Please choose a passage to read our commentary:
God kept His promise; Abraham and Sarah conceive and have a son at the appointed time. Abraham names the boy Isaac and circumcises him at eight days old in obedience to God.
Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born. Sarah was very happy at Isaac’s birth. Isaac grew, and a feast was given when he was weaned.
Sarah wants Abraham’s son, Ishmael, sent away from their house. She wants her own son, Isaac, to be the sole heir of Abraham. Abraham worries what will become of Ishmael, but God promises that a nation will be born from Ishmael.
Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away. They wander in the wilderness and run out of water. Hagar thinks they will die, but God hears Ishmael’s cries and rescues them.
God assures Hagar that Ishmael will live and make a great nation. Miraculously, God leads them to a well to drink. Ishmael grows up, becomes an archer, and marries an Egyptian woman.
King Abimelech knows that God favors Abraham, so he makes a covenant with him, asking for fair and honest dealing. Abraham agrees.
Abraham complains that Abimelech’s men have taken over his well. Abimelech claims he had not heard of this well until today. Abraham sets apart seven lambs for Abimelech to give the well rights back to him.
Abraham names the place where he made an oath with Abimelech, “Beersheba.” After the covenant is made, Abraham plants a tree at Beersheba and prays to God.
Genesis is a book about many beginnings. The beginnings of the world, the human race, sin and redemption, and the nation of Israel to name a few. In fact, the word Genesis from the Greek means “origin,” and in Hebrew it means “beginning.” The book of Genesis contains the events of the flood, tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the lives of the Patriarchs.
In the beginning, God created everything by simply speaking, “God said…and it was so” (Genesis 1:6-7, 9, 11, 14-15). This is not a scientific technical account of creation, but it shows a loving God creating a universe and mankind to rule it and fellowship with God. Man was formed especially from the ground and given the breath of life from God. The woman was made from the man’s rib (Genesis 2:7).
After man fell into sin, things began to spin out of control quickly. Cain murdered his brother Abel and the human race became so violent that God decided to destroy them all with a flood. God saved one righteous man (Noah) and his family in an ark filled with animals to deliver the human race from extinction. God chose Abraham and blessed a special group of people named “Israel.” God began to unfold a plan of salvation from a coming famine by sending Joseph to rule in Egypt. The failure of man in every circumstance is met by the salvation of God. We fail, but the good news is God saves us.
In Chapter 21, we find the fulfillment of God’s promise: the birth of Isaac. Because of Sarah’s complaint, Hagar and Ishmael are cast out to wander the wilderness. Although Isaac is confirmed as the heir of Abraham, God does not abandon Hagar and Ishmael. Abraham makes a covenant with a local ruler named Abimelech at Beersheba.