Bible: Genesis 12-21
The Obedience of Abram
“Go out 3 from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household
to the land that I will show you. 4
and I will make your name great, 7
so that you will exemplify divine blessing. 8
12:3 I will bless those who bless you, 9
but the one who treats you lightly 10 I must curse,
and all the families of the earth will bless one another 11 by your name.”
12:4 So Abram left, 12 just as the
12:6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the oak tree 19 of Moreh 20 at Shechem. 21 (At that time the Canaanites were in the land.) 22 12:7 The
12:8 Then he moved from there to the hill country east of Bethel 25 and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the
The Promised Blessing Jeopardized
12:10 There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt 29 to stay for a while 30 because the famine was severe. 31 12:11 As he approached 32 Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, 33 I know that you are a beautiful woman. 34 12:12 When the Egyptians see you they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will keep you alive. 35 12:13 So tell them 36 you are my sister 37 so that it may go well 38 for me because of you and my life will be spared 39 on account of you.”
12:14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 12:15 When Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. So Abram’s wife 40 was taken 41 into the household of Pharaoh, 42 12:16 and he did treat Abram well 43 on account of her. Abram received 44 sheep and cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
12:17 But the
Abram’s Solution to the Strife
13:3 And he journeyed from place to place 56 from the Negev as far as Bethel. 57 He returned 58 to the place where he had pitched his tent 59 at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai. 13:4 This was the place where he had first built the altar, 60 and there Abram worshiped the
13:5 Now Lot, who was traveling 62 with Abram, also had 63 flocks, herds, and tents. 13:6 But the land could 64 not support them while they were living side by side. 65 Because their possessions were so great, they were not able to live 66 alongside one another. 13:7 So there were quarrels 67 between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen. 68 (Now the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land at that time.) 69
13:8 Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no quarreling between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are close relatives. 70 13:9 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself now from me. If you go 71 to the left, then I’ll go to the right, but if you go to the right, then I’ll go to the left.”
13:10 Lot looked up and saw 72 the whole region 73 of the Jordan. He noticed 74 that all of it was well-watered (before the
So the relatives separated from each other. 79 13:12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, but Lot settled among the cities of the Jordan plain 80 and pitched his tents next to Sodom. 13:13 (Now 81 the people 82 of Sodom were extremely wicked rebels against the
13:14 After Lot had departed, the
The Blessing of Victory for God’s People
14:1 At that time 93 Amraphel king of Shinar, 94 Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations 95 14:2 went to war 96 against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 97 14:3 These last five kings 98 joined forces 99 in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 100 14:4 For twelve years 101 they had served Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year 102 they rebelled. 103 14:5 In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings who were his allies came and defeated 104 the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 14:6 and the Horites in their hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran, which is near the desert. 105 14:7 Then they attacked En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh) again, 106 and they conquered all the territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazazon Tamar.
14:8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and prepared for battle. In the Valley of Siddim they met 107 14:9 Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, 108 Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar. Four kings fought against 109 five. 14:10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits. 110 When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, they fell into them, 111 but some survivors 112 fled to the hills. 113 14:11 The four victorious kings 114 took all the possessions and food of Sodom and Gomorrah and left. 14:12 They also took Abram’s nephew 115 Lot and his possessions when 116 they left, for Lot 117 was living in Sodom. 118
14:13 A fugitive 119 came and told Abram the Hebrew. 120 Now Abram was living by the oaks 121 of Mamre the Amorite, the brother 122 of Eshcol and Aner. (All these were allied by treaty 123 with Abram.) 124 14:14 When Abram heard that his nephew 125 had been taken captive, he mobilized 126 his 318 trained men who had been born in his household, and he pursued the invaders 127 as far as Dan. 128 14:15 Then, during the night, 129 Abram 130 divided his forces 131 against them and defeated them. He chased them as far as Hobah, which is north 132 of Damascus. 14:16 He retrieved all the stolen property. 133 He also brought back his nephew Lot and his possessions, as well as the women and the rest of 134 the people.
14:17 After Abram 135 returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram 136 in the Valley of Shaveh (known as the King’s Valley). 137 14:18 Melchizedek king of Salem 138 brought out bread and wine. (Now he was the priest of the Most High God.) 139 14:19 He blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by 140 the Most High God,
14:20 Worthy of praise is 143 the Most High God,
who delivered 144 your enemies into your hand.”
Abram gave Melchizedek 145 a tenth of everything.
