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Genesis 20:1--24:67

Context
Abraham and Abimelech

20:1 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev 1  region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident 2  in Gerar, 20:2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her.

20:3 But God appeared 3  to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “You are as good as dead 4  because of the woman you have taken, for she is someone else’s wife.” 5 

20:4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord, 6  would you really slaughter an innocent nation? 7  20:5 Did Abraham 8  not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, 9  ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience 10  and with innocent hands!”

20:6 Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience. 11  That is why I have kept you 12  from sinning against me and why 13  I did not allow you to touch her. 20:7 But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed 14  he is a prophet 15  and he will pray for you; thus you will live. 16  But if you don’t give her back, 17  know that you will surely die 18  along with all who belong to you.”

20:8 Early in the morning 19  Abimelech summoned 20  all his servants. When he told them about all these things, 21  they 22  were terrified. 20:9 Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom? 23  You have done things to me that should not be done!” 24  20:10 Then Abimelech asked 25  Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?” 26 

20:11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought, 27  ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of 28  my wife.’ 20:12 What’s more, 29  she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife. 20:13 When God made me wander 30  from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me: 31  Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’”

20:14 So Abimelech gave 32  sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 20:15 Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.” 33 

20:16 To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given a thousand pieces of silver 34  to your ‘brother.’ 35  This is compensation for you so that you will stand vindicated before all who are with you.” 36 

20:17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children. 20:18 For the Lord 37  had caused infertility to strike every woman 38  in the household of Abimelech because he took 39  Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

The Birth of Isaac

21:1 The Lord visited 40  Sarah just as he had said he would and did 41  for Sarah what he had promised. 42  21:2 So Sarah became pregnant 43  and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the appointed time that God had told him. 21:3 Abraham named his son – whom Sarah bore to him – Isaac. 44  21:4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, 45  Abraham circumcised him just as God had commanded him to do. 46  21:5 (Now Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.) 47 

21:6 Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. 48  Everyone who hears about this 49  will laugh 50  with me.” 21:7 She went on to say, 51  “Who would 52  have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have given birth to a son for him in his old age!”

21:8 The child grew and was weaned. Abraham prepared 53  a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 54  21:9 But Sarah noticed 55  the son of Hagar the Egyptian – the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham – mocking. 56  21:10 So she said to Abraham, “Banish 57  that slave woman and her son, for the son of that slave woman will not be an heir along with my son Isaac!”

21:11 Sarah’s demand displeased Abraham greatly because Ishmael was his son. 58  21:12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be upset 59  about the boy or your slave wife. Do 60  all that Sarah is telling 61  you because through Isaac your descendants will be counted. 62  21:13 But I will also make the son of the slave wife into a great nation, for he is your descendant too.”

21:14 Early in the morning Abraham took 63  some food 64  and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He put them on her shoulders, gave her the child, 65  and sent her away. So she went wandering 66  aimlessly through the wilderness 67  of Beer Sheba. 21:15 When the water in the skin was gone, she shoved 68  the child under one of the shrubs. 21:16 Then she went and sat down by herself across from him at quite a distance, about a bowshot 69  away; for she thought, 70  “I refuse to watch the child die.” 71  So she sat across from him and wept uncontrollably. 72 

21:17 But God heard the boy’s voice. 73  The angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What is the matter, 74  Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard 75  the boy’s voice right where he is crying. 21:18 Get up! Help the boy up and hold him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 21:19 Then God enabled Hagar to see a well of water. 76  She went over and filled the skin with water, and then gave the boy a drink.

21:20 God was with the boy as he grew. He lived in the wilderness and became an archer. 21:21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran. 77  His mother found a wife for him from the land of Egypt. 78 

21:22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you 79  in all that you do. 21:23 Now swear to me right here in God’s name 80  that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants. 81  Show me, and the land 82  where you are staying, 83  the same loyalty 84  that I have shown you.” 85 

21:24 Abraham said, “I swear to do this.” 86  21:25 But Abraham lodged a complaint 87  against Abimelech concerning a well 88  that Abimelech’s servants had seized. 89  21:26 “I do not know who has done this thing,” Abimelech replied. “Moreover, 90  you did not tell me. I did not hear about it until today.”

21:27 Abraham took some sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. The two of them made a treaty. 91  21:28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs apart from the flock by themselves. 21:29 Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these 92  seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 21:30 He replied, “You must take these seven ewe lambs from my hand as legal proof 93  that I dug this well.” 94  21:31 That is why he named that place 95  Beer Sheba, 96  because the two of them swore 97  an oath there.

21:32 So they made a treaty 98  at Beer Sheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, returned 99  to the land of the Philistines. 100  21:33 Abraham 101  planted a tamarisk tree 102  in Beer Sheba. There he worshiped the Lord, 103  the eternal God. 21:34 So Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for quite some time. 104 

The Sacrifice of Isaac

22:1 Some time after these things God tested 105  Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham 106  replied. 22:2 God 107  said, “Take your son – your only son, whom you love, Isaac 108  – and go to the land of Moriah! 109  Offer him up there as a burnt offering 110  on one of the mountains which I will indicate to 111  you.”

22:3 Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. 112  He took two of his young servants with him, along with his son Isaac. When he had cut the wood for the burnt offering, he started out 113  for the place God had spoken to him about.

22:4 On the third day Abraham caught sight of 114  the place in the distance. 22:5 So he 115  said to his servants, “You two stay 116  here with the donkey while 117  the boy and I go up there. We will worship 118  and then return to you.” 119 

22:6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac. Then he took the fire and the knife in his hand, 120  and the two of them walked on together. 22:7 Isaac said to his father Abraham, 121  “My father?” “What is it, 122  my son?” he replied. “Here is the fire and the wood,” Isaac said, 123  “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 22:8 “God will provide 124  for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together.

22:9 When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there 125  and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up 126  his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 22:10 Then Abraham reached out his hand, took the knife, and prepared to slaughter 127  his son. 22:11 But the Lord’s angel 128  called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am!” he answered. 22:12 “Do not harm the boy!” 129  the angel said. 130  “Do not do anything to him, for now I know 131  that you fear 132  God because you did not withhold your son, your only son, from me.”

