1The Lord came to help Sarah as he'd said he would. The Lord did for Sarah what he'd promised. 2She became pregnant and had a son for Abraham when he was old, at the exact time God said she would. 3Abraham named their son Isaac. 4Abraham circumcised him when Isaac was eight days old, following God's command. 5Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born.
6Sarah declared, “God has made me laugh,#21:6. Isaac means “he laughs.” and all those who hear about this will laugh with me.” 7She also said, “Would anyone have announced to Abraham that Sarah was going to have children to nurse? But now I have had a son for Abraham even when he was old!”
8The baby grew up, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a large feast. 9But Sarah noticed that Ishmael, Hagar the Egyptian's son she'd had for Abraham, was making fun of Isaac. 10So she went to Abraham and told him, “You have to get rid of this slave woman and this son of hers! A slave woman's son is not going to be one of your heirs and inherit together with my son Isaac!”
11Abraham felt very bad about it because Ishmael was his son. 12But God told Abraham, “Don't feel bad about the boy and the slave woman. Do whatever Sarah tells you, because it's through Isaac that your descendants will be counted. 13Don't worry—I will also make the son of the slave woman into a nation because he's your son.”
14Abraham got up early the next morning. He packed up some food and a skin of water which he gave to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder. Then he sent her and the boy away. She left and wandered through the Desert of Beersheba.
15When the water ran out, she left the boy under one of the bushes. 16She went and sat down some way off, a few hundred yards away,#21:16. “A few hundred yards away”: literally, “a bowshot.” saying, “I can't bear to watch my son die!” As she sat down she burst into tears.
17God heard the boy's cries, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What's the matter, Hagar? Don't be afraid! God has heard the boy crying from where he is. 18Get up, go over and help the boy up, and encourage him, for I will make him into a great nation.”
19God opened her eyes and she saw a well nearby. She went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20God blessed Ishmael and he grew up, living in the desert. He became a skilled archer. 21He lived in the Desert of Paran. His mother chose a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
22Around this time Abimelech came with Phicol, the commander of his army, to see Abraham. “God blesses you in everything you do,” Abimelech said. 23“So swear to me right here and now that you won't betray me, my children, or my descendants. In the same way I've proved I'm trustworthy to you, do the same to me and my country where you're currently living.”
24“I so swear,” Abraham replied. 25Then Abraham raised an issue with Abimelech of a well that Abimelech's servants had taken by force.
26“I don't know who did this, and you didn't mention it before. I haven't heard anything about it until today,” Abimelech responded.
27Then Abraham gave Abimelech some of his sheep and cattle, and the two of them made an agreement. 28Abraham also separated out seven female lambs from the flock.
29“What are these seven female lambs for that you've separated from the flock?” Abimelech asked.
30“I'm giving you these seven female lambs in return for your admission that I dug this well,” Abraham replied. 31That's why he called the place Beersheba,#21:31. Beersheba means both “well of swearing” and “well of seven.” because the two of them swore an oath to each other.
32After making the agreement at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army left and went home to the country of the Philistines. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and there he worshiped the Lord, the Eternal God. 34Abraham lived in the country of the Philistines for a long time.