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Genesis 21 New Century Version (NCV)

A Baby for Sarah

21 The Lord cared for Sarah as he had said and did for her what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. Everything happened at the time God had said it would. Abraham named his son Isaac, the son Sarah gave birth to. He circumcised Isaac when he was eight days old as God had commanded.

Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born. And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh.[a] Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. No one thought that I would be able to have Abraham’s child, but even though Abraham is old I have given him a son.”

Hagar and Ishmael Leave

Isaac grew, and when he became old enough to eat food, Abraham gave a great feast. 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. Her son should not inherit anything; my son Isaac should receive it all.”

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 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. Carrying these things and her son, Hagar went and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.

15 Later, when all the water was gone from the bag, Hagar put her son under a bush. 16 Then she went away a short distance and sat down. She thought, “My son will die, and 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 him up and 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 and gave the boy a drink.

20 God was with the boy as he grew up. Ishmael lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 He lived in the Desert of Paran, and his mother found a wife for him in Egypt.

Abraham’s Bargain with Abimelech

22 Then Abimelech came with Phicol, the commander of his army, and said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23 So make a promise to me here before God 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—as kind as I have been to you.”

24 And Abraham said, “I promise.” 25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about Abimelech’s servants who had seized 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 to 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 After Abraham and Abimelech made the agreement at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, went back to the land of the Philistines.

33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba and 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.

Footnotes:

  1. 21:6 laugh The Hebrew words for “he laughed” and “Isaac” sound the same.
  2. 21:31 Beersheba This name means “well of the promise” or “well of seven.”
New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Genesis 21 New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Isaac

21 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac[a] to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring[b] will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she[c] began to sob.

17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.

19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.

The Treaty at Beersheba

22 At that time Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23 Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you now reside as a foreigner the same kindness I have shown to you.”

24 Abraham said, “I swear it.”

25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelek about a well of water that Abimelek’s servants had seized. 26 But Abimelek said, “I don’t know who has done this. You did not tell me, and I heard about it only today.”

27 So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelek, and the two men made a treaty. 28 Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock, 29 and Abimelek asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?”

30 He replied, “Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this well.

31 So that place was called Beersheba,[d] because the two men swore an oath there.

32 After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God. 34 And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 21:3 Isaac means he laughs.
  2. Genesis 21:12 Or seed
  3. Genesis 21:16 Hebrew; Septuagint the child
  4. Genesis 21:31 Beersheba can mean well of seven and well of the oath.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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