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Genesis 21

21
Birth of Isaac
1Yahweh visited Sarah, # 21:1 We are not told if the Lord appeared to Sarah or visited her in a dream, but it is clear that Yahweh came to her to confirm his promise. just as he said he would, and fulfilled his promise to her. 2And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the exact time God had promised them. 3Abraham named his son Isaac, the miracle son, whom Sarah bore him. 4When Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him. 5Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born. 6Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh # 21:6 This verse contains a double allusion to the name Isaac, which means “he laughed.” Every time Abraham and Sarah spoke Isaac’s name, they acknowledged the miracle of God. The name Yitzhak (Isaac) is the word for “laughter” but in the past tense. It could be translated “delayed laughter.” If you had a baby after turning one hundred, you might laugh too! Notice the details of Isaac’s birth and how they foreshadow the birth of our Lord Jesus: (1) Both sons were the promised seed—Gen. 17:6; Isa. 7:14. (2) Both were long awaited—Gen. 12:5–6; 21:1–3; Gal. 4:4. (3) Both had mothers who asked questions—Gen. 18:13–14; Luke 1:34–37. (4) Both had names given before birth—Gen. 17:19; Matt. 1:21. (5) Both births were miraculous—Gen. 21:2; Matt. 1:18. (6) Both sons were a delight to their father—Gen. 22:2; Matt. 3:17. with me.” 7And she added,
“Who would ever have told Abraham
that Sarah would one day nurse children!
Even though Abraham is an old man,
look—I have given him a son!”
Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away
8Isaac grew and was weaned; and on the day Sarah weaned him, Abraham prepared a great feast. 9But Sarah noticed the son of Hagar, the Egyptian, was mocking # 21:9 The Hebrew word used here is built on the root stem from the name Isaac. It is possible to translate it “jesting,” “playing,” or “making fun of [Isaac].” Regardless, Sarah saw it as a threat to her son. See Gal. 4:21–31. her son Isaac. # 21:9 The italicized words are found in both the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate. 10So she said to Abraham, “Get rid of this slave woman and her son. Banish them, for the son of that slave woman must not become a coheir with my son Isaac!”
11Abraham was very upset over Sarah’s demand, for Ishmael was his son too. 12God spoke to Abraham, # 21:12 Perhaps God spoke to Abraham in a night vision or dream. God still speaks to his prophets today, as he spoke to Abraham. “Don’t be distressed over the slave woman and her son. Listen to every word Sarah says to you, and do it, for it will be through Isaac your promise of descendants will be fulfilled. # 21:12 Or “through Isaac your seed will be counted.” See Rom. 9:7; Gal. 3:16; Heb. 11:18. 13Rest assured, I will make the son of your slave woman into a nation too, because he is your son.”
14Abraham rose up early the next morning, bundled up some food and a skin of water, and strapped them to Hagar’s shoulders. Then he gave her his son and sent them away. So, Hagar and her son Ishmael departed and wandered off into the wilderness of Beersheba.
15When the water was gone, she grew desperate, so she left her son # 21:15 Ishmael was not an infant, for he had been circumcised at thirteen (see Gen. 17:25), and Isaac was born a year afterwards. It was common to wean children at the age of four or five, so Ishmael was at least a teenager when Hagar was sent away. under a bush. 16Then she walked about the distance of a bowshot and sat down, for she thought, “I can’t bear to watch my son die.” As she sat nearby, she broke into tears and sobbed uncontrollably.
17And God heard the voice of the boy. The angel of God called out to Hagar from the heavenly realm # 21:17 Both Ishmael and Isaac were saved by a voice from heaven (see Gen. 22:11). and said, “What’s the matter, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the voice of your son crying as he lies there. 18Get up! Help the boy up and hold him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19Then God opened her eyes to reveal a well of water. She went over to the well and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a long, cool drink.
20God was with Ishmael as he grew up in the wilderness of Paran. He became an expert archer, 21and his mother, Hagar, arranged a marriage for him with an Egyptian woman.
Abraham’s Oath to Abimelech
22At that time, King Abimelech and Phicol, # 21:22 Phicol means “strong.” his army commander, came to Abraham and said, “It is obvious that God is with you and blesses everything you do. # 21:22 It was not simply the wealth of Abraham that impressed them; it was also the supernatural healings that took place when Abraham prayed. 23Now swear to me here before God that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants, but as I have shown you loyal friendship, so you will treat me—and the land in which you live as a foreigner—with loyal friendship.”
24“I give you my oath,” Abraham answered.
25But Abraham voiced a complaint about a well of water which Abimelech’s servants had seized by force. 26Abimelech responded, “This is the first time I’ve heard about this; you never told me before now. I don’t know who has done this.” 27So Abraham took sheep and cattle, gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a covenant.
28Then Abraham set apart from his flock seven ewe lambs, 29and Abimelech asked him, “What are you doing with these seven ewe lambs you have set apart?”
30He replied, “I am giving them to you, and by accepting these seven ewe lambs, you acknowledge the proof that I dug this well and it belongs to me.” 31That place was called Beersheba, # 21:31 Beersheba can be translated either “well of seven [lambs]” or “well of the oath.” because it was there that both men swore an oath to one another.
32After completing their pact at Beersheba, King Abimelech and Phicol, his army commander, departed and returned to Philistine country. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree # 21:33 A tamarisk tree is a type of evergreen that can grow up to fifty feet. Abraham did not plant the tamarisk tree for landscaping; it was a statement proclaiming his faith. Planting the tree revealed Abraham’s faith and endurance until the time of fruitfulness (see Isa. 65:21–22). in Beersheba, and there he worshiped Yahweh, the everlasting God. # 21:33 Or “El Olam,” which means “God Eternal,” “the Hidden God,” or “the Always God” (see Ps. 90:2). This name proclaims that God is God over Eternity and God over eternal things. Abraham’s heart and focus were turning to the God of Eternity. The things of the earth were growing meaningless to him (see 1 John 2:15–17). El Olam was preparing Abraham to yield his greatest treasure, his son. Only one whose heart is fixed on eternity can ever make sacrifices pleasing to God (see Rom. 12:1; Heb. 13:16). When we see the Eternal One, we can let go of temporary things. Abraham touched eternal life as he dwelt by the tamarisk tree and the well. This was his true preparation for giving up Isaac. 34And Abraham lived many years in peace as a foreigner in Philistine country.

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