Bible: Genesis 16-21
The Birth of Ishmael
16:1 Now Sarai, 1 Abram’s wife, had not given birth to any children, 2 but she had an Egyptian servant 3 named Hagar. 4 16:2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Since 5 the
16:3 So after Abram had lived 9 in Canaan for ten years, Sarai, Abram’s wife, gave Hagar, her Egyptian servant, 10 to her husband to be his wife. 11 16:4 He had sexual relations with 12 Hagar, and she became pregnant. 13 Once Hagar realized she was pregnant, she despised Sarai. 14 16:5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You have brought this wrong on me! 15 I allowed my servant to have sexual relations with you, 16 but when she realized 17 that she was pregnant, she despised me. 18 May the
16:9 Then the
“You are now 32 pregnant
and are about to give birth 33 to a son.
You are to name him Ishmael, 34
16:12 He will be a wild donkey 36 of a man.
He will be hostile to everyone, 37
and everyone will be hostile to him. 38
He will live away from 39 his brothers.”
16:13 So Hagar named the
The Sign of the Covenant
17:1 When Abram was 99 years old, 49 the
17:3 Abram bowed down with his face to the ground, 57 and God said to him, 58 17:4 “As for me, 59 this 60 is my covenant with you: You will be the father of a multitude of nations. 17:5 No longer will your name be 61 Abram. Instead, your name will be Abraham 62 because I will make you 63 the father of a multitude of nations. 17:6 I will make you 64 extremely 65 fruitful. I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you. 66 17:7 I will confirm 67 my covenant as a perpetual 68 covenant between me and you. It will extend to your descendants after you throughout their generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 69 17:8 I will give the whole land of Canaan – the land where you are now residing 70 – to you and your descendants after you as a permanent 71 possession. I will be their God.”
17:9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep 72 the covenantal requirement 73 I am imposing on you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 17:10 This is my requirement that you and your descendants after you must keep: 74 Every male among you must be circumcised. 75 17:11 You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskins. This will be a reminder 76 of the covenant between me and you. 17:12 Throughout your generations every male among you who is eight days old 77 must be circumcised, whether born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not one of your descendants. 17:13 They must indeed be circumcised, 78 whether born in your house or bought with money. The sign of my covenant 79 will be visible in your flesh as a permanent 80 reminder. 17:14 Any uncircumcised male 81 who has not been circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin will be cut off 82 from his people – he has failed to carry out my requirement.” 83
17:15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for your wife, you must no longer call her Sarai; 84 Sarah 85 will be her name. 17:16 I will bless her and will give you a son through her. I will bless her and she will become a mother of nations. 86 Kings of countries 87 will come from her!”
17:17 Then Abraham bowed down with his face to the ground and laughed 88 as he said to himself, 89 “Can 90 a son be born to a man who is a hundred years old? 91 Can Sarah 92 bear a child at the age of ninety?” 93 17:18 Abraham said to God, “O that 94 Ishmael might live before you!” 95
17:19 God said, “No, Sarah your wife is going to bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac. 96 I will confirm my covenant with him as a perpetual 97 covenant for his descendants after him. 17:20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you. 98 I will indeed bless him, make him fruitful, and give him a multitude of descendants. 99 He will become the father of twelve princes; 100 I will make him into a great nation. 17:21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.” 17:22 When he finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him. 101
17:23 Abraham took his son Ishmael and every male in his household (whether born in his house or bought with money) 102 and circumcised them 103 on that very same day, just as God had told him to do. 17:24 Now Abraham was 99 years old 104 when he was circumcised; 105 17:25 his son Ishmael was thirteen years old 106 when he was circumcised. 17:26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on the very same day. 17:27 All the men of his household, whether born in his household or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
Three Special Visitors
18:3 He said, “My lord, 118 if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant. 119 18:4 Let a little water be brought so that 120 you may all 121 wash your feet and rest under the tree. 18:5 And let me get 122 a bit of food 123 so that you may refresh yourselves 124 since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.” 125 “All right,” they replied, “you may do as you say.”
