Bible Society of South Africa

Day 8 – Isaac’s Birth and “Sacrifice”

Read about Isaac’s Birth and “Sacrifice”.

Bible text(s)

The Birth of Isaac

1The LORD blessed Sarah, as he had promised, 2and she became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham when he was old. The boy was born at the time God had said he would be born. 3Abraham named him Isaac, 4and when Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded. 5Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac was born. 6Sarah said, “God has brought me joy and laughter. Everyone who hears about it will laugh with me.” 7Then she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

8The child grew, and on the day that he was weaned, Abraham gave a great feast.

Hagar and Ishmael are Sent Away

9One day Ishmael, whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham, was playing with Sarah's son Isaac. 10Sarah saw them and said to Abraham, “Send this slave and her son away. The son of this woman must not get any part of your wealth, which my son Isaac should inherit.” 11This troubled Abraham very much, because Ishmael was also his son. 12But God said to Abraham, “Don't be worried about the boy and your slave Hagar. Do whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that you will have the descendants I have promised. 13I will also give many children to the son of the slave woman, so that they will become a nation. He too is your son.”

14Early the next morning Abraham gave Hagar some food and a leather bag full of water. He put the child on her back and sent her away. She left and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15When the water was all gone, she left the child under a bush 16and sat down about a hundred metres away. She said to herself, “I can't bear to see my child die.” While she was sitting there, she began to cry.

17God heard the boy crying, and from heaven the angel of God spoke to Hagar, “What are you troubled about, Hagar? Don't be afraid. God has heard the boy crying. 18Get up, go and pick him up, and comfort him. I will make a great nation out of his descendants.” 19Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well. She went and filled the leather bag with water and gave some to the boy. 20God was with the boy as he grew up; he lived in the wilderness of Paran and became a skilful hunter. 21His mother found an Egyptian wife for him.

The Agreement between Abraham and Abimelech

22At that time Abimelech went with Phicol, the commander of his army, and said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23So make a vow here in the presence of God that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants. I have been loyal to you, so promise that you will also be loyal to me and to this country in which you are living.”

24Abraham said, “I promise.”

25Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well which the servants of Abimelech had seized. 26Abimelech said, “I don't know who did this. You didn't tell me about it, and this is the first I have heard of it.” 27Then Abraham gave some sheep and cattle to Abimelech, and the two of them made an agreement. 28Abraham separated seven lambs from his flock, 29and Abimelech asked him, “Why did you do that?”

30Abraham answered, “Accept these seven lambs. By doing this, you admit that I am the one who dug this well.” 31And so the place was called Beersheba, because it was there that the two of them made a vow.

32After they had made this agreement at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol went back to Philistia. 33Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and worshipped the LORD, the Everlasting God. 34Abraham lived in Philistia for a long time.

God Commands Abraham to Offer Isaac

1Some time later God tested Abraham; he called to him, “Abraham!” And Abraham answered, “Yes, here I am!”

2“Take your son,” God said, “your only son, Isaac, whom you love so much, and go to the land of Moriah. There on a mountain that I will show you, offer him as a sacrifice to me.”

3Early the next morning Abraham cut some wood for the sacrifice, loaded his donkey, and took Isaac and two servants with him. They started out for the place that God had told him about. 4On the third day Abraham saw the place in the distance. 5Then he said to the servants, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there and worship, and then we will come back to you.”

6Abraham made Isaac carry the wood for the sacrifice, and he himself carried a knife and live coals for starting the fire. As they walked along together, 7Isaac said, “Father!”

He answered, “Yes, my son?”

Isaac asked, “I see that you have the coals and the wood, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”

8Abraham answered, “God himself will provide one.” And the two of them walked on together.

9When they came to the place which God had told him about, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. He tied up his son and placed him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then he picked up the knife to kill him. 11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!”

He answered, “Yes, here I am.”

12“Don't hurt the boy or do anything to him,” he said. “Now I know that you honour and obey God, because you have not kept back your only son from him.”

13Abraham looked round and saw a ram caught in a bush by its horns. He went and got it and offered it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14Abraham named that place “The LORD Provides”. And even today people say, “On the LORD's mountain he provides.”

15The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time, 16“I make a vow by my own name — the LORD is speaking — that I will richly bless you. Because you did this and did not keep back your only son from me, 17I promise that I will give you as many descendants as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand along the seashore. Your descendants will conquer their enemies. 18All the nations will ask me to bless them as I have blessed your descendants — all because you obeyed my command.” 19Abraham went back to his servants, and they went together to Beersheba, where Abraham settled.

Genesis 21:1-22:19GNBOpen in Bible reader

PRAY before you read, asking God to help you understand.
READ the Bible passage for the day – preferably more than once.
REFLECT on the passage. Write your thoughts in a journal.
APPLY what God teaches you from His Word to your life.
PRAY again, asking God to live out His Word.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
Find us on