Bible: Genesis 12-23

The Obedience of Abram

12:1 Now the Lord said 1  to Abram, 2 

“Go out 3  from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household

to the land that I will show you. 4 

12:2 Then I will make you 5  into a great nation, and I will bless you, 6 

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 Lord had told him to do, 13  and Lot went with him. (Now 14  Abram was 75 years old 15  when he departed from Haran.) 12:5 And Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew 16  Lot, and all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired 17  in Haran, and they left for 18  the land of Canaan. They entered the land of Canaan.

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 Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants 23  I will give this land.” So Abram 24  built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

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 Lord and worshiped the Lord. 26  12:9 Abram continually journeyed by stages 27  down to the Negev. 28 

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 Lord struck Pharaoh and his household with severe diseases 45  because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 12:18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram and said, “What is this 46  you have done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? 12:19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her 47  to be my wife? 48  Here is your wife! 49  Take her and go! 50  12:20 Pharaoh gave his men orders about Abram, 51  and so they expelled him, along with his wife and all his possessions.

Abram’s Solution to the Strife

13:1 So Abram went up from Egypt into the Negev. 52  He took his wife and all his possessions with him, as well as Lot. 53  13:2 (Now Abram was very wealthy 54  in livestock, silver, and gold.) 55 

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 Lord. 61 

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 Lord obliterated 75  Sodom and Gomorrah) 76  like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, 77  all the way to Zoar. 13:11 Lot chose for himself the whole region of the Jordan and traveled 78  toward the east.

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 Lord.) 83 

13:14 After Lot had departed, the Lord said to Abram, 84 Look 85  from the place where you stand to the north, south, east, and west. 13:15 I will give all the land that you see to you and your descendants 86  forever. 13:16 And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone is able to count the dust of the earth, then your descendants also can be counted. 87  13:17 Get up and 88  walk throughout 89  the land, 90  for I will give it to you.”

13:18 So Abram moved his tents and went to live 91  by the oaks 92  of Mamre in Hebron, and he built an altar to the Lord there.

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,

Creator 141  of heaven and earth. 142 

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 Lord, the Most High God, Creator of heaven and earth, and vow 147  14:23 that I will take nothing 148  belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal. That way you can never say, ‘It is I 149  who made Abram rich.’ 14:24 I will take nothing 150  except compensation for what the young men have eaten. 151  As for the share of the men who went with me – Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre – let them take their share.”

The Cutting of the Covenant

15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram! I am your shield 152  and the one who will reward you in great abundance.” 153 

15:2 But Abram said, “O sovereign Lord, 154  what will you give me since 155  I continue to be 156  childless, and my heir 157  is 158  Eliezer of Damascus? 159  15:3 Abram added, 160 Since 161  you have not given me a descendant, then look, one born in my house will be my heir! 162 

15:4 But look, 163  the word of the Lord came to him: “This man 164  will not be your heir, 165  but instead 166  a son 167  who comes from your own body will be 168  your heir.” 169  15:5 The Lord 170  took him outside and said, “Gaze into the sky and count the stars – if you are able to count them!” Then he said to him, “So will your descendants be.”

15:6 Abram believed 171  the Lord, and the Lord 172  considered his response of faith 173  as proof of genuine loyalty. 174 

15:7 The Lord said 175  to him, “I am the Lord 176  who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans 177  to give you this land to possess.” 15:8 But 178  Abram 179  said, “O sovereign Lord, 180  by what 181  can I know that I am to possess it?

15:9 The Lord 182  said to him, “Take for me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” 15:10 So Abram 183  took all these for him and then cut them in two 184  and placed each half opposite the other, 185  but he did not cut the birds in half. 15:11 When birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

15:12 When the sun went down, Abram fell sound asleep, 186  and great terror overwhelmed him. 187  15:13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain 188  that your descendants will be strangers 189  in a foreign country. 190  They will be enslaved and oppressed 191  for four hundred years. 15:14 But I will execute judgment on the nation that they will serve. 192  Afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15:15 But as for you, 193  you will go to your ancestors 194  in peace and be buried at a good old age. 195  15:16 In the fourth generation 196  your descendants 197  will return here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its limit.” 198 

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 Lord made a covenant 201  with Abram: “To your descendants I give 202  this land, from the river of Egypt 203  to the great river, the Euphrates River 15:19 the land 204  of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 15:20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 15:21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.” 205 

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 Lord has prevented me from having children, have sexual relations with 211  my servant. Perhaps I can have a family by her.” 212  Abram did what 213  Sarai told him.

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 Lord judge between you and me! 224 

16:6 Abram said to Sarai, “Since your 225  servant is under your authority, 226  do to her whatever you think best.” 227  Then Sarai treated Hagar 228  harshly, 229  so she ran away from Sarai. 230 

16:7 The Lord’s angel 231  found Hagar near a spring of water in the desert – the spring that is along the road to Shur. 232  16:8 He said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She replied, “I’m running away from 233  my mistress, Sarai.”