18:6 So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Take 126 three measures 127 of fine flour, knead it, and make bread.” 128 18:7 Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant, 129 who quickly prepared it. 130 18:8 Abraham 131 then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food 132 before them. They ate while 133 he was standing near them under a tree.
18:9 Then they asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “There, 134 in the tent.” 18:10 One of them 135 said, “I will surely return 136 to you when the season comes round again, 137 and your wife Sarah will have a son!” 138 (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him. 139 18:11 Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years; 140 Sarah had long since passed menopause.) 141 18:12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, 142 “After I am worn out will I have pleasure, 143 especially when my husband is old too?” 144
Abraham Pleads for Sodom
18:16 When the men got up to leave, 150 they looked out over 151 Sodom. (Now 152 Abraham was walking with them to see them on their way.) 153 18:17 Then the
18:20 So the
18:22 The two men turned 168 and headed 169 toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the
18:26 So the
18:27 Then Abraham asked, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord 174 (although I am but dust and ashes), 175 18:28 what if there are five less than the fifty godly people? Will you destroy 176 the whole city because five are lacking?” 177 He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
18:31 Abraham 183 said, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”
18:32 Finally Abraham 184 said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
19:2 He said, “Here, my lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house. Stay the night 190 and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.” 191 “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.” 192
19:3 But he urged 193 them persistently, so they turned aside with him and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them, including bread baked without yeast, and they ate. 19:4 Before they could lie down to sleep, 194 all the men – both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom – surrounded the house. 195 19:5 They shouted to Lot, 196 “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex 197 with them!”
19:6 Lot went outside to them, shutting the door behind him. 19:7 He said, “No, my brothers! Don’t act so wickedly! 198 19:8 Look, I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with 199 a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please. 200 Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection 201 of my roof.” 202
19:9 “Out of our way!” 203 they cried, and “This man came to live here as a foreigner, 204 and now he dares to judge us! 205 We’ll do more harm 206 to you than to them!” They kept 207 pressing in on Lot until they were close enough 208 to break down the door.
19:10 So the men inside 209 reached out 210 and pulled Lot back into the house 211 as they shut the door. 19:11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, from the youngest to the oldest, 212 with blindness. The men outside 213 wore themselves out trying to find the door. 19:12 Then the two visitors 214 said to Lot, “Who else do you have here? 215 Do you have 216 any sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or other relatives in the city? 217 Get them out of this 218 place 19:13 because we are about to destroy 219 it. The outcry against this place 220 is so great before the
19:14 Then Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were going to marry his daughters. 222 He said, “Quick, get out of this place because the
19:15 At dawn 225 the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, 226 or else you will be destroyed when the city is judged!” 227 19:16 When Lot 228 hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters because the
19:18 But Lot said to them, “No, please, Lord! 235 19:19 Your 236 servant has found favor with you, 237 and you have shown me great 238 kindness 239 by sparing 240 my life. But I am not able to escape to the mountains because 241 this disaster will overtake 242 me and I’ll die. 243 19:20 Look, this town 244 over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one. 245 Let me go there. 246 It’s just a little place, isn’t it? 247 Then I’ll survive.” 248
19:21 “Very well,” he replied, 249 “I will grant this request too 250 and will not overthrow 251 the town you mentioned. 19:22 Run there quickly, 252 for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.) 253
19:23 The sun had just risen 254 over the land as Lot reached Zoar. 255 19:24 Then the
19:27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went 263 to the place where he had stood before the
19:29 So when God destroyed 267 the cities of the region, 268 God honored 269 Abraham’s request. He removed Lot 270 from the midst of the destruction when he destroyed 271 the cities Lot had lived in.
19:30 Lot went up from Zoar with his two daughters and settled in the mountains because he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 19:31 Later the older daughter said 272 to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man anywhere nearby 273 to have sexual relations with us, 274 according to the way of all the world. 19:32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine 275 so we can have sexual relations 276 with him and preserve 277 our family line through our father.” 278
19:33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine, 279 and the older daughter 280 came and had sexual relations with her father. 281 But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 282 19:34 So in the morning the older daughter 283 said to the younger, “Since I had sexual relations with my father last night, let’s make him drunk again tonight. 284 Then you go and have sexual relations with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 285 19:35 So they made their father drunk 286 that night as well, and the younger one came and had sexual relations with him. 287 But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 288
19:36 In this way both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 19:37 The older daughter 289 gave birth to a son and named him Moab. 290 He is the ancestor of the Moabites of today. 19:38 The younger daughter also gave birth to a son and named him Ben-Ammi. 291 He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.