22:13 Abraham looked up 133  and saw 134  behind him 135  a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. So he 136  went over and got the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place “The Lord provides.” 137  It is said to this day, 138  “In the mountain of the Lord provision will be made.” 139 

22:15 The Lord’s angel called to Abraham a second time from heaven 22:16 and said, “‘I solemnly swear by my own name,’ 140  decrees the Lord, 141  ‘that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 22:17 I will indeed bless you, 142  and I will greatly multiply 143  your descendants 144  so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession 145  of the strongholds 146  of their enemies. 22:18 Because you have obeyed me, 147  all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 148  using the name of your descendants.’”

22:19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set out together 149  for Beer Sheba where Abraham stayed. 150 

22:20 After these things Abraham was told, “Milcah 151  also has borne children to your brother Nahor – 22:21 Uz the firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 152  22:22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 22:23 (Now 153  Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) These were the eight sons Milcah bore to Abraham’s brother Nahor. 22:24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore him children – Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

The Death of Sarah

23:1 Sarah lived 127 years. 154  23:2 Then she 155  died in Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 156 

23:3 Then Abraham got up from mourning his dead wife 157  and said to the sons of Heth, 158  23:4 “I am a temporary settler 159  among you. Grant 160  me ownership 161  of a burial site among you so that I may 162  bury my dead.” 163 

23:5 The sons of Heth answered Abraham, 164  23:6 “Listen, sir, 165  you are a mighty prince 166  among us! You may bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb to prevent you 167  from burying your dead.”

23:7 Abraham got up and bowed down to the local people, 168  the sons of Heth. 23:8 Then he said to them, “If you agree 169  that I may bury my dead, 170  then hear me out. 171  Ask 172  Ephron the son of Zohar 23:9 if he will sell 173  me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him; it is at the end of his field. Let him sell it to me publicly 174  for the full price, 175  so that I may own it as a burial site.”

23:10 (Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth.) Ephron the Hethite 176  replied to Abraham in the hearing 177  of the sons of Heth – before all who entered the gate 178  of his city – 23:11 “No, my lord! Hear me out. I sell 179  you both the field and the cave that is in it. 180  In the presence of my people 181  I sell it to you. Bury your dead.”

23:12 Abraham bowed before the local people 23:13 and said to Ephron in their hearing, “Hear me, if you will. I pay 182  to you the price 183  of the field. Take it from me so that I may 184  bury my dead there.”

23:14 Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 23:15 “Hear me, my lord. The land is worth 185  400 pieces of silver, 186  but what is that between me and you? So bury your dead.”

23:16 So Abraham agreed to Ephron’s price 187  and weighed 188  out for him 189  the price 190  that Ephron had quoted 191  in the hearing of the sons of Heth – 400 pieces of silver, according to the standard measurement at the time. 192 

23:17 So Abraham secured 193  Ephron’s field in Machpelah, next to Mamre, including the field, the cave that was in it, and all the trees that were in the field and all around its border, 23:18 as his property in the presence of the sons of Heth before all who entered the gate of Ephron’s city. 194 

23:19 After this Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah next to Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 23:20 So Abraham secured the field and the cave that was in it as a burial site 195  from the sons of Heth.

The Wife for Isaac

24:1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years, 196  and the Lord had blessed him 197  in everything. 24:2 Abraham said to his servant, the senior one 198  in his household who was in charge of everything he had, “Put your hand under my thigh 199  24:3 so that I may make you solemnly promise 200  by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth: You must not acquire 201  a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living. 24:4 You must go instead to my country and to my relatives 202  to find 203  a wife for my son Isaac.”

24:5 The servant asked him, “What if the woman is not willing to come back with me 204  to this land? Must I then 205  take your son back to the land from which you came?”

24:6 “Be careful 206  never to take my son back there!” Abraham told him. 207  24:7 “The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and the land of my relatives, 208  promised me with a solemn oath, 209  ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ He will send his angel 210  before you so that you may find 211  a wife for my son from there. 24:8 But if the woman is not willing to come back with you, 212  you will be free 213  from this oath of mine. But you must not take my son back there!” 24:9 So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and gave his solemn promise he would carry out his wishes. 214 

24:10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed with all kinds of gifts from his master at his disposal. 215  He journeyed 216  to the region of Aram Naharaim 217  and the city of Nahor. 24:11 He made the camels kneel down by the well 218  outside the city. It was evening, 219  the time when the women would go out to draw water. 24:12 He prayed, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, guide me today. 220  Be faithful 221  to my master Abraham. 24:13 Here I am, standing by the spring, 222  and the daughters of the people 223  who live in the town are coming out to draw water. 24:14 I will say to a young woman, ‘Please lower your jar so I may drink.’ May the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac reply, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’ 224  In this way I will know that you have been faithful to my master.” 225 

24:15 Before he had finished praying, there came Rebekah 226  with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah (Milcah was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor). 227  24:16 Now the young woman was very beautiful. She was a virgin; no man had ever had sexual relations with her. 228  She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came back up. 24:17 Abraham’s servant 229  ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a sip of water from your jug.” 24:18 “Drink, my lord,” she replied, and quickly lowering 230  her jug to her hands, she gave him a drink. 24:19 When she had done so, 231  she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have drunk as much as they want.” 24:20 She quickly emptied 232  her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw more water until she had drawn enough for all his camels. 24:21 Silently the man watched her with interest to determine 233  if the Lord had made his journey successful 234  or not.

24:22 After the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka 235  and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels 236  and gave them to her. 237  24:23 “Whose daughter are you?” he asked. 238  “Tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”

24:24 She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom Milcah bore to Nahor. 239  24:25 We have plenty of straw and feed,” she added, 240  “and room for you 241  to spend the night.”