16:9 Then the Lord’s angel said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit 234  to her authority. 16:10 I will greatly multiply your descendants,” the Lord’s angel added, 235  “so that they will be too numerous to count.” 236  16:11 Then the Lord’s angel said to her,

“You are now 237  pregnant

and are about to give birth 238  to a son.

You are to name him Ishmael, 239 

for the Lord has heard your painful groans. 240 

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 Lord who spoke to her, “You are the God who sees me,” 245  for she said, “Here I have seen one who sees me! 246  16:14 That is why the well was called 247  Beer Lahai Roi. 248  (It is located 249  between Kadesh and Bered.)

16:15 So Hagar gave birth to Abram’s son, whom Abram named Ishmael. 250  16:16 (Now 251  Abram was 86 years old 252  when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.) 253 

The Sign of the Covenant

17:1 When Abram was 99 years old, 254  the Lord appeared to him and said, 255 I am the sovereign God. 256  Walk 257  before me 258  and be blameless. 259  17:2 Then I will confirm my covenant 260  between me and you, and I will give you a multitude of descendants.” 261 

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

18:1 The Lord appeared to Abraham 312  by the oaks 313  of Mamre while 314  he was sitting at the entrance 315  to his tent during the hottest time of the day. 18:2 Abraham 316  looked up 317  and saw 318  three men standing across 319  from him. When he saw them 320  he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low 321  to the ground. 322 

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 

18:13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why 350  did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really 351  have a child when I am old?’ 18:14 Is anything impossible 352  for the Lord? I will return to you when the season comes round again and Sarah will have a son.” 353  18:15 Then Sarah lied, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid. But the Lord said, “No! You did laugh.” 354 

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 Lord said, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 359  18:18 After all, Abraham 360  will surely become 361  a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 362  using his name. 18:19 I have chosen him 363  so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep 364  the way of the Lord by doing 365  what is right and just. Then the Lord will give 366  to Abraham what he promised 367  him.”

18:20 So the Lord said, “The outcry against 368  Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant 369  18:21 that I must go down 370  and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests. 371  If not, 372  I want to know.”

18:22 The two men turned 373  and headed 374  toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 375  18:23 Abraham approached and said, “Will you sweep away the godly along with the wicked? 18:24 What if there are fifty godly people in the city? Will you really wipe it out and not spare 376  the place for the sake of the fifty godly people who are in it? 18:25 Far be it from you to do such a thing – to kill the godly with the wicked, treating the godly and the wicked alike! Far be it from you! Will not the judge 377  of the whole earth do what is right? 378 

18:26 So the Lord replied, “If I find in the city of Sodom fifty godly people, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

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.”

18:29 Abraham 383  spoke to him again, 384 What if forty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”

18:30 Then Abraham 385  said, “May the Lord not be angry 386  so that I may speak! 387  What if thirty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it if I find thirty 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.”

18:33 The Lord went on his way 390  when he had finished speaking 391  to Abraham. Then Abraham returned home. 392 

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening while 393  Lot was sitting in the city’s gateway. 394  When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face toward the ground.

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 

19:9Out 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 Lord that he 426  has sent us to destroy it.”

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 Lord is about to destroy 428  the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was ridiculing them. 429 

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 Lord had compassion on them. 434  They led them away and placed them 435  outside the city. 19:17 When they had brought them outside, they 436  said, “Run 437  for your lives! Don’t look 438  behind you or stop anywhere in the valley! 439  Escape to the mountains or you will be destroyed!

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 

19:21Very 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 Lord rained down 461  sulfur and fire 462  on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the Lord. 463  19:25 So he overthrew those cities and all that region, 464  including all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation that grew 465  from the ground. 19:26 But Lot’s 466  wife looked back longingly 467  and was turned into a pillar of salt.

19:27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went 468  to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 19:28 He looked out toward 469  Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of that region. 470  As he did so, he saw the smoke rising up from the land like smoke from a furnace. 471 

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.

20:3 But God appeared 499  to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “You are as good as dead 500  because of the woman you have taken, for she is someone else’s wife.” 501 

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 

20:16 To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given a thousand pieces of silver 530  to your ‘brother.’ 531  This is compensation for you so that you will stand vindicated before all who are with you.” 532 

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 Lord 533  had caused infertility to strike every woman 534  in the household of Abimelech because he took 535  Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

The Birth of Isaac

21:1 The Lord visited 536  Sarah just as he had said he would and did 537  for Sarah what he had promised. 538  21:2 So Sarah became pregnant 539  and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the appointed time that God had told him. 21:3 Abraham named his son – whom Sarah bore to him – Isaac. 540  21:4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, 541  Abraham circumcised him just as God had commanded him to do. 542  21:5 (Now Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.) 543 

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.

