Genesis 17

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.

Sarai and Hagar

16 aNow Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was bHagar. And Sarai said to Abram, Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children1 by her. And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram chad lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, dshe looked with contempt on her mistress.2 And Sarai said to Abram, May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May ethe Lord judge between you and me! But Abram said to Sarai, Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please. Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.

The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to fShur. And he said, Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going? She said, I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai. The angel of the Lord said to her, Return to your mistress and submit to her. 10 The angel of the Lord also said to her, gI will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude. 11 And the angel of the Lord said to her,

Behold, you are pregnant

and shall bear a son.

You shall call his name Ishmael,3

hbecause the Lord has listened to your affliction.

12  He shall be ia wild donkey of a man,

his hand against everyone

and everyone's hand against him,

and he shall dwell jover against all his kinsmen.

13 So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You are a God of seeing,4 for she said, kTruly here I have seen him who looks after me.5 14 Therefore the well was called lBeer-lahai-roi;6 it lies between mKadesh and Bered.

15 And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

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.

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. 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 and said, O Lord,2 if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a qlittle water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that ryou may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass onssince you have come to your servant. So they said, Do as you have said. And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, Quick! Three seahs3 of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes. And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 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.

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, yAfter 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, cShall 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, kWill 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, nIf I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.

27 Abraham answered and said, oBehold, 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, pOh 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 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, tNo; we will spend the night in the town square. 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.

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. uAnd they called to Lot, Where are the men who came to you tonight? vBring them out to us, that we wmay know them. Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 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. 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, dUp! 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 thereis 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.