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Genesis 21-22Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

21 Adonai remembered Sarah as he had said, and Adonai did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah conceived and bore Avraham a son in his old age, at the very time God had said to him. Avraham called his son, born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Yitz’chak. Avraham circumcised his son Yitz’chak when he was eight days old, as God had ordered him to do.

(v) Avraham was one hundred years old when his son Yitz’chak [laughter] was born to him. Sarah said, “God has given me good reason to laugh; now everyone who hears about it will laugh with me.” And she said, “Who would have said to Avraham that Sarah would nurse children? Nevertheless, I have borne him a son in his old age!”

The child grew and was weaned, and Avraham gave a great banquet on the day that Yitz’chak was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom Hagar had borne to Avraham, making fun of Yitz’chak; 10 so Sarah said to Avraham, “Throw this slave-girl out! And her son! I will not have this slave-girl’s son as your heir along with my son Yitz’chak!”

11 Avraham became very distressed over this matter of his son. 12 But God said to Avraham, “Don’t be distressed because of the boy and your slave-girl. Listen to everything Sarah says to you, because it is your descendants through Yitz’chak who will be counted. 13 But I will also make a nation from the son of the slave-girl, since he is descended from you.”

14 Avraham got up early in the morning, took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child; then he sent her away. After leaving, she wandered in the desert around Be’er-Sheva. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she left the child under a bush, 16 and went and sat down, looking the other way, about a bow-shot’s distance from him; because she said, “I can’t bear to watch my child die.” So she sat there, looking the other way, crying out and weeping. 17 God heard the boy’s voice, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong with you, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, because God has heard the voice of the boy in his present situation. 18 Get up, lift the boy up, and hold him tightly in your hand, because I am going to make him a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went, filled the skin with water and gave the boy water to drink.

20 God was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 He lived in the Pa’ran Desert, and his mother chose a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

(vi) 22 At that time Avimelekh and Pikhol the commander of his army spoke to Avraham. They said, “God is with you in everything you do. 23 Therefore, swear to me here by God that you will never deal falsely with me or with my son or grandson; but according to the kindness with which I have treated you, you will treat me and the land in which you have lived as a foreigner. 24 Avraham said, “I swear it.”

25 Now Avraham had complained to Avimelekh about a well which Avimelekh’s servants had seized. 26 Avimelekh answered, “I don’t know who has done this. You didn’t tell me, and I heard about it only today.” 27 Avraham took sheep and cattle and gave them to Avimelekh, and the two of them made a covenant. 28 Avraham put seven female lambs from the flock by themselves. 29 Avimelekh asked Avraham, “What is the meaning of these seven female lambs you have put by themselves?” 30 He answered, “You are to accept these seven female lambs from me as witness that I dug this well.” 31 This is why that place was called Be’er-Sheva [well of seven, well of an oath] — because they both swore an oath there. 32 When they made the covenant at Be’er-Sheva, Avimelekh departed with Pikhol the commander of his army and returned to the land of the P’lishtim. 33 Avraham planted a tamarisk tree in Be’er-Sheva, and there he called on the name of Adonai, the everlasting God. 34 Avraham lived for a long time as a foreigner in the land of the P’lishtim.

22 (vii) After these things, God tested Avraham. He said to him, “Avraham!” and he answered, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitz’chak; and go to the land of Moriyah. There you are to offer him as a burnt offering on a mountain that I will point out to you.”

Avraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, together with Yitz’chak his son. He cut the wood for the burnt offering, departed and went toward the place God had told him about. On the third day, Avraham raised his eyes and saw the place in the distance. Avraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey. I and the boy will go there, worship and return to you.” Avraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on Yitz’chak his son. Then he took in his hand the fire and the knife, and they both went on together.

Yitz’chak spoke to Avraham his father: “My father?” He answered, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “I see the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Avraham replied, “God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son”; and they both went on together.

They came to the place God had told him about; and Avraham built the altar there, set the wood in order, bound Yitz’chak his son and laid him on the altar, on the wood. 10 Then Avraham put out his hand and took the knife to kill his son.

11 But the angel of Adonai called to him out of heaven: “Avraham? Avraham!” He answered, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Don’t lay your hand on the boy! Don’t do anything to him! For now I know that you are a man who fears God, because you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 Avraham raised his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. Avraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 Avraham called the place Adonai Yir’eh [Adonai will see (to it), Adonai provides] — as it is said to this day, “On the mountain Adonai is seen.”

15 The angel of Adonai called to Avraham a second time out of heaven. 16 He said, “I have sworn by myself — says Adonai that because you have done this, because you haven’t withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will most certainly bless you; and I will most certainly increase your descendants to as many as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will possess the cities of their enemies, 18 and by your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed — because you obeyed my order.”

19 So Avraham returned to his young men. They got up and went together to Be’er-Sheva, and Avraham settled in Be’er-Sheva.

(Maftir) 20 Afterwards, Avraham was told, “Milkah too has borne children, to your brother Nachor — 21 ‘Utz his firstborn, Buz his brother, K’mu’el the father of Aram, 22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Yidlaf and B’tu’el. 23 B’tu’el fathered Rivkah. These eight Milkah bore to Nachor Avraham’s brother. 24 His concubine, whose name was Re’umah, bore children also: Tevach, Gacham, Tachash and Ma‘akhah.

Haftarah Vayera: M’lakhim Bet (2 Kings) 4:1–37 (A); 4:1–23 (S)

B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah Vayera: Luke 17:26 –37; Romans 9:6 – 9; Galatians 4:21–31; Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 6:13–20; 11:13–19; Ya‘akov (James) 2:14–24; 2 Kefa (2 Peter) 2:4–10

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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