14:21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and take the possessions for yourself.” 14:22 But Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I raise my hand 146 to the
The Cutting of the Covenant
15:2 But Abram said, “O sovereign
15:4 But look, 163 the word of the
15:12 When the sun went down, Abram fell sound asleep, 186 and great terror overwhelmed him. 187 15:13 Then the
15:17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking firepot with a flaming torch 199 passed between the animal parts. 200 15:18 That day the
The Birth of Ishmael
16:1 Now Sarai, 206 Abram’s wife, had not given birth to any children, 207 but she had an Egyptian servant 208 named Hagar. 209 16:2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Since 210 the
16:3 So after Abram had lived 214 in Canaan for ten years, Sarai, Abram’s wife, gave Hagar, her Egyptian servant, 215 to her husband to be his wife. 216 16:4 He had sexual relations with 217 Hagar, and she became pregnant. 218 Once Hagar realized she was pregnant, she despised Sarai. 219 16:5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You have brought this wrong on me! 220 I allowed my servant to have sexual relations with you, 221 but when she realized 222 that she was pregnant, she despised me. 223 May the
16:9 Then the
“You are now 237 pregnant
and are about to give birth 238 to a son.
You are to name him Ishmael, 239
16:12 He will be a wild donkey 241 of a man.
He will be hostile to everyone, 242
and everyone will be hostile to him. 243
He will live away from 244 his brothers.”
16:13 So Hagar named the
The Sign of the Covenant
17:1 When Abram was 99 years old, 254 the
17:3 Abram bowed down with his face to the ground, 262 and God said to him, 263 17:4 “As for me, 264 this 265 is my covenant with you: You will be the father of a multitude of nations. 17:5 No longer will your name be 266 Abram. Instead, your name will be Abraham 267 because I will make you 268 the father of a multitude of nations. 17:6 I will make you 269 extremely 270 fruitful. I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you. 271 17:7 I will confirm 272 my covenant as a perpetual 273 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. 274 17:8 I will give the whole land of Canaan – the land where you are now residing 275 – to you and your descendants after you as a permanent 276 possession. I will be their God.”
17:9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep 277 the covenantal requirement 278 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: 279 Every male among you must be circumcised. 280 17:11 You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskins. This will be a reminder 281 of the covenant between me and you. 17:12 Throughout your generations every male among you who is eight days old 282 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, 283 whether born in your house or bought with money. The sign of my covenant 284 will be visible in your flesh as a permanent 285 reminder. 17:14 Any uncircumcised male 286 who has not been circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin will be cut off 287 from his people – he has failed to carry out my requirement.” 288
17:15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for your wife, you must no longer call her Sarai; 289 Sarah 290 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. 291 Kings of countries 292 will come from her!”
17:17 Then Abraham bowed down with his face to the ground and laughed 293 as he said to himself, 294 “Can 295 a son be born to a man who is a hundred years old? 296 Can Sarah 297 bear a child at the age of ninety?” 298 17:18 Abraham said to God, “O that 299 Ishmael might live before you!” 300
17:19 God said, “No, Sarah your wife is going to bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac. 301 I will confirm my covenant with him as a perpetual 302 covenant for his descendants after him. 17:20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you. 303 I will indeed bless him, make him fruitful, and give him a multitude of descendants. 304 He will become the father of twelve princes; 305 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. 306
17:23 Abraham took his son Ishmael and every male in his household (whether born in his house or bought with money) 307 and circumcised them 308 on that very same day, just as God had told him to do. 17:24 Now Abraham was 99 years old 309 when he was circumcised; 310 17:25 his son Ishmael was thirteen years old 311 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, 323 if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant. 324 18:4 Let a little water be brought so that 325 you may all 326 wash your feet and rest under the tree. 18:5 And let me get 327 a bit of food 328 so that you may refresh yourselves 329 since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.” 330 “All right,” they replied, “you may do as you say.”
18:6 So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Take 331 three measures 332 of fine flour, knead it, and make bread.” 333 18:7 Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant, 334 who quickly prepared it. 335 18:8 Abraham 336 then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food 337 before them. They ate while 338 he was standing near them under a tree.
18:9 Then they asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “There, 339 in the tent.” 18:10 One of them 340 said, “I will surely return 341 to you when the season comes round again, 342 and your wife Sarah will have a son!” 343 (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him. 344 18:11 Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years; 345 Sarah had long since passed menopause.) 346 18:12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, 347 “After I am worn out will I have pleasure, 348 especially when my husband is old too?” 349
Abraham Pleads for Sodom
18:16 When the men got up to leave, 355 they looked out over 356 Sodom. (Now 357 Abraham was walking with them to see them on their way.) 358 18:17 Then the
18:20 So the
18:22 The two men turned 373 and headed 374 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 379 (although I am but dust and ashes), 380 18:28 what if there are five less than the fifty godly people? Will you destroy 381 the whole city because five are lacking?” 382 He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
18:31 Abraham 388 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 389 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 395 and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.” 396 “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.” 397
19:3 But he urged 398 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, 399 all the men – both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom – surrounded the house. 400 19:5 They shouted to Lot, 401 “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex 402 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! 403 19:8 Look, I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with 404 a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please. 405 Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection 406 of my roof.” 407
19:9 “Out of our way!” 408 they cried, and “This man came to live here as a foreigner, 409 and now he dares to judge us! 410 We’ll do more harm 411 to you than to them!” They kept 412 pressing in on Lot until they were close enough 413 to break down the door.