24:26 The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord, 24:27 saying “Praised be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his faithful love 242  for my master! The Lord has led me 243  to the house 244  of my master’s relatives!” 245 

24:28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household all about 246  these things. 24:29 (Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban.) 247  Laban rushed out to meet the man at the spring. 24:30 When he saw the bracelets on his sister’s wrists and the nose ring 248  and heard his sister Rebekah say, 249  “This is what the man said to me,” he went out to meet the man. There he was, standing 250  by the camels near the spring. 24:31 Laban said to him, 251  “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord! 252  Why are you standing out here when I have prepared 253  the house and a place for the camels?”

24:32 So Abraham’s servant 254  went to the house and unloaded 255  the camels. Straw and feed were given 256  to the camels, and water was provided so that he and the men who were with him could wash their feet. 257  24:33 When food was served, 258  he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I want to say.” 259  “Tell us,” Laban said. 260 

24:34 “I am the servant of Abraham,” he began. 24:35 “The Lord has richly blessed my master and he has become very wealthy. 261  The Lord 262  has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 24:36 My master’s wife Sarah bore a son to him 263  when she was old, 264  and my master 265  has given him everything he owns. 24:37 My master made me swear an oath. He said, ‘You must not acquire a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 24:38 but you must go to the family of my father and to my relatives to find 266  a wife for my son.’ 24:39 But I said to my master, ‘What if the woman does not want to go 267  with me?’ 268  24:40 He answered, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked, 269  will send his angel with you. He will make your journey a success and you will find a wife for my son from among my relatives, from my father’s family. 24:41 You will be free from your oath 270  if you go to my relatives and they will not give her to you. Then you will be free from your oath.’ 24:42 When I came to the spring today, I prayed, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you have decided to make my journey successful, 271  may events unfold as follows: 272  24:43 Here I am, standing by the spring. 273  When 274  the young woman goes out to draw water, I’ll say, “Give me a little water to drink from your jug.” 24:44 Then she will reply to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too.” May that woman be the one whom the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’

24:45 “Before I finished praying in my heart, 275  along came Rebekah 276  with her water jug on her shoulder! She went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 24:46 She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels water. 24:47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘The daughter of Bethuel the son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to Nahor.’ 277  I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 24:48 Then I bowed down and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right path to find the granddaughter 278  of my master’s brother for his son. 24:49 Now, if you will show faithful love to my master, tell me. But if not, tell me as well, so that I may go on my way.” 279 

24:50 Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “This is the Lord’s doing. 280  Our wishes are of no concern. 281  24:51 Rebekah stands here before you. Take her and go so that she may become 282  the wife of your master’s son, just as the Lord has decided.” 283 

24:52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 24:53 Then he 284  brought out gold, silver jewelry, and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave valuable gifts to her brother and to her mother. 24:54 After this, he and the men who were with him ate a meal and stayed there overnight. 285 

When they got up in the morning, he said, “Let me leave now so I can return to my master.” 286  24:55 But Rebekah’s 287  brother and her mother replied, “Let the girl stay with us a few more days, perhaps ten. Then she can go.” 24:56 But he said to them, “Don’t detain me – the Lord 288  has granted me success on my journey. Let me leave now so I may return 289  to my master.” 24:57 Then they said, “We’ll call the girl and find out what she wants to do.” 290  24:58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you want 291  to go with this man?” She replied, “I want to go.”

24:59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, accompanied by her female attendant, with Abraham’s servant and his men. 24:60 They blessed Rebekah with these words: 292 

“Our sister, may you become the mother 293  of thousands of ten thousands!

May your descendants possess the strongholds 294  of their enemies.”

24:61 Then Rebekah and her female servants mounted the camels and rode away with 295  the man. So Abraham’s servant 296  took Rebekah and left.

24:62 Now 297  Isaac came from 298  Beer Lahai Roi, 299  for 300  he was living in the Negev. 301  24:63 He 302  went out to relax 303  in the field in the early evening. 304  Then he looked up 305  and saw that 306  there were camels approaching. 24:64 Rebekah looked up 307  and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 24:65 and asked 308  Abraham’s servant, 309  “Who is that man walking in the field toward us?” “That is my master,” the servant replied. 310  So she took her veil and covered herself.

24:66 The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 24:67 Then Isaac brought Rebekah 311  into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took her 312  as his wife and loved her. 313  So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. 314 

1 tn Or “the South [country]”; Heb “the land of the Negev.”

sn Negev is the name for the southern desert region in the land of Canaan.

2 tn Heb “and he sojourned.”

3 tn Heb “came.”

4 tn Heb “Look, you [are] dead.” The Hebrew construction uses the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) with a second person pronominal particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) with by the participle. It is a highly rhetorical expression.

5 tn Heb “and she is owned by an owner.” The disjunctive clause is causal or explanatory in this case.

6 tn The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

7 tn Apparently Abimelech assumes that God’s judgment will fall on his entire nation. Some, finding the reference to a nation problematic, prefer to emend the text and read, “Would you really kill someone who is innocent?” See E. A. Speiser, Genesis (AB), 149.

8 tn Heb “he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Heb “and she, even she.”

10 tn Heb “with the integrity of my heart.”

11 tn Heb “with the integrity of your heart.”

12 tn Heb “and I, even I, kept you.”

13 tn Heb “therefore.”

14 tn Or “for,” if the particle is understood as causal (as many English translations do) rather than asseverative.

15 sn For a discussion of the term prophet see N. Walker, “What is a Nabhi?” ZAW 73 (1961): 99-100.

16 tn After the preceding jussive (or imperfect), the imperative with vav conjunctive here indicates result.

sn He will pray for you that you may live. Abraham was known as a man of God whose prayer would be effectual. Ironically and sadly, he was also known as a liar.

17 tn Heb “if there is not you returning.” The suffix on the particle becomes the subject of the negated clause.

18 tn The imperfect is preceded by the infinitive absolute to make the warning emphatic.

19 tn Heb “And Abimelech rose early in the morning and he summoned.”

20 tn The verb קָרָא (qara’) followed by the preposition לְ (lamed) means “to summon.”

21 tn Heb “And he spoke all these things in their ears.”

