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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 21

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Birth of Isaac. 1The LORD took note of Sarah as he had said he would; he did for her as he had promised. j Gn 17, 19; 18, 10 . 2Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time that God had stated. k Gal 4, 23; Heb 11, 11 . 3Abraham gave the name Isaac to this son of his whom Sarah bore him. l Mt 1, 2; Lk 3, 34 . 4When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded. m Gn 17, 10ff; Acts 7, 8 . 5Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6Sarah then said, “God has given me cause to laugh, and all who hear of it will laugh with me. n Gn 17, 17 . 7Who would have told Abraham,” she added, “that Sarah would nurse children! Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” 8Isaac grew, and on the day of the child's weaning Abraham held a great feast.

9 *Sarah noticed the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham playing with her son Isaac; 10so she demanded of Abraham: “Drive out that slave and her son! No son of that slave is going to share the inheritance with my son Isaac!” o Jgs 11, 2; Gal 4, 30 . 11Abraham was greatly distressed, especially on account of his son Ishmael. 12But God said to Abraham: “Do not be distressed about the boy or about your slave woman. Heed the demands of Sarah, no matter what she is asking of you; for it is through Isaac that descendants shall bear your name. p Rom 9, 7; Heb 11, 18 . 13As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a great nation of him also, since he too is your offspring.”

14Early the next morning Abraham got some bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. Then, placing the child on her back,* he sent her away. As she roamed aimlessly in the wilderness of Beer‐sheba, 15the water in the skin was used up. So she put the child down under a shrub, 16and then went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away; for she said to herself, “Let me not watch to see the child die.” As she sat opposite him, he began to cry. 17God heard the boy's cry, and God's messenger called to Hagar from heaven: “What is the matter, Hagar? Don’t be afraid; God has heard the boy's cry in this plight of his. q Gn 16, 7 . 18Arise, lift up the boy and hold him by the hand; for I will make of him a great nation.” 19Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went and filled the skin with water, and then let the boy drink.

20God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert bowman, 21with his home in the wilderness of Paran. His mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

The Pact at Beer‐sheba. 22About that time Abimelech, accompanied by Phicol, the commander of his army,* said to Abraham: “God is with you in everything you do. 23Therefore, swear to me by God at this place* that you will not deal falsely with me or with my progeny and posterity, but will act as loyally toward me and the land in which you stay as I have acted toward you.” 24To this Abraham replied, “I so swear.”

25Abraham, however, reproached Abimelech about a well that Abimelech's men had seized by force. 26“I have no idea who did that,” Abimelech replied. “In fact, you never told me about it, nor did I ever hear of it until now.”

27Then Abraham took sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech and the two made a pact. 28Abraham also set apart seven ewe lambs of the flock, 29and Abimelech asked him, “What is the purpose of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 30Abraham answered, “The seven ewe lambs you shall accept from me that thus I may have your acknowledgment that the well was dug by me.” 31This is why the place is called Beer‐sheba;* the two of them took an oath there. 32When they had thus made the pact in Beer‐sheba, Abimelech, along with Phicol, the commander of his army, left and returned to the land of the Philistines.

33Abraham planted a tamarisk at Beer‐sheba, and there he invoked by name the LORD, God the Eternal.* 34Abraham resided in the land of the Philistines for many years.


j: Gn 17, 19; 18, 10 .

k: Gal 4, 23; Heb 11, 11 .

l: Mt 1, 2; Lk 3, 34 .

m: Gn 17, 10ff; Acts 7, 8 .

n: Gn 17, 17 .

o: Jgs 11, 2; Gal 4, 30 .

p: Rom 9, 7; Heb 11, 18 .

q: Gn 16, 7 .

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