Genesis 16-18Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
16 Now Sarai Avram’s wife had not borne him a child. But she had an Egyptian slave-girl named Hagar; 2 so Sarai said to Avram, “Here now, Adonai has kept me from having children; so go in and sleep with my slave-girl. Maybe I’ll be able to have children through her.” Avram listened to what Sarai said.
3 It was after Avram had lived ten years in the land of Kena‘an that Sarai Avram’s wife took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to Avram her husband to be his wife. 4 Avram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she conceived. But when she became aware that she was pregnant, she looked on her mistress with contempt. 5 Sarai said to Avram, “This outrage being done to me is your fault! True, I gave my slave-girl to you to sleep with; but when she saw that she was pregnant, she began holding me in contempt. May Adonai decide who is right — I or you!” 6 However, Avram answered Sarai, “Look, she’s your slave-girl. Deal with her as you think fit.” Then Sarai treated her so harshly that she ran away from her.
7 The angel of Adonai found her by a spring in the desert, the spring on the road to Shur, 8 and said, “Hagar! Sarai’s slave-girl! Where have you come from, and where are you going?” She answered, “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai.” 9 The angel of Adonai said to her, “Go back to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” 10 The angel of Adonai said to her, “I will greatly increase your descendants; there will be so many that it will be impossible to count them.” 11 The angel of Adonai said to her, “Look, you are pregnant, and you will give birth to a son. You are to call him Yishma‘el [God pays attention] because Adonai has paid attention to your misery. 12 He will be a wild donkey of a man, with his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, living his life at odds with all his kinsmen.”
13 So she named Adonai who had spoken with her El Ro’i [God of seeing], because she said, “Have I really seen the One who sees me [and stayed alive]?” 14 This is why the well has been called Be’er-Lachai-Ro’i [well of the one who lives and sees]; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.
15 Hagar bore Avram a son, and Avram called the son whom Hagar had borne Yishma‘el. 16 Avram was 86 years old when Hagar bore Yishma‘el to Avram.
17 When Avram was 99 years old Adonai appeared to Avram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai [God Almighty]. Walk in my presence and be pure-hearted. 2 I will make my covenant between me and you, and I will increase your numbers greatly.” 3 Avram fell on his face, and God continued speaking with him: 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5 Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations. 6 I will cause you to be very fruitful. I will make nations of you, kings will descend from you.
(vii) 7 “I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you. 8 I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now foreigners, all the land of Kena‘an, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God.”
9 God said to Avraham, “As for you, you are to keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation. 10 Here is my covenant, which you are to keep, between me and you, along with your descendants after you: every male among you is to be circumcised. 11 You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; this will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 Generation after generation, every male among you who is eight days old is to be circumcised, including slaves born within your household and those bought from a foreigner not descended from you. 13 The slave born in your house and the person bought with your money must be circumcised; thus my covenant will be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who will not let himself be circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin — that person will be cut off from his people, because he has broken my covenant.”
15 God said to Avraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are not to call her Sarai [mockery]; her name is to be Sarah [princess]. 16 I will bless her; moreover, I will give you a son by her. Truly I will bless her: she will be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” 17 At this Avraham fell on his face and laughed — he thought to himself, “Will a child be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah give birth at ninety?” 18 Avraham said to God, “If only Yishma‘el could live in your presence!” 19 God answered, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you are to call him Yitz’chak [laughter]. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 But as for Yishma‘el, I have heard you. I have blessed him. I will make him fruitful and give him many descendants. He will father twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Yitz’chak, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.” 22 With that, God finished speaking with Avraham and went up from him.
23 Avraham took Yishma‘el his son, all the slaves born in his house and all who had been bought with his money, every male among the people in Avraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin that very day, just as God had said to him.