22 tn Heb “the men.” This has been replaced by the pronoun “they” in the translation for stylistic reasons.

23 tn Heb “How did I sin against you that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin?” The expression “great sin” refers to adultery. For discussion of the cultural background of the passage, see J. J. Rabinowitz, “The Great Sin in Ancient Egyptian Marriage Contracts,” JNES 18 (1959): 73, and W. L. Moran, “The Scandal of the ‘Great Sin’ at Ugarit,” JNES 18 (1959): 280-81.

24 tn Heb “Deeds which should not be done you have done to me.” The imperfect has an obligatory nuance here.

25 tn Heb “And Abimelech said to.”

26 tn Heb “What did you see that you did this thing?” The question implies that Abraham had some motive for deceiving Abimelech.

27 tn Heb “Because I said.”

28 tn Heb “over the matter of.”

29 tn Heb “but also.”

30 tn The Hebrew verb is plural. This may be a case of grammatical agreement with the name for God, which is plural in form. However, when this plural name refers to the one true God, accompanying predicates are usually singular in form. Perhaps Abraham is accommodating his speech to Abimelech’s polytheistic perspective. (See GKC 463 §145.i.) If so, one should translate, “when the gods made me wander.”

31 tn Heb “This is your loyal deed which you can do for me.”

32 tn Heb “took and gave.”

33 tn Heb “In the [place that is] good in your eyes live!”

34 sn A thousand pieces [Heb “shekels”] of silver. The standards for weighing money varied considerably in the ancient Near East, but the generally accepted weight for the shekel is 11.5 grams (0.4 ounce). This makes the weight of silver here 11.5 kilograms, or 400 ounces (about 25 pounds).

35 sn To your ‘brother.’ Note the way that the king refers to Abraham. Was he being sarcastic? It was surely a rebuke to Sarah. What is amazing is how patient this king was. It is proof that the fear of God was in that place, contrary to what Abraham believed (see v. 11).

36 tn Heb “Look, it is for you a covering of the eyes, for all who are with you, and with all, and you are set right.” The exact meaning of the statement is unclear. Apparently it means that the gift of money somehow exonerates her in other people’s eyes. They will not look on her as compromised (see G. J. Wenham, Genesis [WBC], 2:74).

37 tn In the Hebrew text the clause begins with “because.”

38 tn Heb had completely closed up every womb.” In the Hebrew text infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis.

sn The Lord had closed up every womb. This fact indicates that Sarah was in Abimelech’s household for weeks or months before the dream revelation was given (20:6-7). No one in his household could have children after Sarah arrived on the scene.

39 tn Heb “because of.” The words “he took” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

40 sn The Hebrew verb translated “visit” (פָּקַד, paqad ) often describes divine intervention for blessing or cursing; it indicates God’s special attention to an individual or a matter, always with respect to his people’s destiny. He may visit (that is, destroy) the Amalekites; he may visit (that is, deliver) his people in Egypt. Here he visits Sarah, to allow her to have the promised child. One’s destiny is changed when the Lord “visits.” For a more detailed study of the term, see G. André, Determining the Destiny (ConBOT).

41 tn Heb “and the Lord did.” The divine name has not been repeated here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

42 tn Heb “spoken.”

43 tn Or “she conceived.”

44 tn Heb “the one born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.” The two modifying clauses, the first introduced with an article and the second with the relative pronoun, are placed in the middle of the sentence, before the name Isaac is stated. They are meant to underscore that this was indeed an actual birth to Abraham and Sarah in fulfillment of the promise.

45 tn Heb “Isaac his son, the son of eight days.” The name “Isaac” is repeated in the translation for clarity.

46 sn Just as God had commanded him to do. With the birth of the promised child, Abraham obeyed the Lord by both naming (Gen 17:19) and circumcising Isaac (17:12).

47 tn The parenthetical disjunctive clause underscores how miraculous this birth was. Abraham was 100 years old. The fact that the genealogies give the ages of the fathers when their first son is born shows that this was considered a major milestone in one’s life (G. J. Wenham, Genesis [WBC], 2:80).

48 tn Heb “Laughter God has made for me.”

49 tn The words “about this” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

50 sn Sarah’s words play on the name “Isaac” in a final triumphant manner. God prepared “laughter” (צְחֹק, ysÿkhoq ) for her, and everyone who hears about this “will laugh” (יִצְחַק, yitskhaq ) with her. The laughter now signals great joy and fulfillment, not unbelief (cf. Gen 18:12-15).

51 tn Heb “said.”

52 tn The perfect form of the verb is used here to describe a hypothetical situation.

53 tn Heb “made.”

54 sn Children were weaned closer to the age of two or three in the ancient world, because infant mortality was high. If an infant grew to this stage, it was fairly certain he or she would live. Such an event called for a celebration, especially for parents who had waited so long for a child.

55 tn Heb “saw.”

56 tn The Piel participle used here is from the same root as the name “Isaac.” In the Piel stem the verb means “to jest; to make sport of; to play with,” not simply “to laugh,” which is the meaning of the verb in the Qal stem. What exactly Ishmael was doing is not clear. Interpreters have generally concluded that the boy was either (1) mocking Isaac (cf. NASB, NIV, NLT) or (2) merely playing with Isaac as if on equal footing (cf. NAB, NRSV). In either case Sarah saw it as a threat. The same participial form was used in Gen 19:14 to describe how some in Lot’s family viewed his attempt to warn them of impending doom. It also appears later in Gen 39:14, 17, where Potiphar accuses Joseph of mocking them.

sn Mocking. Here Sarah interprets Ishmael’s actions as being sinister. Ishmael probably did not take the younger child seriously and Sarah saw this as a threat to Isaac. Paul in Gal 4:29 says that Ishmael persecuted Isaac. He uses a Greek word that can mean “to put to flight; to chase away; to pursue” and may be drawing on a rabbinic interpretation of the passage. In Paul’s analogical application of the passage, he points out that once the promised child Isaac (symbolizing Christ as the fulfillment of God’s promise) has come, there is no room left for the slave woman and her son (who symbolize the Mosaic law).

