Genesis 16:1 – 18:33
Hagar and Ishmael
1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children, but she had an Egyptian maidservant, whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” Thus Abram obeyed the voice of Sarai. 3 Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. 4 So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. May God judge between you and me.” 6 Thus Abram said to Sarai, “Indeed, your maid is in your hand; do with her as you please.” So when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence.
7 Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. 8 Then He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She replied, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.” 9 The Angel of the Lord then said to her, “Return to your mistress, and humble yourself under her hand.” 10 Again, the Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will surely multiply your seed exceedingly, that it may not be counted because of its multitude.” 11 Once again, the Angel of the Lord said to her:
“Behold, you are with child,
And you shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,
For the Lord has taken notice of your humiliation.
12 He shall be a rustic man,
And his hand shall be against every man,
And every man’s hand against him.
He shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”
13 Then Hagar called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees-Me”; for she said, “I have seen the One who appeared to me face to face.” 14 Therefore, she called the well the-Well-of-Him-I-Saw-Before-Me; observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son whom Hagar bore Ishmael. 16 Now Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
Circumcision: Sign of the Covenant
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am your God; be pleasing before Me and blameless. 2 I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, 4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7 I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be your God and the God of your seed after you. 8 Also I will give you and your seed after you the land you are occupying as a sojourner, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations. 10 This is the covenant you shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin. It shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 A child of eight days old shall be circumcised by you—every male child throughout your genealogy, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner not of your seed. 13 He who is born in your house, and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin on the eighth day, that soul shall be cut off from his people; for he has broken My covenant.”
15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; and I will bless him, and he shall become nations; and kings of peoples shall be from him.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his mind, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old, and shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” 19 Then God said, “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him and will increase and multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve nations, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.” 22 So God finished talking with Abraham and departed from him.
23 So Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born in his house, and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very same day, as God said to him. 24 Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 That very same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael. 27 Also, all the men of his house, born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
The Hospitality of Abraham
1 Then God appeared to him at the oak of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door during the noon hour. 2 So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood before him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, 3 and said, “O Lord, if I have now found grace in Your sight, do not pass by Your servant. 4 Let water be brought, and let them wash Your feet, while You cool Yourselves under the tree. 5 And I will bring bread for You to eat. After that You may pass by, inasmuch as You have come to Your servant.” They said, “Do as you have said.” 6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.” 7 Then Abraham ran to the herd, took a young calf, tender and good, gave it to his servant, and he hastened to prepare it. 8 He also took butter and milk and the calf he prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.
Promise of a Son
9 Then He said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “Here, in the tent.” 10 Again He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (Sarah was listening in the tent door behind him.) 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “I have not yet had a child until now, and my lord is old also?” 13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh within herself, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything impossible with God? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied she had laughed, for she was afraid, saying, “I did not laugh”; but He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
16 Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham went along and escorted them on their journey. 17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham, My servant, what I am about to do? 18 But Abraham shall surely become a great and populous nation, and in him all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. 19 For I know he will order his sons and his house after him. They will keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken to him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah has been completed, and their sins are exceedingly great. 21 Therefore, I will go down now and see whether or not they are carrying out the outcry coming to Me concerning them.”
22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained before the Lord. 23 So Abraham drew near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the ungodly? 24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” 26 Then the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” 27 So Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: 28 But suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?” He replied, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.” 29 Again he spoke to Him and said, “But suppose there should be forty found there?” So He said, “I would not destroy it for the sake of forty.” 30 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be offended, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?” So He said, “I would not destroy it if I should find thirty there.” 31 Again he said, “Since I have permission to speak to the Lord, suppose twenty should be found there?” So He said, “I would not destroy it for the sake of twenty.” 32 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be offended, and I will speak but once more, suppose ten should be found there?” So He said, “I would not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
33 So the Lord went His way as soon as He finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
A psalm by David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, the son of Benjamin.
2 O Lord my God, in You I hope;
Save me from all who pursue me, and deliver me,
3 Lest like a lion he snatch away my soul
While there is none to redeem or save.
4 O Lord my God, if I have done this,
If there is wrongdoing in my hands,
5 If I dealt back evil to those dealing evil to me,
Then may I fall empty because of my enemies,
6 Then may the enemy pursue and overtake my soul,
And trample down my life to the ground,
And make my glory settle in the dust.
7 Arise, O Lord, in Your anger;
Be exalted to the very boundaries of my enemies;
Awaken, O Lord my God, in the ordinance You commanded,
8 So the congregation of the peoples shall surround You,
And because of this, return on high.
9 The Lord shall judge the people;
Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness,
And according to the innocence within me.
10 Bring an end to the wickedness of sinners,
And keep straight the righteous;
For God examines hearts and reins.
11 My righteous help is from God,
Who saves the upright in heart.
12 God is a righteous, strong, and patient judge,
Not bringing down wrath every single day.
13 If You do not return, he will polish his sword;
He stretched his bow and readied it,
14 And he readied his instruments of death
And prepared his arrows to kindle a fire.
15 Behold, he suffered the pains of childbirth in unrighteousness;
He conceived pain and brought forth lawlessness;
16 He opened up a pit and dug it out,
And he will fall into the hole he made.
17 The pain shall return on his own head,
And his wrongdoing shall come down on his crown.
18 I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness
And will sing to the name of the Lord Most High.
Wisdom sings in the streets;
She moves boldly in the squares.
21 She preaches on high city walls
And sits at the gates of lords.
At the gates of a city she boldly says,
22 “So long a time as the simple hold fast to righteousness,
They shall not be ashamed;
23 But those without discernment, since they are desirous of arrogance,
And are become ungodly, they hate perception,
And are become subject to reproofs.
24 Behold, I shall bring forth upon you the utterance of my breath,
And I shall teach you my word.
And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.
2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
12 “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Believers Are Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Christ Fulfills the Law
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
19 “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.