story - Genesis 11-21
and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of
Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both
Milkah and Iskah.
calls Abram Genesis 12
30 Now Sarai was
childless because she was not able to conceive.
31 Terah took his son
Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife
of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to
Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.
32 Terah lived 205 years,
and he died in Harran.
Lord had said to
Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to
the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into
a great nation, and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless
you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
4 So Abram went, as the
Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old
when he set out from Harran.
took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated
and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of
Canaan, and they arrived there.
6 Abram traveled through
the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that
time the Canaanites were in the land.
The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring
I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had
appeared to him.
8 From there he went on
toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west
and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name
of the Lord.
9 Then Abram set out and
continued toward the Negev.
and Abram in Egypt
10 Now there was a famine in
the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the
famine was severe.
11 As he was
about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful
woman you are.
12 When the
Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill
me but will let you live.
you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life
will be spared because of you.”
14 When Abram came to
Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman.
And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she
was taken into his palace.
treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and
female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17 But the Lord inflicted
serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai.
18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram.
“What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was
19 Why did you say,
‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is
your wife. Take her and go!”
20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way,
with his wife and everything he had.
and Ishmael Genesis 16
1 Sarai, Abram’s
wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named
2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord
has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can
build a family through her.”Abram agreed to what Sarai said.
3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai
his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be
4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew
she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.
5 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.”
the house of Abraham, Peter Paul Rubens
6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with
her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled
7 The angel of the Lord
found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is
beside the road to Shur.
8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come
from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away
from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
9 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.”
11 The angel of the Lord
also said to her:
“You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall
name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery.
12 He will
be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and
everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward
all his brothers.”
13 She gave this name to the Lord
who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I
have now seen the One who sees me.”
14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai
Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the
name Ishmael to the son she had borne.
16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore
Covenant of Circumcision
1 When Abram was
ninety-nine years old, the Lord
appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me
faithfully and be blameless.
2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will
greatly increase your numbers.”
3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,
4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You
will be the father of many nations.
5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name
will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.
6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make
nations of you, and kings will come from you.
7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting
covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the
generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants
8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside
as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your
descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my
covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to
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.
11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will
be the sign of the covenant between me and you.
12 For the generations to come every male among you who is
eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your
household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your
13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money,
they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an
14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been
circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken
15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your
wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.
16 I will bless her and will surely give you a
son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations;
kings of peoples will come from her.”
17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself,
“Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a
child at the age of ninety?”
18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live
under your blessing!”
19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you
a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with
him as an everlasting covenant 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. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him
into a great nation.
21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac,
whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.”
22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham,
God went up from him.
23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael
and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male
in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him.
24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was
25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen;
26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that
27 And every male in Abraham’s household,
including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was
circumcised with him.
Three Visitors Genesis 18
1 The Lord
appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting
at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.
2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When
he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and
bowed low to the ground.
3 He said,
“If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant
4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may
all wash your feet and rest under this tree.
5 Let me get you something to eat, 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.”
6 So Abraham hurried
into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three measures of the
finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7 Then he ran to the
herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who
hurried to prepare it.
8 He then brought some curds and milk and the
calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate,
he stood near them under a tree.
is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he
10 Then one of them
said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and
Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the
entrance to the tent, which was behind him.
11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was
past the age of childbearing.
12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am
worn out and my lord 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?’
14 Is anything too hard for the Lord?
I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will
have a son.”
15 Sarah was afraid,
so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said,
“Yes, you did laugh.”
Warns Abimelek Off Sarah Genesis 20
1 Now Abraham
moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between
Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar,
2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my
sister.” Then Abimelek king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.
3 But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night
and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you
have taken; she is a married woman.
4 Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said,
“Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation?
5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’
and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with
a clear conscience and clean hands.”
6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I
know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from
sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.
7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a
prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not
return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will
8 Early the next morning Abimelek summoned all his
officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very
9 Then Abimelek called Abraham in and said, “What have you
done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great
guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should
never be done.”
10 And Abimelek asked Abraham, “What was your reason for
11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely
no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my
12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter
of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife.
13 And when God had me wander from my father’s household,
I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere
we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”
14 Then Abimelek brought sheep and cattle and male and
female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife
15 And Abimelek said, “My land is before you; live
wherever you like.”
16 To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand
shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all
who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”
17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his
wife and his female slaves so they could have children again,
18 for the Lord
had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because
of Abraham’s wife Sarah.
Birth of Isaac
1 Now the
was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord
did for Sarah what he had promised.
2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old
age, at the very time God had promised him.
3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore
4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised
him, as God commanded him.
5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was
born to him.
said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this
will laugh with me.”
7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that
Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old
The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham
held a great feast.
9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had
borne to Abraham was mocking,
10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that
slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the
inheritance with my son Isaac.”
matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son.
12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the
boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it
is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.
13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation
also, because he is your offspring.”
14 Early the next
morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to
Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy.
She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
Ishmael, George Segal
15 When the water in
the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.
16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for
she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she
began to sob.
17 God heard the boy
crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to
her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the
boy crying as he lies there.
18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make
him into a great nation.”
19 Then God opened her
eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with
water and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the
boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer.
21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother
got a wife for him from Egypt.
Almost Loses Isaac Genesis 22
1 Some time later
God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here
I am,” he replied.
2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son,
whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him
there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and
loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son
Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out
for the place God had told him about.
4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the
place in the distance.
5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey
while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come
back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it
on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the
two of them went on together,
7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham,
“Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The
fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the
8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for
the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his
son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay
11 But the angel of the Lord
called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here
I am,” he replied.
12 “Do not lay a
hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know
that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he
saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and
sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 So Abraham called that place The Lord
Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord
it will be provided.”
angel of the Lord
called to Abraham from heaven a second time
16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord,
that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your
17 I will surely bless you and make your
descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the
seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their
18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be
blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off
together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba
Death of Sarah Genesis 23
1 Sarah lived to
be a hundred and twenty-seven years old.
2 She died at Kiriath Arba
(that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for
Sarah and to weep over her.