Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 4

Bible text(s)

Abram Rescues Lot

1Four kings, Amraphel of Babylonia, Arioch of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer of Elam, and Tidal of Goiim, 2went to war against five other kings: Bera of Sodom, Birsha of Gomorrah, Shinab of Admah, Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (or Zoar). 3These five kings had formed an alliance and joined forces in the Valley of Siddim, which is now the Dead Sea. 4They had been under the control of Chedorlaomer for twelve years, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled against him. 5In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and his allies came with their armies and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in the plain of Kiriathaim, 6and the Horites in the mountains of Edom, pursuing them as far as Elparan on the edge of the desert. 7Then they turned round and came back to Kadesh (then known as Enmishpat). They conquered all the land of the Amalekites and defeated the Amorites who lived in Hazazon Tamar.

8Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela drew up their armies for battle in the Valley of Siddim and fought 9against the kings of Elam, Goiim, Babylonia, and Ellasar, five kings against four. 10The valley was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah tried to run away from the battle, they fell into the pits; but the other three kings escaped to the mountains. 11The four kings took everything in Sodom and Gomorrah, including the food, and went away. 12Lot, Abram's nephew, was living in Sodom, so they took him and all his possessions.

13But a man escaped and reported all this to Abram, the Hebrew, who was living near the sacred trees belonging to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his brothers Eshcol and Aner were Abram's allies. 14When Abram heard that his nephew had been captured, he called together all the fighting men in his camp, 318 in all, and pursued the four kings all the way to Dan. 15There he divided his men into groups, attacked the enemy by night, and defeated them. He chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus, 16and recovered the loot that had been taken. He also brought back his nephew Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other prisoners.

Melchizedek Blesses Abram

17When Abram came back from his victory over Chedorlaomer and the other kings, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (also called the King's Valley). 18And Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God, brought bread and wine to Abram, 19blessed him, and said, “May the Most High God, who made heaven and earth, bless Abram! 20May the Most High God, who gave you victory over your enemies, be praised!” And Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the loot he had recovered.

21The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Keep the loot, but give me back all my people.”

22Abram answered, “I solemnly swear before the LORD, the Most High God, Maker of heaven and earth, 23that I will not keep anything of yours, not even a thread or a sandal strap. Then you can never say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ 24I will take nothing for myself. I will accept only what my men have used. But let my allies, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, take their share.”

God's Covenant with Abram

1After this, Abram had a vision and heard the LORD say to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I will shield you from danger and give you a great reward.”

2But Abram answered, “Sovereign LORD, what good will your reward do me, since I have no children? My only heir is Eliezer of Damascus. 3You have given me no children, and one of my slaves will inherit my property.”

4Then he heard the LORD speaking to him again: “This slave Eliezer will not inherit your property; your own son will be your heir.” 5The LORD took him outside and said, “Look at the sky and try to count the stars; you will have as many descendants as that.”

6Abram put his trust in the LORD, and because of this the LORD was pleased with him and accepted him.

7Then the LORD said to him, “I am the LORD, who led you out of Ur in Babylonia, to give you this land as your own.”

8But Abram asked, “Sovereign LORD, how can I know that it will be mine?”

9He answered, “Bring me a cow, a goat, and a ram, each of them three years old, and a dove and a pigeon.” 10Abram brought the animals to God, cut them in half, and placed the halves opposite each other in two rows; but he did not cut up the birds. 11Vultures came down on the bodies, but Abram drove them off.

12When the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and fear and terror came over him. 13The LORD said to him, “Your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land; they will be slaves there and will be treated cruelly for 400 years. 14But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and when they leave that foreign land, they will take great wealth with them. 15You yourself will live to a ripe old age, die in peace, and be buried. 16It will be four generations before your descendants come back here, because I will not drive out the Amorites until they become so wicked that they must be punished.”