(Maftir) 24 Avraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, 25 and Yishma‘el his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 Avraham and Yishma‘el his son were circumcised on the same day; 27 and all the men in his household, both slaves born in his house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
Haftarah Lekh L’kha: Yesha‘yahu (Isaiah) 40:27–41:16
B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah Lekh L’kha: Acts 7:1–8; Romans 3:19–5:6; Galatians 3:15–18; 5:1–6; Colossians 2:11–15; Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 7:1–19; 11:8–12
Parashah 4: Vayera (He appeared) 18:1–22:24
18 Adonai appeared to Avraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the entrance to the tent during the heat of the day. 2 He raised his eyes and looked, and there in front of him stood three men. On seeing them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, prostrated himself on the ground, 3 and said, “My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, please don’t leave your servant. 4 Please let me send for some water, so that you can wash your feet; then rest under the tree, 5 and I will bring a piece of bread. Now that you have come to your servant, refresh yourselves before going on.” “Very well,” they replied, “do what you have said.”
6 Avraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, three measures of the best flour! Knead it and make cakes.” 7 Avraham ran to the herd, took a good, tender calf and gave it to the servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 Then he took curds, milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it all before the men; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate. 9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He said, “There, in the tent.” 10 He said, “I will certainly return to you around this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Sarah heard him from the entrance of the tent, behind him. 11 Avraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, “I am old, and so is my lord; am I to have pleasure again?” 13 Adonai said to Avraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and ask, ‘Am I really going to bear a child when I am so old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for Adonai? At the time set for it, at this season next year, I will return to you; and Sarah will have a son.” (ii) 15 Sarah denied it, saying, “I didn’t either laugh,” because she was afraid. He said, “Not so — you did laugh.”
16 The men set out from there and looked over toward S’dom, and Avraham went with them to see them on their way. 17 Adonai said, “Should I hide from Avraham what I am about to do, 18 inasmuch as Avraham is sure to become a great and strong nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed by him? 19 For I have made myself known to him, so that he will give orders to his children and to his household after him to keep the way of Adonai and to do what is right and just, so that Adonai may bring about for Avraham what he has promised him.”
20 Adonai said, “The outcry against S’dom and ‘Amora is so great and their sin so serious 21 that I will now go down and see whether their deeds warrant the outcry that has reached me; if not, I will know.” 22 The men turned away from there and went toward S’dom, but Avraham remained standing before Adonai. 23 Avraham approached and said, “Will you actually sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Maybe there are fifty righteous people in the city; will you actually sweep the place away, and not forgive it for the sake of the fifty righteous who are there? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing — to kill the righteous along with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike! Far be it from you! Shouldn’t the judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 Adonai said, “If I find in S’dom fifty who are righteous, then I will forgive the whole place for their sake.”
27 Avraham answered, “Here now, I, who am but dust and ashes, have taken it upon myself to speak to Adonai. 28 What if there are five less than fifty righteous?” He said, “I won’t destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29 He spoke to him yet again: “What if forty are found there?” He said, “For the sake of the forty I won’t do it.”
30 He said, “I hope Adonai won’t be angry if I speak. What if thirty are found there?” He said, “I won’t do it if I find thirty there.”
31 He said, “Here now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to Adonai. What if twenty are found there?” He said, “For the sake of the twenty I won’t destroy it.”
32 He said, “I hope Adonai won’t be angry if I speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He said, “For the sake of the ten I won’t destroy it.” 33 Adonai went on his way as soon as he had finished speaking to Avraham, and Avraham returned to his place.
Bereshis 16-18Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
16 Now Sarai Avram’s isha bore him no children; and she had a shifchah, an Egyptian, whose shem was Hagar.
2 And Sarai said unto Avram, Hinei now, Hashem hath restrained me from bearing; go now in unto my shifchah; it may be that I may build family by her. And Avram paid heed to the voice of Sarai.
3 And Sarai Avram’s isha took Hagar her shifchah the Egyptian, after Avram had dwelt ten years in Eretz Kena’an, and gave her to her husband Avram to be his isha.
4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her gevirah was despised in her eyes.
5 And Sarai said unto Avram, My wrong be upon thee; I have given my shifchah unto thy kheyk; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes; Hashem judge between me and thee.
6 But Avram said unto Sarai, Hinei, thy shifchah is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her face.
7 And the Malach Hashem found her by a spring of mayim in the midbar, near the spring on the road to Shur.
8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s shifchah, from where camest thou? And where wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my gevirah Sarai.
