Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision
17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty;1 walk before me, and be nblameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and omay multiply you greatly.” 3 Then Abram pfell on his face. And God said to him, 4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be qthe father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram,2 but ryour name shall be Abraham,3 sfor I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make tyou into nations, and ukings shall come from you. 7 And I will vestablish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, wto be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And xI will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and yI will be their God.”
9 And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a zsign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is aeight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bbought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
Isaac’s Birth Promised
15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah4 shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will cgive5 you a son by her. I will bless her, and dshe shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham efell on his face fand laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but gSarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name hIsaac.6 I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and imultiply him greatly. He jshall father twelve princes, and kI will make him into a great nation. 21 But lI will establish my covenant with Isaac, mwhom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”
22 When he had finished talking with him, nGod went up from Abraham. 23 Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. 24 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 day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27 And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
18 And the Lord appeared to him by the ooaks1 of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. pWhen he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3 and said, “O Lord,2 if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a qlittle water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5 while I bring a morsel of bread, that ryou may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—ssince you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6 And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs3 of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7 And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8 Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is tin the tent.” 10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you uabout this time next year, and vSarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now wAbraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 xSo Sarah laughed to herself, saying, y“After I am worn out, and zmy lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 aIs anything too hard4 for the Lord? bAt the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it,5 saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The Lord said, c“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be dblessed in him? 19 For I have echosen6 him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “Because fthe outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 gI will go down to see whether they have done altogether7 according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, hI will know.”
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
22 iSo the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham jstill stood before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, k“Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, lso that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! mShall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the Lord said, n“If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Abraham answered and said, o“Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, p“Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
God Rescues Lot
19 The qtwo angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2 and said, “My lords, rplease turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night sand wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, t“No; we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5 uAnd they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? vBring them out to us, that we wmay know them.” 6 Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 xBehold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow ycame to sojourn, and zhe has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with ablindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.
12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bbring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, cbecause the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, d“Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.
15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, ethe Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. fDo not look back or stop anywhere in the gvalley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called hZoar.1
God Destroys Sodom
23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then ithe Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became ja pillar of salt.
27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had kstood before the Lord. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.
29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God lremembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.
Lot and His Daughters
30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and mlived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
34 The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab.2 nHe is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi.3 oHe is the father of the Ammonites to this day.
Abraham and Abimelech
20 From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between pKadesh and Shur; and he qsojourned in rGerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, s“She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 tBut God came to Abimelech uin a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” 4 Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, v“Lord, will you kill an innocent people? 5 Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning wagainst me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 Now then, return the man’s wife, xfor he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you yand all who are yours.”
8 So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things. And the men were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done.” 10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” 11 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, z‘There is no fear of God at all in this place, and athey will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, bshe is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 And when cGod caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, dsay of me, “He is my brother.”’”
14 Then Abimelech etook sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “Behold, fmy land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.” 16 To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given gyour brother a thousand pieces of silver. It is ha sign of your innocence in the eyes of all1 who are with you, and before everyone you are vindicated.” 17 Then iAbraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. 18 For the Lord jhad closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
The Birth of Isaac
21 The Lord kvisited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah las he had promised. 2 And Sarah mconceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age nat the time of which God had spoken to him. 3 Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, oIsaac.1 4 And Abraham pcircumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, qas God had commanded him. 5 rAbraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 And Sarah said, s“God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.” 7 And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? tYet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
God Protects Hagar and Ishmael
8 And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9 But Sarah usaw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, vlaughing.2 10 So she said to Abraham, w“Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” 11 And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for xthrough Isaac shall your offspring be named. 13 And I will make ya nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” 14 So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of zBeersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. 18 Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then aGod opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness band became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
A Treaty with Abimelech
22 At that time cAbimelech and Phicol the commander of his army said to Abraham, d“God is with you in all that you do. 23 Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my descendants or with my posterity, but eas I have dealt kindly with you, so you will deal with me and with the land where you have sojourned.” 24 And Abraham said, “I will swear.”
25 When Abraham reproved Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech’s servants fhad seized, 26 Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, and I have not heard of it until today.” 27 So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men gmade a covenant. 28 Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock apart. 29 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 30 He said, “These seven ewe lambs you will take from my hand, that this3 may be a witness for me that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore hthat place was called Beersheba,4 because there both of them swore an oath. 32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army rose up and returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and icalled there on the name of the Lord, jthe Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham sojourned many days in the land of the Philistines.