Genesis 16:1–20:18

Hagar and Ishmael

16 Now Sarai,k Abram’s wife, had borne him no children.l But she had an Egyptian slavem named Hagar;n so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children.o Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”p

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaanq ten years,r Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar,s and she conceived.

When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.t Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”u

“Your slave is in your hands,v” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreatedw Hagar; so she fled from her.

The angel of the Lordx found Hagar near a springy in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.z And he said, “Hagar,a slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”b

“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”c

11 The angel of the Lordd also said to her:

“You are now pregnant

and you will give birth to a son.e

You shall name himf Ishmael,a g

for the Lord has heard of your misery.h

12 He will be a wild donkeyi of a man;

his hand will be against everyone

and everyone’s hand against him,

and he will live in hostility

towardb all his brothers.j

13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,k” for she said, “I have now seenc the One who sees me.”l 14 That is why the wellm was called Beer Lahai Roid;n it is still there, between Kadesho and Bered.

15 So Hagarp bore Abram a son,q and Abram gave the name Ishmaelr to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years olds when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

The Covenant of Circumcision

17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old,t the Lord appeared to himu and said, “I am God Almightya;v walk before me faithfully and be blameless.w Then I will make my covenant between me and youx and will greatly increase your numbers.”y

Abram fell facedown,z and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you:a You will be the father of many nations.b No longer will you be called Abramb; your name will be Abraham,c c for I have made you a father of many nations.d I will make you very fruitful;e I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.f I will establish my covenantg as an everlasting covenanth between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your Godi and the God of your descendants after you.j The whole land of Canaan,k where you now reside as a foreigner,l I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you;m and I will be their God.n

Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant,o you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.p 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.q 11 You are to undergo circumcision,r and it will be the sign of the covenants between me and you. 12 For the generations to comet every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised,u including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised.v My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.w 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcisedx in the flesh, will be cut off from his people;y he has broken my covenant.z

15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Saraia your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.b 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her.c I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations;d kings of peoples will come from her.”

17 Abraham fell facedown;e he laughedf and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old?g Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”h 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmaeli might live under your blessing!”j

19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son,k and you will call him Isaac.d l I will establish my covenant with himm as an everlasting covenantn for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers.o He will be the father of twelve rulers,p and I will make him into a great nation.q 21 But my covenantr I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to yous by this time next year.”t 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.u

23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his householdv or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him.w 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years oldx when he was circumcised,y 25 and his son Ishmaelz was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s householda, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

The Three Visitors

18 The Lord appeared to Abrahamb near the great trees of Mamrec while he was sitting at the entrance to his tentd in the heat of the day. Abraham looked upe and saw three menf standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.g

He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes,h my lord,a do not pass your servanti by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feetj and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat,k so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”

“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”

So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahsb of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”l

Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calfm and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curdsn and milko and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them.p While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

“Where is your wife Sarah?”q they asked him.

“There, in the tent,r” he said.

10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year,s and Sarah your wife will have a son.”t

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old,u and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.v 12 So Sarah laughedw to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lordx is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’y 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord?z I will return to you at the appointed time next year,a and Sarah will have a son.”b

15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”

But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

Abraham Pleads for Sodom

16 When the menc got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abrahamd what I am about to do?e 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation,f and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.c 19 For I have chosen himg, so that he will direct his childrenh and his household after him to keep the way of the Lordi by doing what is right and just,j so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”k

20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodoml and Gomorrah is so greatm and their sin so grievousn 21 that I will go downo and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

22 The menp turned away and went toward Sodom,q but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.d r 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?s 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not sparee the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?t 25 Far be it from you to do such a thingu—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteousv and the wicked alike.w Far be it from you! Will not the Judgex of all the earth do right?”y

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.z

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes,a 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry,b but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more.c What if only ten can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten,d I will not destroy it.”

33 When the Lord had finished speakinge with Abraham, he left,f and Abraham returned home.g

Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed

19 The two angelsh arrived at Sodomi in the evening, and Lotj

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