Genesis 21:1-11

The Birth of Isaac

1 The LORD 1visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah 2as he had promised.
2 And Sarah 3conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age 4at the time of which God had spoken to him.
3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, 5Isaac.[a]
4 And Abraham 6circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, 7as God had commanded him.
5 8Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 And Sarah said, 9"God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me."
7 And she said, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? 10Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."

God Protects Hagar and Ishmael

8 And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.
9 But Sarah 11saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, 12laughing.[b]
10 So she said to Abraham, 13"Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac."
11 And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son.

Genesis 21:1-11 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 21

This chapter gives an account of the conception, birth, circumcision, and weaning of Isaac, Ge 21:1-8; of the mocking of Ishmael, and of the casting out of him and his mother from Abraham's house, at the request of Sarah, which, though grievous to Abraham, he complied with at the direction of God, Ge 21:9-13; of the provision Abraham made for their departure, and of the supply they met with in the wilderness from God, where Ishmael was brought up, and where he married, Ge 21:14-21; and of a covenant between Abraham and Abimelech, king of Gerar, Ge 21:22-32; and of Abraham's planting a grove, and calling on the name of the Lord, Ge 21:33; and the chapter is closed with this observation, that Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days, Ge 21:34.

Genesis 21:1-11 In-Context

1 The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised.
2 And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him.
3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.
4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.
5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 And Sarah said, "God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me."
7 And she said, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."
8 And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.
9 But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing.
10 So she said to Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac."
11 And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son.
12 But God said to Abraham, "Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named.
13 And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring."
14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes.

Cross References 13

  • 1. 1 Samuel 2:21
  • 2. Genesis 17:19; Genesis 18:10, 14
  • 3. Hebrews 11:11; [Galatians 4:22]
  • 4. Genesis 17:21
  • 5. Genesis 17:19
  • 6. Acts 7:8
  • 7. Genesis 17:10, 12
  • 8. Genesis 17:1, 17; Romans 4:19
  • 9. [Isaiah 54:1; Galatians 4:27]
  • 10. Genesis 18:11, 12
  • 11. Genesis 16:1, 15
  • 12. [Galatians 4:29]
  • 13. Cited Galatians 4:30

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Isaac means he laughs
  • [b]. Possibly laughing in mockery
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.