1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.
5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.
8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.
12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.
17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.
18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.
19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.
20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.
21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.
22 And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:
23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
24 And Abraham said, I will swear.
25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.
26 And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing; neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.
27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant.
28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?
30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.
31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.
32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.
33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.
34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days.
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Genesis 21 is a pivotal chapter in the book of Genesis, as it marks the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham and Sarah to give them a son in their old age. This chapter also showcases the ongoing struggles and conflicts within Abraham's family, as well as the faithfulness and sovereignty of God in fulfilling His promises. In this essay, we will explore the main themes and events of Genesis 21 and discuss the deeper meaning and significance of this chapter in the larger narrative of the Bible.
The chapter begins with the birth of Isaac, the long-awaited son of Abraham and Sarah. This event is significant not only because it fulfills God's promise to give them a child, but also because it establishes Isaac as the rightful heir to Abraham's covenant with God. This covenant, made in Genesis 15, promised that Abraham's descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and that they would inherit the land of Canaan.
God's faithfulness in fulfilling this promise is evident in the birth of Isaac, as Sarah conceives and gives birth at the age of 90. This miraculous birth is a testament to God's power and sovereignty, as it was physically impossible for Sarah to bear a child at her age. It also serves as a reminder that God's timing is perfect and that He is able to do the impossible.
Despite the joy and celebration surrounding Isaac's birth, there is also conflict and struggle within Abraham's family. Sarah becomes jealous of Hagar, the mother of Abraham's first son Ishmael, and asks Abraham to send her and Ishmael away. This request causes great distress for Abraham, as he loves both of his sons and does not want to see them separated.
However, God reassures Abraham that He will take care of Hagar and Ishmael, and that Ishmael will also become a great nation. This shows God's compassion and mercy towards Hagar and Ishmael, despite their status as outcasts in Abraham's family. It also foreshadows the future conflict between the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael, as the nations of Israel and Ishmael (later known as the Arab nations) continue to have a tumultuous relationship throughout history.
After Hagar and Ishmael are sent away, Abraham and Abimelech, the king of Gerar, make a covenant at Beersheba. This covenant serves as a confirmation of God's promise to Abraham and his descendants, as Abimelech recognizes that God is with Abraham in all that he does. This event also marks the establishment of Beersheba as a holy place, where Abraham plants a tree and calls on the name of the Lord.
This covenant is significant because it solidifies the relationship between Abraham and Abimelech, and also serves as a reminder of God's faithfulness and protection over Abraham and his family. It also foreshadows the future covenants that God will make with His people, including the covenant with Moses and the new covenant through Jesus Christ.
The final event in this chapter is the testing of Abraham's faith, as God commands him to sacrifice his only son Isaac as a burnt offering. This command may seem cruel and heartless, but it serves as a test of Abraham's faith and obedience to God. Despite the difficulty and emotional turmoil, Abraham obeys God and prepares to sacrifice Isaac.
However, at the last moment, God provides a ram for the sacrifice and spares Isaac's life. This event not only shows Abraham's unwavering faith and obedience, but also foreshadows the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Just as God provided a substitute for Isaac, He also provided a substitute for our sins through Jesus' death and resurrection.
Overall, Genesis 21 is a chapter that showcases the faithfulness and sovereignty of God, as well as the struggles and conflicts within Abraham's family. It also serves as a reminder of God's promises and covenants with His people, and foreshadows the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins.
One of the main themes of this chapter is the fulfillment of God's promises. Throughout the book of Genesis, God makes several promises to Abraham and his descendants, and in this chapter, we see the fulfillment of one of the most significant promises - the birth of Isaac. This event serves as a reminder that God is faithful and true to His word, and that His timing is perfect.
Another theme is the ongoing struggle and conflict within Abraham's family. This chapter highlights the tension between Sarah and Hagar, as well as the future conflict between the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael. This serves as a reminder that even God's chosen people are not immune to conflict and struggle, but He is able to bring about reconciliation and peace.
The covenant of Beersheba also holds great significance in this chapter. It serves as a confirmation of God's promise to Abraham and his descendants, and also establishes a holy place where God's presence is recognized. This foreshadows the future covenants that God will make with His people, ultimately leading to the new covenant through Jesus Christ.
Finally, the testing of Abraham's faith is a powerful reminder of the depth of faith and obedience that God desires from His people. Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son foreshadows the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and serves as a reminder that God will provide a way out for His people in times of testing and trial.
In conclusion, Genesis 21 is a pivotal chapter in the book of Genesis that showcases the fulfillment of God's promises, the struggles and conflicts within Abraham's family, and the testing of Abraham's faith. It also holds deeper meaning and significance in the larger narrative of the Bible, foreshadowing future events and covenants that God will make with His people. This chapter serves as a reminder of God's faithfulness, sovereignty, and desire for His people to have unwavering faith and obedience.