A Baby for Sarah
21 The Lord cared for Sarah as he had said and did for her what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. Everything happened at the time God had said it would. 3 Abraham named his son Isaac, the son Sarah gave birth to. 4 He circumcised Isaac when he was eight days old as God had commanded.
5 Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born. 6 And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh.[a] Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. 7 No one thought that I would be able to have Abraham’s child, but even though Abraham is old I have given him a son.”
Hagar and Ishmael Leave
8 Isaac grew, and when he became old enough to eat food, Abraham gave a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw Ishmael making fun of Isaac. (Ishmael was the son of Abraham by Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian slave.) 10 So Sarah said to Abraham, “Throw out this slave woman and her son. Her son should not inherit anything; my son Isaac should receive it all.”
11 This troubled Abraham very much because Ishmael was also his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Don’t be troubled about the boy and the slave woman. Do whatever Sarah tells you. The descendants I promised you will be from Isaac. 13 I will also make the descendants of Ishmael into a great nation because he is your son, too.”
14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a leather bag full of water. He gave them to Hagar and sent her away. Carrying these things and her son, Hagar went and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
15 Later, when all the water was gone from the bag, Hagar put her son under a bush. 16 Then she went away a short distance and sat down. She thought, “My son will die, and I cannot watch this happen.” She sat there and began to cry.
17 God heard the boy crying, and God’s angel called to Hagar from heaven. He said, “What is wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid! God has heard the boy crying there. 18 Help him up and take him by the hand. I will make his descendants into a great nation.”
19 Then God showed Hagar a well of water. So she went to the well and filled her bag with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up. Ishmael lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 He lived in the Desert of Paran, and his mother found a wife for him in Egypt.
Abraham’s Bargain with Abimelech
22 Then Abimelech came with Phicol, the commander of his army, and said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23 So make a promise to me here before God that you will be fair with me and my children and my descendants. Be kind to me and to this land where you have lived as a stranger—as kind as I have been to you.”
24 And Abraham said, “I promise.” 25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about Abimelech’s servants who had seized a well of water.
26 But Abimelech said, “I don’t know who did this. You never told me about this before today.”
27 Then Abraham gave Abimelech some sheep and cattle, and they made an agreement. 28 Abraham also put seven female lambs in front of Abimelech.
29 Abimelech asked Abraham, “Why did you put these seven female lambs by themselves?”
30 Abraham answered, “Accept these lambs from me to prove that you believe I dug this well.”
31 So that place was called Beersheba[b] because they made a promise to each other there.
32 After Abraham and Abimelech made the agreement at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, went back to the land of the Philistines.
33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba and prayed to the Lord, the God who lives forever. 34 And Abraham lived as a stranger in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
- 21:6 laugh The Hebrew words for “he laughed” and “Isaac” sound the same.
- 21:31 Beersheba This name means “well of the promise” or “well of seven.”