English Standard Version
The Call of Abram
12 Now (A)the Lord said[a] to Abram, “Go from your country[b] and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 (B)And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 (C)I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and (D)in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”[c]
4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from (E)Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram (F)passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to (G)the oak[d] of (H)Moreh. At that time (I)the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, (J)“To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved to the hill country on the east of (K)Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. 9 And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.
Abram and Sarai in Egypt
10 Now (L)there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they (M)will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
17 But the Lord (N)afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.
Abram and Lot Separate
13 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, (O)into the Negeb.
2 (P)Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to (Q)the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord. 5 And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, 6 so that (R)the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, 7 (S)and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. At that time (T)the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land.
8 Then Abram said to Lot, (U)“Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, (V)for we are kinsmen.[e] 9 (W)Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the (X)Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like (Y)the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of (Z)Zoar. (This was before the Lord (AA)destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. 12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13 Now the men of Sodom (AB)were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.
14 The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, (AC)northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for all the land that you see I will give (AD)to you and (AE)to your offspring forever. 16 (AF)I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. 17 Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” 18 So Abram moved his tent and came and (AG)settled by the (AH)oaks[f] of Mamre, which (AI)are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.
Abram Rescues Lot
14 In the days of Amraphel king of (AJ)Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of (AK)Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, 2 these kings made war with (AL)Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of (AM)Admah, Shemeber king of (AN)Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 3 And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim ((AO)that is, the Salt Sea). 4 Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the (AP)Rephaim in (AQ)Ashteroth-karnaim, the (AR)Zuzim in Ham, the (AS)Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6 and the (AT)Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as (AU)El-paran on the border of the wilderness. 7 Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, (AV)Kadesh) and defeated all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who were dwelling (AW)in Hazazon-tamar.
8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim 9 with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of (AX)bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled (AY)to the hill country. 11 So the enemy took (AZ)all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 12 They also took Lot, (BA)the son of Abram's brother, (BB)who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.
13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, (BC)who was living by the (BD)oaks[g] of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, (BE)born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as (BF)Dan. 15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot (BG)with his possessions, and the women and the people.
Abram Blessed by Melchizedek
17 After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the (BH)King's Valley). 18 And (BI)Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was (BJ)priest of (BK)God Most High.) 19 And he blessed him and said,
And Abram gave him (BN)a tenth of everything. 21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, (BO)“I have lifted my hand[i] to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that (BP)I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let (BQ)Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.”
God's Covenant with Abram
15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: (BR)“Fear not, Abram, I am (BS)your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue[j] childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and (BT)a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; (BU)your very own son[k] shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and (BV)number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, (BW)“So shall your offspring be.” 6 And (BX)he believed the Lord, and (BY)he counted it to him as righteousness.
7 And he said to him, “I am the Lord who (BZ)brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans (CA)to give you this land to possess.” 8 But he said, “O Lord God, (CB)how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he brought him all these, (CC)cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But (CD)he did not cut the birds in half. 11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was going down, a (CE)deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain (CF)that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and (CG)they will be afflicted for (CH)four hundred years. 14 But (CI)I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward (CJ)they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; (CK)you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for (CL)the iniquity of the Amorites (CM)is not yet complete.”
17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, (CN)“To your offspring I give[l] this land, from (CO)the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”
Sarai and Hagar
16 (CP)Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was (CQ)Hagar. 2 And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children[m] by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 So, after Abram (CR)had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. 4 And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, (CS)she looked with contempt on her mistress.[n] 5 And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May (CT)the Lord judge between you and me!” 6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.
7 The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to (CU)Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” 9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel of the Lord also said to her, (CV)“I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 11 And the angel of the Lord said to her,
“Behold, you are pregnant
and shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,[o]
(CW)because the Lord has listened to your affliction.
12 He shall be (CX)a wild donkey of a man,
his hand against everyone
and everyone's hand against him,
and he shall dwell (CY)over against all his kinsmen.”
13 So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,”[p] for she said, (CZ)“Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”[q] 14 Therefore the well was called (DA)Beer-lahai-roi;[r] it lies between (DB)Kadesh and Bered.
15 And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision
17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty;[s] walk before me, and be (DC)blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and (DD)may multiply you greatly.” 3 Then Abram (DE)fell on his face. And God said to him, 4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be (DF)the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram,[t] but (DG)your name shall be Abraham,[u] (DH)for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make (DI)you into nations, and (DJ)kings shall come from you. 7 And I will (DK)establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, (DL)to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And (DM)I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and (DN)I will be their God.”
