well of the Living One who sees me or whom I’ve seen
  6. Genesis 17:1 Or God Almighty or God of the Mountain
  7. Genesis 17:5 Or exalted ancestor
  8. Genesis 17:5 Or ancestor of a multitude
  9. Genesis 17:19 Or he laughs
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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