57 tn Heb “drive out.” The language may seem severe, but Sarah’s maternal instincts sensed a real danger in that Ishmael was not treating Isaac with the proper respect.

58 tn Heb “and the word was very wrong in the eyes of Abraham on account of his son.” The verb רָעַע (raa’) often refers to what is morally or ethically “evil.” It usage here suggests that Abraham thought Sarah’s demand was ethically (and perhaps legally) wrong.

59 tn Heb “Let it not be evil in your eyes.”

60 tn Heb “listen to her voice.” The idiomatic expression means “obey; comply.” Here her advice, though harsh, is necessary and conforms to the will of God. Later (see Gen 25), when Abraham has other sons, he sends them all away as well.

61 tn The imperfect verbal form here draws attention to an action that is underway.

62 tn Or perhaps “will be named”; Heb “for in Isaac offspring will be called to you.” The exact meaning of the statement is not clear, but it does indicate that God’s covenantal promises to Abraham will be realized through Isaac, not Ishmael.

63 tn Heb “and Abraham rose up early in the morning and he took.”

64 tn Heb “bread,” although the term can be used for food in general.

65 tn Heb “He put upon her shoulder, and the boy [or perhaps, “and with the boy”], and he sent her away.” It is unclear how “and the boy” relates syntactically to what precedes. Perhaps the words should be rearranged and the text read, “and he put [them] on her shoulder and he gave to Hagar the boy.”

66 tn Heb “she went and wandered.”

67 tn Or “desert,” although for English readers this usually connotes a sandy desert like the Sahara rather than the arid wasteland of this region with its sparse vegetation.

68 tn Heb “threw,” but the child, who was now thirteen years old, would not have been carried, let alone thrown under a bush. The exaggerated language suggests Ishmael is limp from dehydration and is being abandoned to die. See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 2:85.

69 sn A bowshot would be a distance of about a hundred yards (ninety meters).

70 tn Heb “said.”

71 tn Heb “I will not look on the death of the child.” The cohortative verbal form (note the negative particle אַל,’al) here expresses her resolve to avoid the stated action.

72 tn Heb “and she lifted up her voice and wept” (that is, she wept uncontrollably). The LXX reads “he” (referring to Ishmael) rather than “she” (referring to Hagar), but this is probably an attempt to harmonize this verse with the following one, which refers to the boy’s cries.

73 sn God heard the boy’s voice. The text has not to this point indicated that Ishmael was crying out, either in pain or in prayer. But the text here makes it clear that God heard him. Ishmael is clearly central to the story. Both the mother and the Lord are focused on the child’s imminent death.

74 tn Heb “What to you?”

75 sn Here the verb heard picks up the main motif of the name Ishmael (“God hears”), introduced back in chap. 16.

76 tn Heb “And God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.” The referent (Hagar) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

77 sn The wilderness of Paran is an area in the east central region of the Sinai peninsula, northeast from the traditional site of Mt. Sinai and with the Arabah and the Gulf of Aqaba as its eastern border.

78 tn Heb “And his mother took for him a wife from the land of Egypt.”

79 sn God is with you. Abimelech and Phicol recognized that Abraham enjoyed special divine provision and protection.

80 tn Heb “And now swear to me by God here.”

81 tn Heb “my offspring and my descendants.”

82 tn The word “land” refers by metonymy to the people in the land.

83 tn The Hebrew verb means “to stay, to live, to sojourn” as a temporary resident without ownership rights.

84 tn Or “kindness.”

85 tn Heb “According to the loyalty which I have done with you, do with me and with the land in which you are staying.”

86 tn Heb “I swear.” No object is specified in the Hebrew text, but the content of the oath requested by Abimelech is the implied object.

87 tn The Hebrew verb used here means “to argue; to dispute”; it can focus on the beginning of the dispute (as here), the dispute itself, or the resolution of a dispute (Isa 1:18). Apparently the complaint was lodged before the actual oath was taken.

88 tn Heb “concerning the matter of the well of water.”

89 tn The Hebrew verb used here means “to steal; to rob; to take violently.” The statement reflects Abraham’s perspective.

90 tn Heb “and also.”

91 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”

92 tn Heb “What are these?”

93 tn Heb “that it be for me for a witness.”

94 sn This well. Since the king wanted a treaty to share in Abraham’s good fortune, Abraham used the treaty to secure ownership of and protection for the well he dug. It would be useless to make a treaty to live in this territory if he had no rights to the water. Abraham consented to the treaty, but added his rider to it.

95 tn Heb “that is why he called that place.” Some translations render this as an impersonal passive, “that is why that place was called.”

96 sn The name Beer Sheba (בְּאֵר שָׁבַע, bÿer shava’) means “well of the oath” or “well of the seven.” Both the verb “to swear” and the number “seven” have been used throughout the account. Now they are drawn in as part of the explanation of the significance of the name.

97 sn The verb forms a wordplay with the name Beer Sheba.

98 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”

99 tn Heb “arose and returned.”

100 sn The Philistines mentioned here may not be ethnically related to those who lived in Palestine in the time of the judges and the united monarchy. See D. M. Howard, “Philistines,” Peoples of the Old Testament World, 238.

101 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

102 sn The planting of the tamarisk tree is a sign of Abraham’s intent to stay there for a long time, not a religious act. A growing tree in the Negev would be a lasting witness to God’s provision of water.

103 tn Heb “he called there in the name of the Lord.” The expression refers to worshiping the Lord through prayer and sacrifice (see Gen 4:26; 12:8; 13:4; 26:25). See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:116, 281.

104 tn Heb “many days.”

105 sn The Hebrew verb used here means “to test; to try; to prove.” In this passage God tests Abraham to see if he would be obedient. See T. W. Mann, The Book of the Torah, 44-48. See also J. L. Crenshaw, A Whirlpool of Torment (OBT), 9-30; and J. I. Lawlor, “The Test of Abraham,” GTJ 1 (1980): 19-35.

106 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

107 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

108 sn Take your son…Isaac. The instructions are very clear, but the details are deliberate. With every additional description the commandment becomes more challenging.

