ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 33



15:8–16:8
G enesis
21
But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, how can I be sure that I will
actually possess it?”
The Lord told him, “Bring me a ­three-­year-­old heifer, a ­three-­year-­old
female goat, a ­three-­year-­old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” So
Abram presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not, however,
cut the birds in half. Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but
Abram chased them away.
As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying
darkness came down over him. Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be
sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they
will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. But I will punish the nation that
enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth. (As
for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.) After four
generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of
the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”
After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. So the
Lord made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this
land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the
great Euphrates ­River—­the land now occupied by the Kenites, ­Kenizzites,
­K admonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites,
­Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But
she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “The
Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with
Sarai’s proposal. So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant
and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had
settled in the land of Canaan.)
So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant.
But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress,
Sarai, with contempt. Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault!
I put my servant into your arms, but now that she’s pregnant she treats me
with contempt. The Lord will show who’s ­wrong—­you or me!”
Abram replied, “Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see
fit.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.
The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the
wilderness, along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s
servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?”





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