9 And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a (DO)sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is (DP)eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or (DQ)bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
Isaac's Birth Promised
15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah[v] shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will (DR)give[w] you a son by her. I will bless her, and (DS)she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham (DT)fell on his face (DU)and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but (DV)Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name (DW)Isaac.[x] I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and (DX)multiply him greatly. He (DY)shall father twelve princes, and (DZ)I will make him into a great nation. 21 But (EA)I will establish my covenant with Isaac, (EB)whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”
22 When he had finished talking with him, (EC)God went up from Abraham. 23 Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27 And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
- Genesis 12:1 Or had said
- Genesis 12:1 Or land
- Genesis 12:3 Or by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves
- Genesis 12:6 Or terebinth
- Genesis 13:8 Hebrew we are men, brothers
- Genesis 13:18 Or terebinths
- Genesis 14:13 Or terebinths
- Genesis 14:19 Or Creator; also verse 22
- Genesis 14:22 Or I have taken a solemn oath
- Genesis 15:2 Or I shall die
- Genesis 15:4 Hebrew what will come out of your own loins
- Genesis 15:18 Or have given
- Genesis 16:2 Hebrew be built up, which sounds like the Hebrew for children
- Genesis 16:4 Hebrew her mistress was dishonorable in her eyes; similarly in verse 5
- Genesis 16:11 Ishmael means God hears
- Genesis 16:13 Or You are a God who sees me
- Genesis 16:13 Hebrew Have I really seen him here who sees me? or Would I have looked here for the one who sees me?
- Genesis 16:14 Beer-lahai-roi means the well of the Living One who sees me
- Genesis 17:1 Hebrew El Shaddai
- Genesis 17:5 Abram means exalted father
- Genesis 17:5 Abraham means father of a multitude
- Genesis 17:15 Sarai and Sarah mean princess
- Genesis 17:16 Hebrew have given
- Genesis 17:19 Isaac means he laughs
Complete Jewish Bible
Parashah 3: Lekh L’kha (Get yourself out) 12:1–17:27
12 Now Adonai said to Avram, “Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
4 So Avram went, as Adonai had said to him, and Lot went with him. Avram was 75 years old when he left Haran. 5 Avram took his wife Sarai, his brother’s son Lot, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, as well as the people they had acquired in Haran; then they set out for the land of Kena‘an and entered the land of Kena‘an.
6 Avram passed through the land to the place called Sh’khem, to the oak of Moreh. The Kena‘ani were then in the land. 7 Adonai appeared to Avram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to Adonai, who had appeared to him.
8 He left that place, went to the hill east of Beit-El and pitched his tent. With Beit-El to the west and ‘Ai to the east, he built an altar there and called on the name of Adonai. 9 Then Avram traveled on, continuing toward the Negev. 10 But there was a famine in the land, so Avram went down into Egypt to stay there, because the famine in the land was severe.
11 When he came close to Egypt and was about to enter, he said to Sarai his wife, “Here now, I know that you are a good-looking woman; 12 so that when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife,’ and kill me but keep you alive. 13 Please say that you are my sister, so that it will go well with me for your sake, and so that I will stay alive because of you.”
(ii) 14 When Avram entered Egypt, the Egyptians did notice that the woman was very beautiful. 15 Pharaoh’s princes saw her and commended her to Pharaoh, so the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 He treated Avram well for her sake, giving him sheep, cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female slaves, and camels.
17 But Adonai inflicted great plagues on Pharaoh and his household because of Sarai Avram’s wife. 18 Pharaoh called Avram and said, “What is this that you have done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my own wife? Now therefore, here is your wife! Take her, and go away!” 20 So Pharaoh gave orders concerning him to his men, and they sent him on his way with his wife and everything he had.
13 Avram went up from Egypt — he, his wife and everything he had, and Lot with him — into the Negev. 2 Avram became wealthy, with much cattle, silver and gold. 3 As he went on his travels from the Negev, he came to Beit-El, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beit-El and ‘Ai, 4 where he had first built the altar; and there Avram called on the name of Adonai.
(iii) 5 Lot, who was traveling with Avram, also had flocks, herds and tents. 6 But the land could not support their living together, because their possessions were too great for them to remain together. 7 Moreover, quarreling arose between Avram’s and Lot’s herdsmen. The Kena‘ani and the P’rizi were then living in the land. 8 Avram said to Lot, “Please, let’s not have quarreling between me and you, or between my herdsmen and yours, since we’re kinsmen. 9 Isn’t the whole land there in front of you? Please separate yourself from me — if you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.” 10 Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Yarden was well watered everywhere, before Adonai destroyed S’dom and ‘Amora, like the garden of Adonai, like the land of Egypt in the direction of Tzo‘ar. 11 So Lot chose all the plain of the Yarden for himself, and Lot traveled eastward; thus they separated themselves from each other. 12 Avram lived in the land of Kena‘an; and Lot lived in the cities of the plain, setting up his tent near S’dom. 13 Now the men of S’dom were evil, committing great sins against Adonai.