109 sn There has been much debate over the location of Moriah; 2 Chr 3:1 suggests it may be the site where the temple was later built in Jerusalem.

110 sn A whole burnt offering signified the complete surrender of the worshiper and complete acceptance by God. The demand for a human sacrifice was certainly radical and may have seemed to Abraham out of character for God. Abraham would have to obey without fully understanding what God was about.

111 tn Heb “which I will say to.”

112 tn Heb “Abraham rose up early in the morning and saddled his donkey.”

113 tn Heb “he arose and he went.”

114 tn Heb “lifted up his eyes and saw.”

115 tn Heb “And Abraham.” The proper name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun (“he”) for stylistic reasons.

116 tn The Hebrew verb is masculine plural, referring to the two young servants who accompanied Abraham and Isaac on the journey.

117 tn The disjunctive clause (with the compound subject preceding the verb) may be circumstantial and temporal.

118 tn This Hebrew word literally means “to bow oneself close to the ground.” It often means “to worship.”

119 sn It is impossible to know what Abraham was thinking when he said, “we will…return to you.” When he went he knew (1) that he was to sacrifice Isaac, and (2) that God intended to fulfill his earlier promises through Isaac. How he reconciled those facts is not clear in the text. Heb 11:17-19 suggests that Abraham believed God could restore Isaac to him through resurrection.

120 sn He took the fire and the knife in his hand. These details anticipate the sacrifice that lies ahead.

121 tn The Hebrew text adds “and said.” This is redundant and has not been translated for stylistic reasons.

122 tn Heb “Here I am” (cf. Gen 22:1).

123 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Here is the fire and the wood.’” The referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here and in the following verse the order of the introductory clauses and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

124 tn Heb “will see for himself.” The construction means “to look out for; to see to it; to provide.”

sn God will provide is the central theme of the passage and the turning point in the story. Note Paul’s allusion to the story in Rom 8:32 (“how shall he not freely give us all things?”) as well as H. J. Schoeps, “The Sacrifice of Isaac in Paul’s Theology,” JBL 65 (1946): 385-92.

125 sn Abraham built an altar there. The theme of Abraham’s altar building culminates here. He has been a faithful worshiper. Will he continue to worship when called upon to make such a radical sacrifice?

126 sn Then he tied up. This text has given rise to an important theme in Judaism known as the Aqedah, from the Hebrew word for “binding.” When sacrifices were made in the sanctuary, God remembered the binding of Isaac, for which a substitute was offered. See D. Polish, “The Binding of Isaac,” Jud 6 (1957): 17-21.

127 tn Heb “in order to slaughter.”

128 sn Heb “the messenger of the Lord” (also in v. 15). Some identify the angel of the Lord as the preincarnate Christ because in some texts the angel is identified with the Lord himself. However, see the note on the phrase “the Lord’s angel” in Gen 16:7.

129 tn Heb “Do not extend your hand toward the boy.”

130 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Do not extend…’”; the referent (the angel) has been specified in the context for clarity. The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

131 sn For now I know. The test was designed to see if Abraham would be obedient (see v. 1).

132 sn In this context fear refers by metonymy to obedience that grows from faith.

133 tn Heb “lifted his eyes.”

134 tn Heb “and saw, and look.” The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) draws attention to what Abraham saw and invites the audience to view the scene through his eyes.

135 tc The translation follows the reading of the MT; a number of Hebrew mss, the LXX, Syriac, and Samaritan Pentateuch read “one” (אֶחָד, ’ekhad) instead of “behind him” (אַחַר, ’akhar).

136 tn Heb “Abraham”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

137 tn Heb “the Lord sees” (יְהוָה יִרְאֶה, yÿhvah yireh, traditionally transliterated “Jehovah Jireh”; see the note on the word “provide” in v. 8). By so naming the place Abraham preserved in the memory of God’s people the amazing event that took place there.

138 sn On the expression to this day see B. Childs, “A Study of the Formula ‘Until this Day’,” JBL 82 (1963): 279-92.

139 sn The saying connected with these events has some ambiguity, which was probably intended. The Niphal verb could be translated (1) “in the mountain of the Lord it will be seen/provided” or (2) “in the mountain the Lord will appear.” If the temple later stood here (see the note on “Moriah” in Gen 22:2), the latter interpretation might find support, for the people went to the temple to appear before the Lord, who “appeared” to them by providing for them his power and blessings. See S. R. Driver, Genesis, 219.

140 tn Heb “By myself I swear.”

141 tn Heb “the oracle of the Lord.” The phrase refers to a formal oracle or decree from the Lord.

142 tn The use of the infinitive absolute before the finite verbal form (either an imperfect or cohortative) emphasizes the certainty of the blessing.

143 tn Here too the infinitive absolute is used for emphasis before the following finite verb (either an imperfect or cohortative).

sn I will greatly multiply. The Lord here ratifies his earlier promise to give Abram a multitude of descendants. For further discussion see R. B. Chisholm, “Evidence from Genesis,” A Case for Premillennialism, 35-54.

144 tn The Hebrew term זֶרַע (zera’) occurring here and in v. 18 may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.

145 tn Or “inherit.”

146 tn Heb “gate,” which here stands for a walled city. To break through the gate complex would be to conquer the city, for the gate complex was the main area of defense (hence the translation “stronghold”).

147 tn In the Hebrew text this causal clause comes at the end of the sentence. The translation alters the word order for stylistic reasons.

sn Because you have obeyed me. Abraham’s obedience brought God’s ratification of the earlier conditional promise (see Gen 12:2).

148 tn Traditionally the verb is taken as passive (“will be blessed”) here, as if Abraham’s descendants were going to be a channel or source of blessing to the nations. But the Hitpael is better understood here as reflexive/reciprocal, “will bless [i.e., pronounce blessings on] themselves/one another” (see also Gen 26:4). Elsewhere the Hitpael of the verb “to bless” is used with a reflexive/reciprocal sense in Deut 29:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2. Gen 12:2 predicts that Abram will be held up as a paradigm of divine blessing and that people will use his name in their blessing formulae. For examples of blessing formulae utilizing an individual as an example of blessing see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11. Earlier formulations of this promise (see Gen 12:2; 18:18) use the Niphal stem. (See also Gen 28:14.)