17When the sun had set and it was dark, a smoking fire-pot and a flaming torch suddenly appeared and passed between the pieces of the animals. 18Then and there the LORD made a covenant with Abram. He said, “I promise to give your descendants all this land from the border of Egypt to the River Euphrates, 19including the lands of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

Hagar and Ishmael

1Abram's wife Sarai had not borne him any children. But she had an Egyptian slave woman named Hagar, 2and so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Why don't you sleep with my slave? Perhaps she can have a child for me.” Abram agreed with what Sarai said. 3So she gave Hagar to him to be his concubine. (This happened after Abram had lived in Canaan for ten years.) 4Abram had intercourse with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she found out that she was pregnant, she became proud and despised Sarai.

5Then Sarai said to Abram, “It's your fault that Hagar despises me. I myself gave her to you, and ever since she found out that she was pregnant, she has despised me. May the LORD judge which of us is right, you or me!”

6Abram answered, “Very well, she is your slave and under your control; do whatever you want with her.” Then Sarai treated Hagar so cruelly that she ran away.

7The angel of the LORD met Hagar at a spring in the desert on the road to Shur 8and said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?”

She answered, “I am running away from my mistress.”

9He said, “Go back to her and be her slave.” 10Then he said, “I will give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them. 11You are going to have a son, and you will name him Ishmael, because the LORD has heard your cry of distress. 12But your son will live like a wild donkey; he will be against everyone, and everyone will be against him. He will live apart from all his relatives.”

13Hagar asked herself, “Have I really seen God and lived to tell about it?” So she called the LORD who had spoken to her “A God who Sees”. 14That is why people call the well between Kadesh and Bered “The Well of the Living One who Sees Me”.

15Hagar bore Abram a son, and he named him Ishmael. 16Abram was 86 years old at the time.

Circumcision, the Sign of the Covenant

1When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the Almighty God. Obey me and always do what is right. 2I will make my covenant with you and give you many descendants.” 3Abram bowed down with his face touching the ground, and God said, 4“I make this covenant with you: I promise that you will be the ancestor of many nations. 5Your name will no longer be Abram, but Abraham, because I am making you the ancestor of many nations. 6I will give you many descendants, and some of them will be kings. You will have so many descendants that they will become nations.

7“I will keep my promise to you and to your descendants in future generations as an everlasting covenant. I will be your God and the God of your descendants. 8I will give to you and to your descendants this land in which you are now a foreigner. The whole land of Canaan will belong to your descendants for ever, and I will be their God.”

9God said to Abraham, “You also must agree to keep the covenant with me, both you and your descendants in future generations. 10You and your descendants must all agree to circumcise every male among you. 11-12From now on you must circumcise every baby boy when he is eight days old, including slaves born in your homes and slaves bought from foreigners. This will show that there is a covenant between you and me. 13Each one must be circumcised, and this will be a physical sign to show that my covenant with you is everlasting. 14Any male who has not been circumcised will no longer be considered one of my people, because he has not kept the covenant with me.”

15God said to Abraham, “You must no longer call your wife Sarai; from now on her name is Sarah. 16I will bless her, and I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she will become the mother of nations, and there will be kings among her descendants.”

17Abraham bowed down with his face touching the ground, but he began to laugh when he thought, “Can a man have a child when he is a hundred years old? Can Sarah have a child at ninety?” 18He asked God, “Why not let Ishmael be my heir?”

19But God said, “No. Your wife Sarah will bear you a son and you will name him Isaac. I will keep my covenant with him and with his descendants for ever. It is an everlasting covenant. 20I have heard your request about Ishmael, so I will bless him and give him many children and many descendants. He will be the father of twelve princes, and I will make a great nation of his descendants. 21But I will keep my covenant with your son Isaac, who will be born to Sarah about this time next year.” 22When God finished speaking to Abraham, he left him.

23On that same day Abraham obeyed God and circumcised his son Ishmael and all the other males in his household, including the slaves born in his home and those he had bought. 24Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised, 25and his son Ishmael was thirteen. 26They were both circumcised on the same day, 27together with all Abraham's slaves.

Genesis 14:1-17:27GNBOpen in Bible reader
Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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