19:10 So the men inside 414 reached out 415 and pulled Lot back into the house 416 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, 417 with blindness. The men outside 418 wore themselves out trying to find the door. 19:12 Then the two visitors 419 said to Lot, “Who else do you have here? 420 Do you have 421 any sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or other relatives in the city? 422 Get them out of this 423 place 19:13 because we are about to destroy 424 it. The outcry against this place 425 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. 427 He said, “Quick, get out of this place because the
19:15 At dawn 430 the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, 431 or else you will be destroyed when the city is judged!” 432 19:16 When Lot 433 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! 440 19:19 Your 441 servant has found favor with you, 442 and you have shown me great 443 kindness 444 by sparing 445 my life. But I am not able to escape to the mountains because 446 this disaster will overtake 447 me and I’ll die. 448 19:20 Look, this town 449 over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one. 450 Let me go there. 451 It’s just a little place, isn’t it? 452 Then I’ll survive.” 453
19:21 “Very well,” he replied, 454 “I will grant this request too 455 and will not overthrow 456 the town you mentioned. 19:22 Run there quickly, 457 for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.) 458
19:23 The sun had just risen 459 over the land as Lot reached Zoar. 460 19:24 Then the
19:27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went 468 to the place where he had stood before the
19:29 So when God destroyed 472 the cities of the region, 473 God honored 474 Abraham’s request. He removed Lot 475 from the midst of the destruction when he destroyed 476 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 477 to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man anywhere nearby 478 to have sexual relations with us, 479 according to the way of all the world. 19:32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine 480 so we can have sexual relations 481 with him and preserve 482 our family line through our father.” 483
19:33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine, 484 and the older daughter 485 came and had sexual relations with her father. 486 But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 487 19:34 So in the morning the older daughter 488 said to the younger, “Since I had sexual relations with my father last night, let’s make him drunk again tonight. 489 Then you go and have sexual relations with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 490 19:35 So they made their father drunk 491 that night as well, and the younger one came and had sexual relations with him. 492 But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 493
19:36 In this way both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 19:37 The older daughter 494 gave birth to a son and named him Moab. 495 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. 496 He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.
Abraham and Abimelech
20:1 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev 497 region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident 498 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, 502 would you really slaughter an innocent nation? 503 20:5 Did Abraham 504 not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, 505 ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience 506 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. 507 That is why I have kept you 508 from sinning against me and why 509 I did not allow you to touch her. 20:7 But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed 510 he is a prophet 511 and he will pray for you; thus you will live. 512 But if you don’t give her back, 513 know that you will surely die 514 along with all who belong to you.”
20:8 Early in the morning 515 Abimelech summoned 516 all his servants. When he told them about all these things, 517 they 518 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? 519 You have done things to me that should not be done!” 520 20:10 Then Abimelech asked 521 Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?” 522
20:11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought, 523 ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of 524 my wife.’ 20:12 What’s more, 525 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 526 from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me: 527 Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’”
20:14 So Abimelech gave 528 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.” 529
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. 544 Everyone who hears about this 545 will laugh 546 with me.” 21:7 She went on to say, 547 “Who would 548 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 549 a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 550 21:9 But Sarah noticed 551 the son of Hagar the Egyptian – the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham – mocking. 552 21:10 So she said to Abraham, “Banish 553 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. 554 21:12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be upset 555 about the boy or your slave wife. Do 556 all that Sarah is telling 557 you because through Isaac your descendants will be counted. 558 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 559 some food 560 and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He put them on her shoulders, gave her the child, 561 and sent her away. So she went wandering 562 aimlessly through the wilderness 563 of Beer Sheba. 21:15 When the water in the skin was gone, she shoved 564 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 565 away; for she thought, 566 “I refuse to watch the child die.” 567 So she sat across from him and wept uncontrollably. 568
21:17 But God heard the boy’s voice. 569 The angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What is the matter, 570 Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard 571 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. 572 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 575 in all that you do. 21:23 Now swear to me right here in God’s name 576 that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants. 577 Show me, and the land 578 where you are staying, 579 the same loyalty 580 that I have shown you.” 581
21:24 Abraham said, “I swear to do this.” 582 21:25 But Abraham lodged a complaint 583 against Abimelech concerning a well 584 that Abimelech’s servants had seized. 585 21:26 “I do not know who has done this thing,” Abimelech replied. “Moreover, 586 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. 587 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 588 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 589 that I dug this well.” 590 21:31 That is why he named that place 591 Beer Sheba, 592 because the two of them swore 593 an oath there.
21:32 So they made a treaty 594 at Beer Sheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, returned 595 to the land of the Philistines. 596 21:33 Abraham 597 planted a tamarisk tree 598 in Beer Sheba. There he worshiped the