9 And the Malach Hashem said unto her, Return to thy gevirah, and submit thyself under her hands.
10 And the Malach Hashem said unto her, I will multiply thy zera exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
11 And the Malach Hashem said unto her, See, thou art with child and shalt bear ben, and shalt call shmo Yishmael; because Hashem shema thy oni (misery).
12 And he will be a pere adam; his yad will be against kol, and kol yad against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
13 And she called the Shem of Hashem Who spoke unto her, El Roi (G-d Who Sees); for she said, Have I also here seen after Him that seeth me?
14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; hinei, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 And Hagar bore Avram ben; and Avram called shem bno, which Hagar bore, Yishmael (Ishmael).
16 And Avram was fourscore and six shanah when Hagar bore Yishmael to Avram.
17 And when Avram was ninety and nine shanah, Hashem appeared to Avram, and said unto him, I am El Shaddai; walk before Me, and be thou tamim (blameless).
2 And I will confirm My brit (covenant) between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
3 And Avram fell on his face; and Elohim talked with him, saying,
4 As for Me, hinei, My brit (covenant) is with thee, and thou shalt be an Av of many Goyim [see 18:18].
5 Neither shall thy shem any more be called Avram, but thy shem shall be Avraham; for Av hamon Goyim (Father of a multitude of Goyim) have I made thee. [T.N. Ga 3:29 says “And if you belong to Moshiach (YESHAYAH 53:10), then you are of the ZERAH of Avraham Avinu, you are yoreshim (heirs) according to the havtachah (promise).]
6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make Goyim of thee, and Melechim shall come out of thee.
7 And I will establish My Brit (covenant) between Me and thee and thy zera after thee in their dorot for a Brit Olam, to be Elohim unto thee, and to thy zera after thee.
8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy zera after thee, the Eretz wherein thou art now a ger, kol Eretz Kena’an, for an Achuzzah (Possession) Olam (Everlasting); and I will be their Elohim.
9 And Elohim said unto Avraham, Thou shalt be shomer over My Brit therefore, thou, and thy zera after thee in the dorot.
10 This is My Brit (covenant), which ye shall be shomer over, between Me and you and thy zera after thee; every zachar among you shall be circumcised.
11 And ye shall circumcise the basar of your arelah; and it shall be an ot brit (sign of the covenant) between Me and you.
12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every zachar in your dorot, he that is born in the bais, or bought with kesef of any foreigner, which is not of thy zera.
13 He that is born in thy bais, and he that is bought with thy kesef, must be circumcised; and My Brit shall be in your basar for a Brit Olam.
14 And the arel (uncircumcised) zachar whose basar of his arelah (foreskin) is not circumcised, that nefesh shall be cut off from his people; My Brit hefer (he broke).
15 And Elohim said unto Avraham, As for Sarai thy isha, thou shalt not call her shem Sarai, but Sarah (Princess) shall her shem be.
16 And I will bless her, and give thee ben also of her; yes, will bless her, and she shall give rise to Goyim; melechim of peoples shall be from her.
17 Then Avraham fell upon his face, and yitzchak (laughed), and said in his lev, Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred shanah? And shall Sarah, that is ninety shanah, bear?
18 And Avraham said unto HaElohim, O that Yishmael might live before Thee!
19 And Elohim said, Sarah thy isha shall bear thee ben indeed; and thou shalt call shmo Yitzchak; and I will establish My Brit (covenant) with him for a Brit Olam, and with his zera after him.
20 And as for Yishmael, I have heard thee; hinei, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve nasi’im (princes, rulers) shall he father, and I will make him a goy gadol (great nation).
21 But My Brit (covenant) will I establish with Yitzchak, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at mo’ed hazeh (this set time) next year.
22 And He left off speaking with him, and Elohim went up from Avraham.
23 And Avraham took Yishmael bno, and all that were born in his bais, and all that were bought with his kesef, every zachar among the men of Avraham’s bais; and circumcised the basar of their arelah in the very same day, as Elohim had said unto him.
