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Genesis 18Common English Bible (CEB)

Isaac’s birth announced

18 The Lord appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre while he sat at the entrance of his tent in the day’s heat. He looked up and suddenly saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from his tent entrance to greet them and bowed deeply. He said, “Sirs, if you would be so kind, don’t just pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought so you may wash your feet and refresh yourselves under the tree. Let me offer you a little bread so you will feel stronger, and after that you may leave your servant and go on your way—since you have visited your servant.”

They responded, “Fine. Do just as you have said.”

So Abraham hurried to Sarah at his tent and said, “Hurry! Knead three seahs[a] of the finest flour and make some baked goods!” Abraham ran to the cattle, took a healthy young calf, and gave it to a young servant, who prepared it quickly. Then Abraham took butter, milk, and the calf that had been prepared, put the food in front of them, and stood under the tree near them as they ate.

They said to him, “Where’s your wife Sarah?”

And he said, “Right here in the tent.”

10 Then one of the men said, “I will definitely return to you about this time next year. Then your wife Sarah will have a son!”

Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were both very old. Sarah was no longer menstruating. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, I’m no longer able to have children and my husband’s old.

13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Me give birth? At my age?’ 14 Is anything too difficult for the Lord? When I return to you about this time next year, Sarah will have a son.”

15 Sarah lied and said, “I didn’t laugh,” because she was frightened.

But he said, “No, you laughed.”

Abraham pleads for Sodom

16 The men got up from there and went over to look down on Sodom. Abraham was walking along with them to send them off 17 when the Lord said, “Will I keep from Abraham what I’m about to do? 18 Abraham will certainly become a great populous nation, and all the earth’s nations will be blessed because of him. 19 I have formed a relationship with him so that he will instruct his children and his household after him. And they will keep to the Lord’s path, being moral and just so that the Lord can do for Abraham everything he said he would.” 20 Then the Lord said, “The cries of injustice from Sodom and Gomorrah are countless, and their sin is very serious! 21 I will go down now to examine the cries of injustice that have reached me. Have they really done all this? If not, I want to know.”

22 The men turned away and walked toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing in front of the Lord.[b] 23 Abraham approached and said, “Will you really sweep away the innocent[c] with the guilty?[d] 24 What if there are fifty innocent people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not save the place for the sake of the fifty innocent people in it? 25 It’s not like you to do this, killing the innocent with the guilty as if there were no difference. It’s not like you! Will the judge of all the earth not act justly?”

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will save it because of them.”

27 Abraham responded, “Since I’ve already decided to speak with my Lord, even though I’m just soil and ash, 28 what if there are five fewer innocent people than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city over just five?”

The Lord said, “If I find forty-five there, I won’t destroy it.”

29 Once again Abraham spoke, “What if forty are there?”

The Lord said, “For the sake of forty, I will do nothing.”

30 He said, “Don’t be angry with me, my Lord, but let me speak. What if thirty are there?”

The Lord said, “I won’t do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Abraham said, “Since I’ve already decided to speak with my Lord, what if twenty are there?”

The Lord said, “I won’t do it, for the sake of twenty.”

32 Abraham said, “Don’t be angry with me, my Lord, but let me speak just once more. What if there are ten?”

And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it because of those ten.” 33 When the Lord finished speaking with Abraham, he left; but Abraham stayed there in that place.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 18:6 One seah is seven and a half quarts.
  2. Genesis 18:22 Some ancient manuscripts read but the Lord remained standing in front of Abraham.
  3. Genesis 18:23 Or righteous
  4. Genesis 18:23 Or wicked
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Genesis 21Common English Bible (CEB)

Isaac’s birth

21 The Lord was attentive to Sarah just as he had said, and the Lord carried out just what he had promised her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham when he was old, at the very time God had told him. Abraham named his son—the one Sarah bore him—Isaac.[a] Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old just as God had commanded him. Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born. Sarah said, “God has given me laughter. Everyone who hears about it will laugh with me.”[b] She said, “Who could have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse sons? But now I’ve given birth to a son when he was old!”

Hagar and Ishmael evicted

The boy grew and stopped nursing. On the day he stopped nursing, Abraham prepared a huge banquet. Sarah saw Hagar’s son laughing, the one Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham. 10 So she said to Abraham, “Send this servant away with her son! This servant’s son won’t share the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

11 This upset Abraham terribly because the boy was his son. 12 God said to Abraham, “Don’t be upset about the boy and your servant. Do everything Sarah tells you to do because your descendants will be traced through Isaac. 13 But I will make of your servant’s son a great nation too, because he is also your descendant.” 14 Abraham got up early in the morning, took some bread and a flask of water, and gave it to Hagar. He put the boy in her shoulder sling and sent her away.