21:20 God was with the boy as he grew. He lived in the wilderness and became an archer. 21:21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran. 573  His mother found a wife for him from the land of Egypt. 574 

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 Lord, 599  the eternal God. 21:34 So Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for quite some time. 600 

The Sacrifice of Isaac

22:1 Some time after these things God tested 601  Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham 602  replied. 22:2 God 603  said, “Take your son – your only son, whom you love, Isaac 604 and go to the land of Moriah! 605  Offer him up there as a burnt offering 606  on one of the mountains which I will indicate to 607  you.”

22:3 Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. 608  He took two of his young servants with him, along with his son Isaac. When he had cut the wood for the burnt offering, he started out 609  for the place God had spoken to him about.

22:4 On the third day Abraham caught sight of 610  the place in the distance. 22:5 So he 611  said to his servants, “You two stay 612  here with the donkey while 613  the boy and I go up there. We will worship 614  and then return to you.” 615 

22:6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac. Then he took the fire and the knife in his hand, 616  and the two of them walked on together. 22:7 Isaac said to his father Abraham, 617 My father?” “What is it, 618  my son?” he replied. “Here is the fire and the wood,” Isaac said, 619 but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? 22:8 God will provide 620  for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together.

22:9 When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there 621  and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up 622  his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 22:10 Then Abraham reached out his hand, took the knife, and prepared to slaughter 623  his son. 22:11 But the Lord’s angel 624  called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am!” he answered. 22:12 Do not harm the boy!” 625  the angel said. 626 Do not do anything to him, for now I know 627  that you fear 628  God because you did not withhold your son, your only son, from me.”

22:13 Abraham looked up 629  and saw 630  behind him 631  a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. So he 632  went over and got the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place “The Lord provides.” 633  It is said to this day, 634 In the mountain of the Lord provision will be made.” 635 

22:15 The Lord’s angel called to Abraham a second time from heaven 22:16 and said, “‘I solemnly swear by my own name,’ 636  decrees the Lord, 637  ‘that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 22:17 I will indeed bless you, 638  and I will greatly multiply 639  your descendants 640  so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession 641  of the strongholds 642  of their enemies. 22:18 Because you have obeyed me, 643  all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 644  using the name of your descendants.’

22:19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set out together 645  for Beer Sheba where Abraham stayed. 646 

22:20 After these things Abraham was told, “Milcah 647  also has borne children to your brother Nahor 22:21 Uz the firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 648  22:22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 22:23 (Now 649  Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) These were the eight sons Milcah bore to Abraham’s brother Nahor. 22:24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore him children – Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

The Death of Sarah

23:1 Sarah lived 127 years. 650  23:2 Then she 651  died in Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 652 

23:3 Then Abraham got up from mourning his dead wife 653  and said to the sons of Heth, 654  23:4 I am a temporary settler 655  among you. Grant 656  me ownership 657  of a burial site among you so that I may 658  bury my dead.” 659 

23:5 The sons of Heth answered Abraham, 660  23:6 Listen, sir, 661  you are a mighty prince 662  among us! You may bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb to prevent you 663  from burying your dead.”

23:7 Abraham got up and bowed down to the local people, 664  the sons of Heth. 23:8 Then he said to them, “If you agree 665  that I may bury my dead, 666  then hear me out. 667  Ask 668  Ephron the son of Zohar 23:9 if he will sell 669  me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him; it is at the end of his field. Let him sell it to me publicly 670  for the full price, 671  so that I may own it as a burial site.”

23:10 (Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth.) Ephron the Hethite 672  replied to Abraham in the hearing 673  of the sons of Heth – before all who entered the gate 674  of his city 23:11 No, my lord! Hear me out. I sell 675  you both the field and the cave that is in it. 676  In the presence of my people 677  I sell it to you. Bury your dead.”

23:12 Abraham bowed before the local people 23:13 and said to Ephron in their hearing, “Hear me, if you will. I pay 678  to you the price 679  of the field. Take it from me so that I may 680  bury my dead there.”

23:14 Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 23:15 Hear me, my lord. The land is worth 681  400 pieces of silver, 682  but what is that between me and you? So bury your dead.”

23:16 So Abraham agreed to Ephron’s price 683  and weighed 684  out for him 685  the price 686  that Ephron had quoted 687  in the hearing of the sons of Heth – 400 pieces of silver, according to the standard measurement at the time. 688 

23:17 So Abraham secured 689  Ephron’s field in Machpelah, next to Mamre, including the field, the cave that was in it, and all the trees that were in the field and all around its border, 23:18 as his property in the presence of the sons of Heth before all who entered the gate of Ephron’s city. 690 

23:19 After this Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah next to Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 23:20 So Abraham secured the field and the cave that was in it as a burial site 691  from the sons of Heth.

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