24 And Avraham was ninety shanah and nine, when he was circumcised in the basar of his arelah.
25 And Yishmael bno was thirteen shanah, when he was circumcised in the basar of his arelah (foreskin).
26 In the very same day was Avraham circumcised, and Yishmael bno.
27 And all the men of his bais, born in the bais, and bought with kesef of the foreigner, were circumcised with him.
18 And Hashem appeared unto him in the terebinth trees of Mamre; and he sat in the entrance of the ohel (tent) in the heat of the day;
2 And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, hinei, Shloshah Anashim (Three Men, [Yeshayah 6:3]) stood by him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the entrance of the ohel, and prostrated himself on the ground,
3 And said, Adonoi [Hashem, see v.13], if now I have found chen (favor) in Thy sight, pass not on by, please, from Thy servant;
4 Let a little water, please, be brought, and wash Thy feet, and rest under haetz (the tree);
5 And I will bring a morsel of bread, and refresh Ye Your hearts; after that Ye shall pass on; because for this purpose are Ye come to Your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
6 And Avraham hastened into the ohel unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly shlosh measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes.
7 And Avraham ran unto the herd, and brought a calf tender and tov, and gave it unto a servant; and he hasted to prepare it.
8 And he took curds, and cholov (milk), and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under haetz, and they did eat.
9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Hinei, in the ohel.
10 And He said, I will certainly return unto thee at this time next year; and, hinei, Sarah thy wife shall have ben (son). And Sarah heard it in the entrance of the ohel, which was behind him.
11 Now Avraham and Sarah were zekenim (old ones) and well stricken in age; and [in childbearing] it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
12 Therefore Sarah laughed [titzchak, sounds like Yitzchak] within herself, saying, After I am grown old shall I have pleasure, adoni being old also?
13 And Hashem said unto Avraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I which am old of a surety bear a child?
14 Is any thing too hard for Hashem? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, in due season, and Sarah shall have ben (son).
15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And He said, Oh yes but thou didst laugh.
16 And the Anashim rose up from thence, and peered toward S’dom; and Avraham went with them to send them on the way.
17 And Hashem said, Shall I hide from Avraham that thing which I do;
18 Seeing that Avraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and kol goyei ha’aretz (all the nations of the earth) shall be blessed in him?
19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall be shomer over the Derech Hashem, to do tzedakah and mishpat; that Hashem may bring upon Avraham that which He hath spoken [promised] of him.
20 And Hashem said, Because the outcry of S’dom and Amora is great, and because their sin is very grievous;
21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the crying out [for punishment] of it, which is come unto Me; and if not, I will have da’as.
22 And the Men turned their faces from thence, and went toward S’dom; but Avraham stood yet before Hashem.
23 And Avraham drew near, and said, Wilt Thou also destroy the tzaddik with the rasha?
24 Suppose there be fifty tzaddikim within the city; wilt Thou also destroy and not nasa (spare [take away and bear the guilt of, Yeshayah 53:12]) the place lema’an (for the sake of) the fifty tzaddikim that are therein? [IK 3:18]
25 That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the tzaddik with the rasha; and that the tzaddik should be as the rasha, that be far from Thee: Shall not HaShofet Kol Ha’Aretz (the Judge of All the Earth) do mishpat (right)?
26 And Hashem said, If I find in S’dom fifty tzaddikim within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
27 And Avraham answered and said, Hinei now, I, which am but aphar and ashes, have taken upon me to speak unto Hashem;
28 Suppose there shall lack five of the fifty tzaddikim; wilt Thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And He said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
29 And he spoke unto Him yet again, and said, Suppose there shall be forty found there. And He said, I will not do it for forty’s sake.
30 And he said unto Him, Oh let not Hashem be angry, and I will speak; suppose there shall thirty be found there. And He said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
31 And he said, Hinei now, I have taken upon me to speak unto Hashem: suppose there shall be twenty found there. And He said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.
32 And he said, Oh let not Hashem be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: suppose asarah (ten, i.e., a minyan) shall be found there. And He said, I will not destroy it for the sake of haasarah (the ten).
33 And Hashem went His way, as soon as He had left communing with Avraham; and Avraham returned unto his makom.