She left and wandered through the desert near Beer-sheba. 15 Finally the water in the flask ran out, and she put the boy down under one of the desert shrubs. 16 She walked away from him about as far as a bow shot and sat down, telling herself, I can’t bear to see the boy die. She sat at a distance, cried out in grief, and wept.

17 God heard the boy’s cries, and God’s messenger called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “Hagar! What’s wrong? Don’t be afraid. God has heard the boy’s cries over there. 18 Get up, pick up the boy, and take him by the hand because I will make of him a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well. She went over, filled the water flask, and gave the boy a drink. 20 God remained with the boy; he grew up, lived in the desert, and became an expert archer. 21 He lived in the Paran desert, and his mother found him an Egyptian wife.

Abraham’s treaty with the Philistines

22 At that time Abimelech, and Phicol commander of his forces, said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything that you do. 23 So give me your word under God that you won’t cheat me, my children, or my descendants. Just as I have treated you fairly, so you must treat me and the land in which you are an immigrant.”

24 Abraham said, “I give you my word.” 25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well that Abimelech’s servants had seized.

26 Abimelech said, “I don’t know who has done this, and you didn’t tell me. I didn’t even hear about it until today.” 27 Abraham took flocks and cattle, gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them drew up a treaty.[c] 28 Abraham set aside, by themselves, seven female lambs from the flock. 29 So Abimelech said to Abraham, “What are these seven lambs you’ve set apart?”

30 Abraham said, “These seven lambs that you take from me will attest that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore, the name of that place is Beer-sheba[d] because there they gave each other their word. 32 After they drew up a treaty[e] at Beer-sheba, Abimelech, and Phicol commander of his forces, returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and he worshipped there in the name of the Lord, El Olam.[f] 34 Abraham lived as an immigrant in the Philistines’ land for a long time.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 21:3 Or he laughs
  2. Genesis 21:6 Or God has made a joke of me. Everyone who hears about it will laugh at me.
  3. Genesis 21:27 Or covenant
  4. Genesis 21:31 Or Well of seven; or Well of giving one’s word
  5. Genesis 21:32 Or covenant
  6. Genesis 21:33 Or the eternal God
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Genesis 22Common English Bible (CEB)

Binding of Isaac

22 After these events, God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”

Abraham answered, “I’m here.”

God said, “Take your son, your only son whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah. Offer him up as an entirely burned offering there on one of the mountains that I will show you.” Abraham got up early in the morning, harnessed his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, together with his son Isaac. He split the wood for the entirely burned offering, set out, and went to the place God had described to him.

On the third day, Abraham looked up and saw the place at a distance. Abraham said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will walk up there, worship, and then come back to you.”

Abraham took the wood for the entirely burned offering and laid it on his son Isaac. He took the fire and the knife in his hand, and the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father?”

Abraham said, “I’m here, my son.”

Isaac said, “Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the entirely burned offering?”

Abraham said, “The lamb for the entirely burned offering? God will see to it,[a] my son.” The two of them walked on together.

They arrived at the place God had described to him. Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He tied up his son Isaac and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11 But the Lord’s messenger called out to Abraham from heaven, “Abraham? Abraham?”

Abraham said, “I’m here.”

12 The messenger said, “Don’t stretch out your hand against the young man, and don’t do anything to him. I now know that you revere God and didn’t hold back your son, your only son, from me.” 13 Abraham looked up and saw a single ram[b] caught by its horns in the dense underbrush. Abraham went over, took the ram, and offered it as an entirely burned offering instead of his son. 14 Abraham named that place “the Lord sees.”[c] That is the reason people today say, “On this mountain the Lord is seen.”[d]

15 The Lord’s messenger called out to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I give my word as the Lord that because you did this and didn’t hold back your son, your only son, 17 I will bless you richly and I will give you countless descendants, as many as the stars in the sky and as the grains of sand on the seashore. They will conquer their enemies’ cities. 18 All the nations of the earth will be blessed because of your descendants, because you obeyed me.” 19 After Abraham returned to the young men, they got up and went to Beer-sheba where Abraham lived.

Abraham’s nephews in Syria

20 After these events, Abraham was told: “Milcah has now also given birth to sons for your brother Nahor. 21 They are Uz his oldest son, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These are the eight Milcah bore for Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 His secondary wife’s name was Reumah, and she gave birth to Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 22:8 Or God will see; or God will provide
  2. Genesis 22:13 LXX, Sam, Syr, Tg; MT a ram behind
  3. Genesis 22:14 Or the Lord is seen; or the Lord provides
  4. Genesis 22:14 Or the Lord sees; or on the Lord’s mountain, it will be provided
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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