149 tn Heb “and they arose and went together.”

150 tn Heb “and Abraham stayed in Beer Sheba. This has been translated as a relative clause for stylistic reasons.

151 tn In the Hebrew text the sentence begins with הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) which draws attention to the statement.

152 sn This parenthetical note about Kemuel’s descendant is probably a later insertion by the author/compiler of Genesis and not part of the original announcement.

153 tn The disjunctive clause gives information that is important but parenthetical to the narrative. Rebekah would become the wife of Isaac (Gen 24:15).

154 tn Heb “And the years of Sarah were one hundred years and twenty years and seven years, the years of the life of Sarah.”

155 tn Heb “Sarah.” The proper name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun (“she”) for stylistic reasons.

156 sn Mourn…weep. The description here is of standard mourning rites (see K. A. Kitchen, NBD3 149-50). They would have been carried out in the presence of the corpse, probably in Sarah’s tent. So Abraham came in to mourn; then he rose up to go and bury his dead (v. 3).

157 tn Heb “And Abraham arose from upon the face of his dead.”

158 tn Some translate the Hebrew term “Heth” as “Hittites” here (also in vv. 5, 7, 10, 16, 18, 20), but this gives the impression that these people were the classical Hittites of Anatolia. However, there is no known connection between these sons of Heth, apparently a Canaanite group (see Gen 10:15), and the Hittites of Asia Minor. See H. A. Hoffner, Jr., “Hittites,” Peoples of the Old Testament World, 152-53.

159 tn Heb “a resident alien and a settler.”

160 tn Heb “give,” which is used here as an idiom for “sell” (see v. 9). The idiom reflects the polite bartering that was done in the culture at the time.

161 tn Or “possession.”

162 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction expresses purpose.

163 tn Heb “bury my dead out of my sight.” The last phrase “out of my sight” has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

164 tn Heb “answered Abraham saying to him.”

165 tn Heb “Hear us, my lord.”

166 tn Heb “prince of God.” The divine name may be used here as a means of expressing the superlative, “mighty prince.” The word for “prince” probably means “tribal chief” here. See M. H. Gottstein, “Nasi’ ‘elohim (Gen 23:6),” VT 3 (1953) 298-99; and D. W. Thomas, “Consideration of Some Unusual Ways of Expressing the Superlative in Hebrew,” VT 3 (1953) 215-16.

167 tn The phrase “to prevent you” has been added in the translation for stylistic reasons.

168 tn Heb “to the people of the land” (also in v. 12).

169 tn Heb “If it is with your purpose.” The Hebrew noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) here has the nuance “purpose” or perhaps “desire” (see BDB 661 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ).

170 tn Heb “bury my dead out of my sight.” The last phrase “out of my sight” has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

171 tn Or “hear me.”

172 tn Heb “intercede for me with.”

173 tn Heb “give.” This is used here (also a second time later in this verse) as an idiom for “sell”; see the note on the word “grant” in v. 4.

174 tn Heb “in your presence.”

175 tn Heb “silver.”

176 tn Or perhaps “Hittite,” but see the note on the name “Heth” in v. 3.

177 tn Heb “ears.” By metonymy the “ears” stand for the presence or proximity (i.e., within earshot) of the persons named.

178 sn On the expression all who entered the gate see E. A. Speiser, “‘Coming’ and ‘Going’ at the City Gate,” BASOR 144 (1956): 20-23; and G. Evans, “‘Coming’ and ‘Going’ at the City Gate: A Discussion of Professor Speiser’s Paper,” BASOR 150 (1958): 28-33.

179 tn Heb “give.” The perfect tense has here a present nuance; this is a formal, legally binding declaration. Abraham asked only for a burial site/cave within the field; Ephron agrees to sell him the entire field.

180 tn The Hebrew text adds “to you I give [i.e., sell] it.” This is redundant in English and has not been translated for stylistic reasons.

181 tn Heb “in the presence of the sons of my people.”

182 tn Heb “give.”

183 tn Heb “silver.”

184 tn After the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction expresses purpose or result.

185 tn The word “worth” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

186 sn Four hundred pieces of silver. The standards for weighing money varied considerably in the ancient Near East, but the generally accepted weight for the shekel is 11.5 grams (0.4 ounce). This makes the weight of silver here 4.6 kilograms, or 160 ounces (about 10 pounds).

187 tn Heb “listened to Ephron.”

188 tn Heb “and Abraham weighed out.”

189 tn Heb “to Ephron.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

190 tn Heb “silver.”

191 tn Heb “that he had spoken.” The referent (Ephron) has been specified here in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

192 tn Heb “passing for the merchant.” The final clause affirms that the measurement of silver was according to the standards used by the merchants of the time.

193 tn Heb “And it was conveyed.” The recipient, Abraham (mentioned in the Hebrew text at the beginning of v. 18) has been placed here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

194 tn Heb “his city”; the referent (Ephron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

sn See G. M. Tucker, “The Legal Background of Genesis 23,” JBL 85 (1966):77-84; and M. R. Lehmann, “Abraham’s Purchase of Machpelah and Hittite Law,” BASOR 129 (1953): 15-18.

195 tn Heb “possession of a grave.”

196 tn Heb “days.”

197 tn Heb “Abraham.” The proper name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun (“he”) for stylistic reasons.

198 tn The Hebrew term זָקֵן (zaqen) may refer to the servant who is oldest in age or senior in authority (or both).

199 sn Put your hand under my thigh. The taking of this oath had to do with the sanctity of the family and the continuation of the family line. See D. R. Freedman, “Put Your Hand Under My Thigh – the Patriarchal Oath,” BAR 2 (1976): 2-4, 42.

200 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose.

201 tn Heb “because you must not take.”

202 tn Heb “for to my country and my relatives you must go.”

