Genesis 21International Children’s Bible (ICB)
A Baby for Sarah
21 The Lord cared for Sarah as he had said. He did for her what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant. And she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. Everything happened at the time God had said it would. 3 Abraham named his son Isaac. Sarah gave birth to this son of Abraham. 4 Abraham circumcised Isaac when he was eight days old as God had commanded.
5 Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born. 6 And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh.[a] Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. 7 No one thought that I would be able to have Abraham’s child. But I have given Abraham a son while he is old.”
Hagar and Ishmael
8 Isaac grew and became old enough to eat food. At that time Abraham gave a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw Ishmael making fun of Isaac. (Ishmael was the son of Abraham by Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian slave.) 10 So Sarah said to Abraham, “Throw out this slave woman and her son. When we die, our son Isaac will inherit everything we have. I don’t want her son to inherit any of our things.”
11 This troubled Abraham very much because Ishmael was also his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Don’t be troubled about the boy and the slave woman. Do whatever Sarah tells you. The descendants I promised you will be from Isaac. 13 I will also make the descendants of Ishmael into a great nation. I will do this because he is your son, too.”
14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a leather bag full of water. He gave them to Hagar and sent her away. Hagar carried these things and her son. She went and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
15 Later, all the water was gone from the bag. So Hagar put her son under a bush. 16 Then she went away a short distance and sat down. Hagar thought, “My son will die. I cannot watch this happen.” She sat there and began to cry.
17 God heard the boy crying. And God’s angel called to Hagar from heaven. He said, “What is wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid! God has heard the boy crying there. 18 Help the boy up. Take him by the hand. I will make his descendants into a great nation.”
19 Then God showed Hagar a well of water. So she went to the well and filled her bag with water. Then she gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up. Ishmael lived in the desert. He learned to shoot with a bow very well. 21 He lived in the Desert of Paran. His mother found a wife for him in Egypt.
Abraham’s Bargain with Abimelech
22 Then Abimelech came with Phicol, the commander of Abimelech’s army. They said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23 So make a promise to me here before God. Promise that you will be fair with me and my children and my descendants. Be kind to me and to this land where you have lived as a stranger. Be as kind to me as I have been to you.”
24 And Abraham said, “I promise.” 25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about Abimelech’s servants. They had captured a well of water.
26 But Abimelech said, “I don’t know who did this. You never told me about this before today.”
27 Then Abraham gave Abimelech some sheep and cattle. And they made an agreement. 28 Abraham also put seven female lambs in front of Abimelech.
29 Abimelech asked Abraham, “Why did you put these seven female lambs by themselves?”
30 Abraham answered, “Accept these lambs from me. That will prove that you believe I dug this well.”
31 So that place was called Beersheba[b] because they made a promise to each other there.
32 So Abraham and Abimelech made an agreement at Beersheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, went back to the land of the Philistines.
33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba. There Abraham prayed to the Lord, the God who lives forever. 34 And Abraham lived as a stranger in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
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