The Book of Genesis, Chapter 21

This chapter is about Isaac being born, Hagar & Ishmael being officially sent away, & a treaty at Beesheba. This is the last time we hear of Hagar. The treaty at Beersheba is between Abimelech, Phicol (who’s the commander of Abimelech’s forces), & Abraham. I hope you enjoy the read.

God was gracious to Sarah & he let Sarah have a baby. Abraham gave the baby the name of Isaac (Isaac means he laughs because Abraham laughed when he heard he was gonna be a dad at his old age.). (It doesn’t say how old Ishmael was when Isaac was born. But he’s at least a teenager, because Ishmael was 13 when he got circumcision.) Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.

Sarah says, “God has brought me laughter, & everyone who hears about this will laugh too.” (At least Sarah has a sense of humor.)

Isaac grew & was weened (I’m assuming this was around a year old.). When this happened Abraham had a giant feast. Sarah saw that Ishmael was mocking (it doesn’t say what exactly he was mocking.) & Sarah got snippy. She says, “Get rid of that slave woman & her son (Sarah doesn’t even call them by name.)! That slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with MY son Isaac.”

Abraham was really distressed about the whole deal. God told him not to worry. “Listen to whatever Sarah says. Because it’s through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” (The “reckoned” line is also found in Hebrews 11:18 & Romans 9:7.) God also let Abraham know that Ishmael will be a nation too, because Ishmael was Abraham’s son.

Early the next day, Abraham took some food & a skin of water & gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders. Then sent them both away. They went on their way & wandered in the desert of Beersheba. When the skin was empty, Hagar put Ishmael under some bushes (Ishmael must have still been considered a child because the bible calls him as such here.). Then Hagar went off & sat nearby. As she sat there, Ishmael began to cry.

God heard Ishmael’s crying. An angel called to Hagar from heaven & told her that everything was going to be okay. Then God opened Hagar’s eyes & she saw a well. She went & filled the skin with water. She then gave Ishmael a drink.

God was with the boy as he grew up. Ishmael lived in the desert, he became an archer. While he was living in the desert of Paran, Hagar got him a wife from Egypt.

At this time, Abimelech & Phicol (the commander of Abimelech’s forces) say to Abraham, “God’s with you in everything you do. Now promise me, right here, before God that you’ll not falsely deal with me or my kids or my descendants.” (I wonder if this is still happening?) Abraham promised.

Abraham started complaining to Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech’s servants had “seized.” Abimelech says, “I don’t know who did this. You didn’t tell me. I only heard about this today.” Abraham brought some livestock & gave them to Abimelech. The 2 men made a treaty. Then Abraham set apart 7 ewe (girl) lambs from the flock. Abimelech asked Abraham why he did this. Abraham (being crafty again!) says, “Accept these 7 lambs from me as a witness that I dug this well.” So that place was called Beersheba (Beersheba means well of 7 or well of the oath.) because the 2 men swore an oath there.

After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelech & Phicol returned to the land of the Philistines. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba. There he “called upon the name of the Lord, the Eternal God.” Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.


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