Genesis 12; Genesis 15; Genesis 17; Genesis 21–22

The Call of Abram

12 Now mthe Lord said1 to Abram, Go from your country2 and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. nAnd I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. oI will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and pin you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.3

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from qHaran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram rpassed through the land to the place at Shechem, to sthe oak4 of tMoreh. At that time uthe Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, vTo your offspring I will give this land. So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of wBethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.

Abram and Sarai in Egypt

10 Now xthere was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife. Then they ywill kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake. 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

17 But the Lord zafflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, She is my sister, so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go. 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.


God’s Covenant with Abram

15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: cFear not, Abram, I am dyour shield; your reward shall be very great. But Abram said, O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue1 childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, you have given me no offspring, and ea member of my household will be my heir. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: This man shall not be your heir; fyour very own son2 shall be your heir. And he brought him outside and said, Look toward heaven, and gnumber the stars, if you are able to number them. Then he said to him, hSo shall your offspring be. And ihe believed the Lord, and jhe counted it to him as righteousness.

And he said to him, I am the Lord who kbrought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans lto give you this land to possess. But he said, O Lord God, mhow am I to know that I shall possess it? He said to him, Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10 And he brought him all these, ncut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But ohe did not cut the birds in half. 11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

12 As the sun was going down, a pdeep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, Know for certain qthat your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and rthey will be afflicted for sfour hundred years. 14 But tI will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward uthey shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; vyou shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for wthe iniquity of the Amorites xis not yet complete.

17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, yTo your offspring I give3 this land, from zthe river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.


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, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and omay multiply you greatly. Then Abram pfell on his face. And God said to him, Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be qthe father of a multitude of nations. 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. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make tyou into nations, and ukings shall come from you. 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. 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.

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.


The Birth of Isaac

21 The Lord kvisited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah las he had promised. And Sarah mconceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age nat the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, oIsaac.1 And Abraham pcircumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, qas God had commanded him. rAbraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, sGod has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me. 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

And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah usaw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, vlaughing.2 10 So she said to Abraham, wCast 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, dGod 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.

The Sacrifice of Isaac

22 After these things kGod tested Abraham and said to him, Abraham! And he said, Here I am. He said, Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to lthe land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you. So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy5 will go over there and worship and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and mlaid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, My father! And he said, Here I am, my son. He said, Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? Abraham said, nGod will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son. So they went both of them together.

When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and olaid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham! And he said, Here I am. 12 He said, pDo not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for qnow I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, rThe Lord will provide;6 as it is said to this day, On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.7

15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, sBy myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring tas the stars of heaven and uas the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess vthe gate of his8 enemies, 18 and win your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, xbecause you have obeyed my voice. 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to yBeersheba. And Abraham lived at yBeersheba.

20 Now after these things it was told to Abraham, Behold, zMilcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21 aUz his firstborn, bBuz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel. 23 (cBethuel fathered Rebekah.) These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 Moreover, his concubine, whose name was Reumah, bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.