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Genesis 21 (New International Reader's Version)

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Isaac Is Born

1 The LORD was gracious to Sarah, just as he had said he would be. He did for Sarah what he had promised to do. 2 Sarah became pregnant. She had a son by Abraham when he was old. He was born at the exact time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah had by him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him. He did it exactly as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 Sarah said, "God has given laughter to me. Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me." 7 She continued, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? But I've had a son by him when he is old."

Abraham Sends Hagar and Ishmael Away

8 Isaac grew. The time came for his mother to stop nursing him. On that day Abraham had a big dinner prepared. 9 But Sarah saw Ishmael making fun of Isaac. Ishmael was the son Hagar had by Abraham. Hagar was Sarah's servant from Egypt. 10 Sarah said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman. Get rid of her son. The slave woman's son will never have a share of the family's property with my son Isaac." 11 What Sarah said upset Abraham very much. After all, Ishmael was his son. 12 But God said to him, "Do not be so upset about the boy and your servant Hagar. Listen to what Sarah tells you, because your family line will continue through Isaac. 13 I will make the son of your servant into a nation also. I will do it because he is your child." 14 Early the next morning Abraham got some food and a bottle of water. The bottle was made out of animal skin. He gave the food and water to Hagar. He placed them on her shoulders. Then he sent her away with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the bottle was gone, she put the boy under a bush. 16 Then she went off and sat down nearby. She was about as far away as a person can shoot an arrow. She thought, "I can't stand to watch the boy die." As she sat nearby, she began to sob. 17 God heard the boy crying. Then the angel of God called out to Hagar from heaven. He 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. Take him by the hand. I will make him into a great nation." 19 Then God opened Hagar's eyes. She saw a well of water. So she went and filled the bottle with water. And she gave the boy a drink. 20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and learned to shoot with a bow. 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got him a wife from Egypt.

The Peace Treaty at Beersheba

22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol spoke to Abraham. Phicol was the commander of Abimelech's army. They said, "God is with you in everything you do. 23 Now make a promise to me here while God is watching. Take an oath that you will treat me fairly. Promise that you will treat my children and their children the same way. "I've been kind to you. Now you be kind to me. And be kind to the country where you are living as an outsider." 24 Abraham said, "I promise with an oath that I'll do it." 25 Then Abraham objected to Abimelech about what Abimelech's servants had done. They had taken over a well of water. 26 But Abimelech said, "I don't know who has done this. You didn't tell me. Today is the first time I heard about it." 27 So Abraham gave Abimelech sheep and cattle. The two men made a peace treaty. 28 Then Abraham took out seven female lambs from his flock. 29 Abimelech asked Abraham, "What's the meaning of these seven female lambs? Why have you taken them out and put them by themselves?" 30 Abraham replied, "Accept the seven lambs from me. They will be a witness that I dug this well." 31 That place was named Beersheba. That's because there the two men made a promise with an oath. 32 After the peace treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelech went back to the land of the Philistines. His army commander Phicol went with him. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba. There he worshiped the Lord, the God who lives forever. 34 Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
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