Genesis 21: Birth of Isaac

Does God always keep his promises? Why?

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Genesis 21:1–2 The Lord kept his promise and visited Sarah. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son when Abraham was old, at the very time God had said.
King James
Genesis 21:1–2 And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

Why did God name Abraham’s son, Isaac?

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Genesis 17:19 “No,” God said, “your wife Sarah will give birth to a son. You are to name him Isaac, and I will renew my agreement with him and his child after him.”
Genesis 21:3–5 Abraham named their son, Isaac, meaning laughter, and circumcised him at eight days old, just as God had commanded.
When Isaac was born, Abraham was 100 years old.
King James
Genesis 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
Genesis 21:3–5 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

Why was it important for Isaac to be circumcised?

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Genesis 21:3–5 Abraham named their son, Isaac, meaning laughter, and circumcised him at eight days old, just as God had commanded.
When Isaac was born, Abraham was 100 years old.
King James
Genesis 21:3–5 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

In comparing Sarah’s feelings when she overheard the Lord’s promise and when she had given birth, what was the difference in her laughter?

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Genesis 21:6–7 “God has given me reason to laugh,” Sarah said, “and all who hear about this will laugh with me. Who would have been crazy enough to tell Abraham that his wife Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given him a son in his old age.”
King James
Genesis 21:6–7 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

If children making fun of one another is normal behavior, why was Sarah so offended when she saw Ishmael making fun of her son?

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Genesis 21:8–10 As the child grew, the time came when he no longer had to be nursed. On that day, Abraham spread a great feast.
Sarah saw Ishmael, Abraham’s son by her Egyptian servant Hagar, making fun of her son, Isaac. So she said to Abraham, “Get rid of the slave woman and her son. The child of a slave cannot be an heir with my son, Isaac.”
King James
Genesis 21:8–10 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

What reasons did Abraham have to be grieved over Ishmael?

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Genesis 21:11 Abraham grieved deeply over this, because Ishmael was also his son.
King James
Genesis 21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.

To what extent did God’s words console Abraham in his grief?

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Genesis 21:12–14 God said unto Abraham, “Don’t grieve over Hagar and Ishmael. Listen to Sarah, because your descendants will come through Isaac. Your servant’s son will become a great nation, because he is yours too.”
Abraham rose early the next morning, gathered food, and filled a skin with water. After putting the provisions on her back, he sent away Hagar and Ishmael.
They wandered in the wilderness of Beersheeba.
King James
Genesis 21:12–14 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

Why did Hagar and Ishmael wander in the wilderness? Didn’t they have somewhere to go? Why?

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Genesis 21:14 Abraham rose early the next morning, gathered food, and filled a skin with water. After putting the provisions on her back, he sent away Hagar and Ishmael.
They wandered in the wilderness of Beersheeba.
King James
Genesis 21:14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

Why had Hagar and her son gone so long without water? If Ishmael was about to die from thirst, why wasn’t Hagar concerned about herself?

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Genesis 21:15–16 When the water was gone, Hagar put her son under the shade of a bush. She went a good way off, as far as one can shoot an arrow, saying to herself, I don’t want to see my boy die. She sat alone and cried bitterly.
King James
Genesis 21:15–16 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

Why hadn’t Hagar seen the water well earlier?

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Genesis 21:17–19 God heard the boy crying, and his messenger spoke from above. “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid. God has heard your boy’s cries. Go take him by the hand and lift him up, for I will make him a great nation.”
God opened her eyes, and she saw the water well. So she filled the empty skin and gave her son a drink.
King James
Genesis 21:17–19 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

What does it mean for God to “stand with us”?

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Genesis 21:20–21 God stood with the boy as he grew up, and he became an archer.
Ishmael lived in the Paran wilderness, and his mother arranged for him to marry an Egyptian woman.
King James
Genesis 21:20–21 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.

What fear did Abimelech have, which led to his request for Abraham’s favor? Why did Abraham agree?

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Genesis 21:22–24 At this time, Abimelech went with Phicol, his army commander, to see Abraham. “God is with you,” Abimelech said, “blessing everything you do. Swear to me before God that you will always be loyal to me and my descendants and will treat me and my country with kindness as I have shown you while living in this land.”
“I swear,” Abraham said.
King James
Genesis 21:22–24 And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest: Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned. And Abraham said, I will swear.

Why hadn’t Abraham complained to Abimlech earlier concerning the lost water well?

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Genesis 21:25–26 Abraham complained about a water well that Abimelech’s servants had taken by force.
“I never knew about anyone doing that,” Abimelech said. “Why have you waited until now to tell me?”
King James
Genesis 21:25–26 And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away. And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day.

Why did Abraham give sheep and cattle to Abimelech?

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Genesis 21:27–31 To confirm their agreement, Abraham gave sheep and cattle to Abimelech.
Abraham set seven female lambs apart from the flock.
“Why have you set seven female lambs off to themselves?” Abimelech said.
“Accept these seven lambs as evidence of our agreement that I dug this well and own it.”
The place was called Beersheba, well of seven, because of the agreement made there.
King James
Genesis 21:27–31 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.

What prompted Abraham to plant a tree and worship the Lord God Eternal?

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Genesis 21:32–34 With the Beersheba agreement made, Abimelech and his army commander Phicol returned to their Philistine territory.
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and worshiped the Lord God Eternal.
For a long time, Abraham lived in Philistine country.
King James
Genesis 21:32–34 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines’ land many days.