14 Adonai said to Avram, after Lot had moved away from him, “Look all around you from where you are, to the north, the south, the east and the west. 15 All the land you see I will give to you and your descendants forever, 16 and I will make your descendants as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth — so that if a person can count the specks of dust on the earth, then your descendants can be counted. 17 Get up and walk through the length and breadth of the land, because I will give it to you.” 18 Avram moved his tent and came to live by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hevron. There he built an altar to Adonai.
14 (iv) When Amrafel was king of Shin‘ar, Aryokh king of Elasar, K’dorla‘omer king of ‘Elam and Tid‘al king of Goyim; 2 they made war together against Bera king of S’dom and against Birsha king of ‘Amora, Shin’av king of Admah, Shem’ever king of Tzvoyim, and the king of Bela (which is the same as Tzo‘ar). 3 All the latter kings joined forces in the Siddim Valley, where the Dead Sea is. 4 They had served K’dorla‘omer twelve years, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
5 In the fourteenth year K’dorla‘omer and the kings with him came and defeated the Refa’im in ‘Asht’rot-Karnayim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Eimim in Shaveh-Kiryatayim 6 and the Hori at Se‘ir, their mountain, all the way to Eil-Pa’ran by the desert. 7 Next they turned back, came to ‘Ein-Mishpat (which is the same as Kadesh), and defeated all the country of the ‘Amaleki, and also the Emori, who lived in Hatzatzon-Tamar. 8 Then the kings of S’dom, ‘Amora, Admah, Tzvoyim and Bela (that is, Tzo‘ar) came out and arrayed themselves for battle in the Siddim Valley 9 against K’dorla‘omer king of ‘Elam, Tid‘al king of Goyim, Amrafel king of Admah and Aryokh king of Elasar, four kings against the five.
10 Now the Siddim Valley was full of clay pits; and when the kings of S’dom and ‘Amora fled, some fell into them; while the rest fled to the hills. 11 The victors took all the possessions of S’dom and ‘Amora and all their food supply; then they left. 12 But as they left, they took Lot, Avram’s brother’s son, and his possessions; since he was living in S’dom. 13 Someone who had escaped came and told Avram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Emori, brother of Eshkol and brother of ‘Aner; all of them allies of Avram. 14 When Avram heard that his nephew had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, who had been born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night he and his servants divided his forces against them, then attacked and pursued them all the way to Hovah, north of Dammesek. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his nephew Lot with his goods, together with the women and the other people. 17 After his return from slaughtering K’dorla‘omer and the kings with him, the king of S’dom went out to meet him in the Shaveh Valley, also known as the King’s Valley.
18 Malki-Tzedek king of Shalem brought out bread and wine. He was cohen of El ‘Elyon [God Most High], 19 so he blessed him with these words:
“Blessed be Avram by El ‘Elyon,
maker of heaven of earth.
20 and blessed be El ‘Elyon,
who handed your enemies over to you.”
Avram gave him a tenth of everything.
(v) 21 The king of S’dom said to Avram, “Give me the people, and keep the goods for yourself.” 22 But Avram answered the king of S’dom, “I have raised my hand in an oath to Adonai, El ‘Elyon, maker of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take so much as a thread or a sandal thong of anything that is yours; so that you won’t be able to say, ‘I made Avram rich.’ 24 I will take only what my troops have eaten and the share of the spoil belonging to the men who came with me — ‘Aner, Eshkol and Mamre; let them have their share.”
15 Some time later the word of Adonai came to Avram in a vision: “Don’t be afraid, Avram. I am your protector; your reward will be very great.” 2 Avram replied, “Adonai, God, what good will your gifts be to me if I continue childless; and Eli‘ezer from Dammesek inherits my possessions? 3 You haven’t given me a child,” Avram continued, “so someone born in my house will be my heir.” 4 But the word of Adonai came to him: “This man will not be your heir. No, your heir will be a child from your own body.” 5 Then he brought him outside and said, “Look up at the sky, and count the stars — if you can count them! Your descendants will be that many!” 6 He believed in Adonai, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
(vi) 7 Then he said to him, “I am Adonai, who brought you out from Ur-Kasdim to give you this land as your possession.” 8 He replied, “Adonai, God, how am I to know that I will possess it?” 9 He answered him, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove and a young pigeon.” 10 He brought him all these, cut the animals in two and placed the pieces opposite each other; but he didn’t cut the birds in half. 11 Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Avram drove them away.
12 As the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell on Avram; horror and great darkness came over him. 13 Adonai said to Avram, “Know this for certain: your descendants will be foreigners in a land that is not theirs. They will be slaves and held in oppression there four hundred years. 14 But I will also judge that nation, the one that makes them slaves. Afterwards, they will leave with many possessions. 15 As for you, you will join your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 Only in the fourth generation will your descendants come back here, because only then will the Emori be ripe for punishment.”