Abraham and Abimelech
20:1 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev 292 region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident 293 in Gerar, 20:2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her.
20:4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord, 297 would you really slaughter an innocent nation? 298 20:5 Did Abraham 299 not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, 300 ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience 301 and with innocent hands!”
20:6 Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience. 302 That is why I have kept you 303 from sinning against me and why 304 I did not allow you to touch her. 20:7 But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed 305 he is a prophet 306 and he will pray for you; thus you will live. 307 But if you don’t give her back, 308 know that you will surely die 309 along with all who belong to you.”
20:8 Early in the morning 310 Abimelech summoned 311 all his servants. When he told them about all these things, 312 they 313 were terrified. 20:9 Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom? 314 You have done things to me that should not be done!” 315 20:10 Then Abimelech asked 316 Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?” 317
20:11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought, 318 ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of 319 my wife.’ 20:12 What’s more, 320 she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife. 20:13 When God made me wander 321 from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me: 322 Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’”
20:14 So Abimelech gave 323 sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 20:15 Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.” 324
20:17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children. 20:18 For the
The Birth of Isaac
21:6 Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. 339 Everyone who hears about this 340 will laugh 341 with me.” 21:7 She went on to say, 342 “Who would 343 have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have given birth to a son for him in his old age!”
21:8 The child grew and was weaned. Abraham prepared 344 a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 345 21:9 But Sarah noticed 346 the son of Hagar the Egyptian – the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham – mocking. 347 21:10 So she said to Abraham, “Banish 348 that slave woman and her son, for the son of that slave woman will not be an heir along with my son Isaac!”
21:11 Sarah’s demand displeased Abraham greatly because Ishmael was his son. 349 21:12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be upset 350 about the boy or your slave wife. Do 351 all that Sarah is telling 352 you because through Isaac your descendants will be counted. 353 21:13 But I will also make the son of the slave wife into a great nation, for he is your descendant too.”
21:14 Early in the morning Abraham took 354 some food 355 and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He put them on her shoulders, gave her the child, 356 and sent her away. So she went wandering 357 aimlessly through the wilderness 358 of Beer Sheba. 21:15 When the water in the skin was gone, she shoved 359 the child under one of the shrubs. 21:16 Then she went and sat down by herself across from him at quite a distance, about a bowshot 360 away; for she thought, 361 “I refuse to watch the child die.” 362 So she sat across from him and wept uncontrollably. 363
21:17 But God heard the boy’s voice. 364 The angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What is the matter, 365 Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard 366 the boy’s voice right where he is crying. 21:18 Get up! Help the boy up and hold him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 21:19 Then God enabled Hagar to see a well of water. 367 She went over and filled the skin with water, and then gave the boy a drink.
21:22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you 370 in all that you do. 21:23 Now swear to me right here in God’s name 371 that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants. 372 Show me, and the land 373 where you are staying, 374 the same loyalty 375 that I have shown you.” 376
21:24 Abraham said, “I swear to do this.” 377 21:25 But Abraham lodged a complaint 378 against Abimelech concerning a well 379 that Abimelech’s servants had seized. 380 21:26 “I do not know who has done this thing,” Abimelech replied. “Moreover, 381 you did not tell me. I did not hear about it until today.”
21:27 Abraham took some sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. The two of them made a treaty. 382 21:28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs apart from the flock by themselves. 21:29 Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these 383 seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 21:30 He replied, “You must take these seven ewe lambs from my hand as legal proof 384 that I dug this well.” 385 21:31 That is why he named that place 386 Beer Sheba, 387 because the two of them swore 388 an oath there.
21:32 So they made a treaty 389 at Beer Sheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, returned 390 to the land of the Philistines. 391 21:33 Abraham 392 planted a tamarisk tree 393 in Beer Sheba. There he worshiped the