Sarah Has a Son
1The Lord was good to Sarah and kept his promise. 2#He 11.11. Although Abraham was very old, Sarah had a son exactly at the time God had said. 3Abraham named his son Isaac, 4#Gn 17.12; Ac 7.8. and when the boy was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, just as God had commanded.
5Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born, 6and Sarah said, “God has made me laugh.#21.6 God has made me laugh: In Hebrew “Isaac” sounds like “laugh.” And now everyone will laugh with me. 7Who would have dared to tell Abraham that someday I would have a child? But in his old age, I have given him a son.”
8The time came when Sarah no longer had to nurse Isaac,#21.8 no longer had to nurse Isaac: In ancient Israel mothers nursed their children until they were about three years old. Then there was a family celebration. and on that day Abraham gave a big feast.
Hagar and Ishmael Are Sent Away
9-10 # Ga 4.29,30. One day, Sarah noticed Hagar's son Ishmael#21.9,10 Ishmael: The son of Abraham and Hagar, who was Sarah's slave woman (see 16.1-16). playing,#21.9,10 playing: Hebrew; one ancient translation “playing with her son Isaac.” and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that Egyptian slave woman and her son! I don't want him to inherit anything. It should all go to my son.”#21.9,10 Get rid … son: When Abraham accepted Ishmael as his son, it gave Ishmael the right to inherit part of what Abraham owned. But slaves who were given their freedom lost the right to inherit such property.
11Abraham was worried about Ishmael. 12#Ro 9.7,8; He 11.17,18. But God said, “Abraham, don't worry about your slave woman and the boy. Just do what Sarah tells you. Isaac will inherit your family name, 13but the son of the slave woman is also your son, and I will make his descendants into a great nation.”
14Early the next morning Abraham gave Hagar an animal skin full of water and some bread. Then he put the boy on her shoulder and sent them away.
They wandered around in the desert near Beersheba, 15and after they had run out of water, Hagar put her son under a bush. 16Then she sat down a long way off, because she could not bear to watch him die. And she cried bitterly.
17When God heard the boy crying, the angel of God called out to Hagar from heaven and said, “Hagar, why are you worried? Don't be afraid. I have heard your son crying. 18Help him up and hold his hand, because I will make him the father of a great nation.” 19Then God let her see a well. So she went to the well and filled the skin with water, then gave some to her son.
20-21God blessed Ishmael, and as the boy grew older, he became an expert at hunting with his bow and arrows. He lived in the Paran Desert, and his mother chose an Egyptian woman for him to marry.
A Peace Treaty
22 # Gn 26.26. About this time Abimelech and his army commander Phicol said to Abraham, “God blesses everything you do! 23Now I want you to promise in the name of God that you will always be loyal to me and my descendants, just as I have always been loyal to you in this land where you have lived as a foreigner.” 24And so, Abraham promised he would.
25One day, Abraham told Abimelech, “Some of your servants have taken over one of my wells.”
26“This is the first I've heard about it,” Abimelech replied. “Why haven't you said something before? I don't have any idea who did it.” 27Abraham gave Abimelech some sheep and cattle, then the two men made a peace treaty.
28Abraham separated seven female lambs from his flock of sheep, 29and Abimelech asked, “Why have you done this?”
30Abraham replied, “I want you to accept these seven lambs as proof that I dug this well.” 31So they called the place Beersheba,#21.31 Beersheba: Meaning “Well of Good Fortune” or “Peace Treaty Well.” because they made a treaty there.
32When the treaty was completed, Abimelech and his army commander Phicol went back to the land of the Philistines. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree#21.33 tamarisk tree: A tall shade tree that has deep roots and needs little water. in Beersheba and worshiped the eternal Lord God. 34Then Abraham lived a long time as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines.
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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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