The Birth of Isaac

21 The Lord came to Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what He had promised.(A) Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time God had told him.(B) Abraham named his son who was born to him—the one Sarah bore to him—Isaac.(C) When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him.(D) Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him.(E)

Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and everyone who hears will laugh with me.”[a](F) She also said, “Who would have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne a son for him[b] in his old age.”

Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son mocking[c]—the one Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham.(G) 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!”(H)

11 Now this was a very difficult thing for[d] Abraham because of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be concerned[e] about the boy and your slave. Whatever Sarah says to you, listen to her, because your offspring will be traced through Isaac.(I) 13 But I will also make a nation of the slave’s son(J) 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.[f] 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 Then she went and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I can’t bear to watch the boy die!” So as she sat nearby, she[g] wept loudly.(K)

17 God heard the voice of the boy, and the[h] 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 voice of the boy from the place where he is. 18 Get up, help the boy up, and support him, for I will make him a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes,(L) and she saw a well of water. 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,(M) said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do.(N) 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 foreign resident.”

24 And Abraham said, “I swear it.” 25 But Abraham complained to Abimelech because of the water well that Abimelech’s servants had seized.(O)

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 sheep and cattle[i] and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant.(P) 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 my hand so that this act[j] will serve as my witness that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore that place was called Beer-sheba[k](Q) 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 Yahweh, the Everlasting God.(R) 34 And Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines for many days.


  1. Genesis 21:6 Isaac = He laughs; Gn 17:19
  2. Genesis 21:7 Sam, Tg Jonathan; MT omits him
  3. Genesis 21:9 LXX, Vg add Isaac her son
  4. Genesis 21:11 Lit was very bad in the eyes of
  5. Genesis 21:12 Lit Let it not be bad in your eyes
  6. Genesis 21:14 To “send away” a woman = divorce her; Dt 24:1. To “send away” a slave = free her; Dt 15:13.
  7. Genesis 21:16 LXX reads the boy
  8. Genesis 21:17 Or an
  9. Genesis 21:27 A covenant or treaty was regularly ratified by animal sacrifice (Gn 8:20–9:9; 15:9-17; Ex 24:8) and often involved an exchange of gifts (1Kg 15:19; Hs 12:1). The animals here could serve both purposes.
  10. Genesis 21:30 Lit that it
  11. Genesis 21:31 = Well of the Oath, or Seven Wells

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