21 The Lord was gracious to Sarah, just as he had said he would be. He did for Sarah what he had promised to do. 2Sarah became pregnant. She had a son by Abraham when he was old. He was born at the exact time God had promised him.
3Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah had by him. 4When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him. He did it exactly as God had commanded him. 5Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6Sarah said, “God has given laughter to me. Everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”
7She continued, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? But I’ve had a son by him when he is old.”
Abraham Sends Hagar and Ishmael Away
8Isaac grew. The time came for his mother to stop nursing him. On that day Abraham had a big dinner prepared.
9But Sarah saw Ishmael making fun of Isaac. Ishmael was the son Hagar had by Abraham. Hagar was Sarah’s servant from Egypt.
10Sarah said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman. Get rid of her son. The slave woman’s son will never have a share of the family’s property with my son Isaac.”
11What Sarah said upset Abraham very much. After all, Ishmael was his son.
12But God said to him, “Do not be so upset about the boy and your servant Hagar. Listen to what Sarah tells you, because your family line will continue through Isaac. 13I will make the son of your servant into a nation also. I will do it because he is your child.”
14Early the next morning Abraham got some food and a bottle of water. The bottle was made out of animal skin. He gave the food and water to Hagar. He placed them on her shoulders. Then he sent her away with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
15When the water in the bottle was gone, she put the boy under a bush. 16Then she went off and sat down nearby. She was about as far away as a person can shoot an arrow. She thought, “I can’t stand to watch the boy die.” As she sat nearby, she began to sob.
17God heard the boy crying. Then the angel of God called out to Hagar from heaven. He said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid. God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18Lift the boy up. Take him by the hand. I will make him into a great nation.”
19Then God opened Hagar’s eyes. She saw a well of water. So she went and filled the bottle with water. And she gave the boy a drink.
20God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and learned to shoot with a bow. 21While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got him a wife from Egypt.
22At that time Abimelech and Phicol spoke to Abraham. Phicol was the commander of Abimelech’s army. They said, “God is with you in everything you do. 23Now make a promise to me here while God is watching. Take an oath that you will treat me fairly. Promise that you will treat my children and their children the same way.
“I’ve been kind to you. Now you be kind to me. And be kind to the country where you are living as an outsider.”
24Abraham said, “I promise with an oath that I’ll do it.”
25Then Abraham objected to Abimelech about what Abimelech’s servants had done. They had taken over a well of water.
26But Abimelech said, “I don’t know who has done this. You didn’t tell me. Today is the first time I heard about it.”
27So Abraham gave Abimelech sheep and cattle. The two men made a peace treaty. 28Then Abraham took out seven female lambs from his flock.
29Abimelech asked Abraham, “What’s the meaning of these seven female lambs? Why have you taken them out and put them by themselves?”
30Abraham replied, “Accept the seven lambs from me. They will be a witness that I dug this well.”
31That place was named Beersheba. That’s because there the two men made a promise with an oath.
32After the peace treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelech went back to the land of the Philistines. His army commander Phicol went with him.
33Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba. There he worshiped the Lord, the God who lives forever. 34Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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