21 1God visited Sarah exactly as he said he would; God did to Sarah what he promised: 2Sarah became pregnant and gave Abraham a son in his old age, and at the very time God had set. 3Abraham named him Isaac. 4When his son was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him just as God had commanded. 5Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born. 6Sarah said, God has blessed me with laughter and all who get the news will laugh with me! 7She also said, Whoever would have suggested to Abraham that Sarah would one day nurse a baby! Yet here I am! I’ve given the old man a son! 8The baby grew and was weaned. Abraham threw a big party on the day Isaac was weaned. 9One day Sarah saw the son that Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham, poking fun at her son Isaac. 10She told Abraham, “Get rid of this slave woman and her son. No child of this slave is going to share inheritance with my son Isaac!” 11The matter gave great pain to Abraham—after all, Ishmael was his son. 12But God spoke to Abraham, “Don’t feel badly about the boy and your maid. Do whatever Sarah tells you. Your descendants will come through Isaac. 13Regarding your maid’s son, be assured that I’ll also develop a great nation from him—he’s your son, too.” 14Abraham got up early the next morning, got some food together and a canteen of water for Hagar, put them on her back and sent her away with the child. She wandered off into the desert of Beersheba. 15When the water was gone, she left the child under a shrub 16and went off, fifty yards or so. She said, “I can’t watch my son die.” As she sat, she broke into sobs. 17Meanwhile, God heard the boy crying. The angel of God called from Heaven to Hagar, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid. God has heard the boy and knows the fix he’s in. 18Up now; go get the boy. Hold him tight. I’m going to make of him a great nation.” 19Just then God opened her eyes. She looked. She saw a well of water. She went to it and filled her canteen and gave the boy a long, cool drink. 20God was on the boy’s side as he grew up. He lived out in the desert and became a skilled archer. 21He lived in the Paran wilderness. And his mother got him a wife from Egypt. 22At about that same time, Abimelech and the captain of his troops, Phicol, spoke to Abraham: “No matter what you do, God is on your side. 23So swear to me that you won’t do anything underhanded to me or any of my family. For as long as you live here, swear that you’ll treat me and my land as well as I’ve treated you.” 24Abraham said, “I swear it.” 25At the same time, Abraham confronted Abimelech over the matter of a well of water that Abimelech’s servants had taken. 26Abimelech said, “I have no idea who did this; you never told me about it; this is the first I’ve heard of it.” 27So the two of them made a covenant. Abraham took sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. 28Abraham set aside seven sheep from his flock. 29Abimelech said, “What does this mean? These seven sheep you’ve set aside.” 30Abraham said, “It means that when you accept these seven sheep, you take it as proof that I dug this well, that it’s my well.” 31That’s how the place got named Beersheba (the Oath–Well), because the two of them swore a covenant oath there. 32After they had made the covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech and his commander, Phicol, left and went back to Philistine territory. 33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and worshiped God there, praying to the Eternal God. 34Abraham lived in Philistine country for a long time.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About