17 After the sun had set and there was thick darkness, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch appeared, which passed between these animal parts. 18 That day Adonai made a covenant with Avram: “I have given this land to your descendants — from the Vadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River — 19 the territory of the Keni, the K’nizi, the Kadmoni, 20 the Hitti, the P’rizi, the Refa’im, 21 the Emori, the Kena‘ani, the Girgashi and the Y’vusi.”
16 Now Sarai Avram’s wife had not borne him a child. But she had an Egyptian slave-girl named Hagar; 2 so Sarai said to Avram, “Here now, Adonai has kept me from having children; so go in and sleep with my slave-girl. Maybe I’ll be able to have children through her.” Avram listened to what Sarai said.
3 It was after Avram had lived ten years in the land of Kena‘an that Sarai Avram’s wife took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to Avram her husband to be his wife. 4 Avram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she conceived. But when she became aware that she was pregnant, she looked on her mistress with contempt. 5 Sarai said to Avram, “This outrage being done to me is your fault! True, I gave my slave-girl to you to sleep with; but when she saw that she was pregnant, she began holding me in contempt. May Adonai decide who is right — I or you!” 6 However, Avram answered Sarai, “Look, she’s your slave-girl. Deal with her as you think fit.” Then Sarai treated her so harshly that she ran away from her.
7 The angel of Adonai found her by a spring in the desert, the spring on the road to Shur, 8 and said, “Hagar! Sarai’s slave-girl! Where have you come from, and where are you going?” She answered, “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai.” 9 The angel of Adonai said to her, “Go back to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” 10 The angel of Adonai said to her, “I will greatly increase your descendants; there will be so many that it will be impossible to count them.” 11 The angel of Adonai said to her, “Look, you are pregnant, and you will give birth to a son. You are to call him Yishma‘el [God pays attention] because Adonai has paid attention to your misery. 12 He will be a wild donkey of a man, with his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, living his life at odds with all his kinsmen.”
13 So she named Adonai who had spoken with her El Ro’i [God of seeing], because she said, “Have I really seen the One who sees me [and stayed alive]?” 14 This is why the well has been called Be’er-Lachai-Ro’i [well of the one who lives and sees]; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.
15 Hagar bore Avram a son, and Avram called the son whom Hagar had borne Yishma‘el. 16 Avram was 86 years old when Hagar bore Yishma‘el to Avram.
17 When Avram was 99 years old Adonai appeared to Avram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai [God Almighty]. Walk in my presence and be pure-hearted. 2 I will make my covenant between me and you, and I will increase your numbers greatly.” 3 Avram fell on his face, and God continued speaking with him: 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5 Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations. 6 I will cause you to be very fruitful. I will make nations of you, kings will descend from you.
(vii) 7 “I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you. 8 I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now foreigners, all the land of Kena‘an, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God.”
9 God said to Avraham, “As for you, you are to keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation. 10 Here is my covenant, which you are to keep, between me and you, along with your descendants after you: every male among you is to be circumcised. 11 You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; this will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 Generation after generation, every male among you who is eight days old is to be circumcised, including slaves born within your household and those bought from a foreigner not descended from you. 13 The slave born in your house and the person bought with your money must be circumcised; thus my covenant will be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who will not let himself be circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin — that person will be cut off from his people, because he has broken my covenant.”
15 God said to Avraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are not to call her Sarai [mockery]; her name is to be Sarah [princess]. 16 I will bless her; moreover, I will give you a son by her. Truly I will bless her: she will be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” 17 At this Avraham fell on his face and laughed — he thought to himself, “Will a child be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah give birth at ninety?” 18 Avraham said to God, “If only Yishma‘el could live in your presence!” 19 God answered, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you are to call him Yitz’chak [laughter]. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 But as for Yishma‘el, I have heard you. I have blessed him. I will make him fruitful and give him many descendants. He will father twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Yitz’chak, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.” 22 With that, God finished speaking with Avraham and went up from him.
23 Avraham took Yishma‘el his son, all the slaves born in his house and all who had been bought with his money, every male among the people in Avraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin that very day, just as God had said to him.
(Maftir) 24 Avraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, 25 and Yishma‘el his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 Avraham and Yishma‘el his son were circumcised on the same day; 27 and all the men in his household, both slaves born in his house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
Haftarah Lekh L’kha: Yesha‘yahu (Isaiah) 40:27–41:16
B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah Lekh L’kha: Acts 7:1–8; Romans 3:19–5:6; Galatians 3:15–18; 5:1–6; Colossians 2:11–15; Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 7:1–19; 11:8–12