Genesis 21

21 The Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for her as He had promised.

2 For Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time God had told him.

3 Abraham [a]named his son whom Sarah bore to him Isaac [laughter].

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 Isaac was born.

6 And Sarah said, God has made me to laugh; all who hear will laugh with me.

7 And she said, Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children at the breast? For I have borne him a son in his old age!(A)

8 And the child grew and was [b]weaned, and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.

9 Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking [Isaac].

10 Therefore she said to Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son, for the son of this bondwoman shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.(B)

11 And the thing was very grievous (serious, evil) in Abraham’s sight on account of his son [Ishmael].

12 God said to Abraham, Do not let it seem grievous and evil to you because of the youth and your bondwoman; in all that Sarah has said to you, do what she asks, for in Isaac shall your posterity be called.(C)

13 And I will make a nation of the son of the bondwoman also, because he is your offspring.

14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a bottle of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulders, and he sent her and the [c]youth away. And she wandered on [aimlessly] and lost her way in the wilderness of Beersheba.

15 When the water in the bottle was all gone, Hagar caused the youth to lie down under one of the shrubs.

16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about a bowshot, for she said, Let me not see the death of the lad. And as she sat down opposite him, [d]he lifted up his voice and wept and she raised her voice and wept.

17 And God heard the voice of the youth, and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven and said to her, What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the youth where he is.

18 Arise, raise up the youth and support him with your hand, for I intend to make him a great nation.

19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the [empty] bottle with water and caused the youth to drink.

20 And God was with the youth, and he developed; and he dwelt in the wilderness and became an archer.

21 He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him out of the land of Egypt.

22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army said to Abraham, God is with you in everything you do.

23 So now, swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my son or with my posterity; but as I have dealt with you kindly, you will do the same with me and with the land in which you have sojourned.

24 And Abraham said, I will swear.

25 When Abraham complained to and reasoned with Abimelech about a well of water [Abimelech’s] servants had violently seized,

26 Abimelech said, I know not who did this thing; you did not tell me, and I did not hear of it until today.

27 So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a league or covenant.

28 Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs of the flock,

29 And Abimelech said to Abraham, What do these seven ewe lambs which you have set apart mean?

30 He said, You are to accept these seven ewe lambs from me as a witness for me that I dug this well.

31 Therefore that place was called Beersheba [well of the oath], because there both parties swore an oath.

32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba; then Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army returned to the land of the Philistines.

33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God.

34 And Abraham sojourned in Philistia many days.


  1. Genesis 21:3 See footnote on Gen. 16:15.
  2. Genesis 21:8 This was probably when the child was about three years of age. Samuel served in the sanctuary from the time that he was weaned (I Sam. 1:22-28). A Hebrew mother is quoted in II Maccabees 7:27 as saying to her son that she gave him “suck three years.”
  3. Genesis 21:14 Ishmael was born when Abraham was eighty-six years old (Gen. 16:16), so Ishmael was fourteen when Isaac was born. Isaac was weaned (Gen. 21:8) at least three years later probably (II Chron. 31:16; II Maccabees 7:27).
  4. Genesis 21:16 The Hebrew says, “she lifted up her voice.” The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) says “he.. .”—which the next verse seems to support. The circumstances allow either.

Cross references

  1. Genesis 21:7 : Heb. 11:12.
  2. Genesis 21:10 : Gal. 4:28-31.
  3. Genesis 21:12 : Rom. 9:7.

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