203 tn Heb “and take.”

204 tn Heb “to go after me.”

205 tn In the Hebrew text the construction is emphatic; the infinitive absolute precedes the imperfect. However, it is difficult to reflect this emphasis in an English translation.

206 tn Heb “guard yourself.”

207 tn The introductory clause “And Abraham said to him” has been moved to the end of the opening sentence of direct discourse in the translation for stylistic reasons.

208 tn Or “the land of my birth.”

209 tn Heb “and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying.”

210 tn Or “his messenger.”

211 tn Heb “before you and you will take.”

212 tn Heb “ to go after you.”

213 sn You will be free. If the prospective bride was not willing to accompany the servant back to Canaan, the servant would be released from his oath to Abraham.

214 tn Heb “and he swore to him concerning this matter.”

215 tn Heb “and every good thing of his master was in his hand.” The disjunctive clause is circumstantial, explaining that he took all kinds of gifts to be used at his discretion.

216 tn Heb “and he arose and went.”

217 tn The words “the region of” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.

sn Aram Naharaim means in Hebrew “Aram of the Two Rivers,” a region in northern Mesopotamia.

218 tn Heb “well of water.”

219 tn Heb “at the time of evening.”

220 tn Heb “make it happen before me today.” Although a number of English translations understand this as a request for success in the task (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV) it is more likely that the servant is requesting an omen or sign from God (v. 14).

221 tn Heb “act in loyal love with” or “show kindness to.”

222 tn Heb “the spring of water.”

223 tn Heb “the men.”

224 sn I will also give your camels water. It would be an enormous test for a young woman to water ten camels. The idea is that such a woman would not only be industrious but hospitable and generous.

225 tn Heb “And let the young woman to whom I say, ‘Lower your jar that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink and I will also give your camels water,’ – her you have appointed for your servant, for Isaac, and by it I will know that you have acted in faithfulness with my master.”

226 tn Heb “Look, Rebekah was coming out!” Using the participle introduced with הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator dramatically transports the audience back into the event and invites them to see Rebekah through the servant’s eyes.

227 tn Heb “Look, Rebekah was coming out – [she] who was born to Bethuel, the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, the brother of Abraham – and her jug [was] on her shoulder.” The order of the clauses has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

228 tn Heb “And the young woman was very good of appearance, a virgin, and a man she had not known.” Some argue that the Hebrew noun translated “virgin” (בְּתוּלָה, bÿtulah) is better understood in a general sense, “young woman” (see Joel 1:8, where the word appears to refer to one who is married). In this case the circumstantial clause (“and a man she had not known”) would be restrictive, rather than descriptive. If the term actually means “virgin,” one wonders why the circumstantial clause is necessary (see Judg 21:12 as well). Perhaps the repetition emphasizes her sexual purity as a prerequisite for her role as the mother of the covenant community.

229 tn Heb “and the servant.” The word “Abraham’s” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

230 tn Heb “and she hurried and lowered.”

231 tn Heb “when she had finished giving him a drink.” This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.

232 tn Heb “and she hurried and emptied.”

233 tn Heb “to know.”

234 tn The Hebrew term צָלָה (tsalah), meaning “to make successful” in the Hiphil verbal stem, is a key term in the story (see vv. 40, 42, 56).

235 sn A beka weighed about 5-6 grams (0.2 ounce).

236 sn A shekel weighed about 11.5 grams (0.4 ounce) although weights varied locally, so these bracelets weighed about 4 ounces (115 grams).

237 tn The words “and gave them to her” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.

238 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’” The order of the introductory clause has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

239 tn Heb “whom she bore to Nahor.” The referent (Milcah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

240 tn Heb “and she said, ‘We have plenty of both straw and feed.’” The order of the introductory clause has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

241 tn Heb The words “for you” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.

242 tn Heb “his faithfulness and his commitment.”

243 tn Heb “As for me – in the way the Lord led me.”

244 tn Here “house” is an adverbial accusative of termination.

245 tn Heb “brothers.”

246 tn Heb “according to.”

247 tn The parenthetical disjunctive clause introduces the audience to Laban, who will eventually play an important role in the unfolding story.

248 tn Heb “And it was when he saw the nose ring and the bracelets on the arms of his sister.” The word order is altered in the translation for the sake of clarity.

249 tn Heb “and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying.”

250 tn Heb “and look, he was standing.” The disjunctive clause with the participle following the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) invites the audience to view the scene through Laban’s eyes.

251 tn Heb “and he said.” The referent (Laban) has been specified and the words “to him” supplied in the translation for clarity.

252 sn Laban’s obsession with wealth is apparent; to him it represents how one is blessed by the Lord. Already the author is laying the foundation for subsequent events in the narrative, where Laban’s greed becomes his dominant characteristic.

253 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial.

254 tn Heb “the man”; the referent (Abraham’s servant) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

255 tn Some translations (e.g., NEB, NASB, NRSV) understand Laban to be the subject of this and the following verbs or take the subject of this and the following verbs as indefinite (referring to an unnamed servant; e.g., NAB, NIV).

256 tn Heb “and [one] gave.” The verb without an expressed subject may be translated as passive.

257 tn Heb “and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.”

258 tn Heb “and food was placed before him.”

259 tn Heb “my words.”

260 tc Some ancient textual witnesses have a plural verb, “and they said.”

tn Heb “and he said, ‘Speak.’” The referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

261 tn Heb “great.” In this context the statement refers primarily to Abraham’s material wealth, although reputation and influence are not excluded.

262 tn Heb “and he.” The referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

263 tn Heb “to my master.” This has been replaced by the pronoun “him” in the translation for stylistic reasons.

264 tn Heb “after her old age.”

265 tn Heb “and he.” The referent (the servant’s master, Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

266 tn Heb “but to the house of my father you must go and to my family and you must take a wife for my son.”

267 tn The imperfect is used here in a modal sense to indicate desire.

268 tn Heb “after me.”

269 tn The verb is the Hitpael of הָלַךְ (halakh), meaning “live one’s life” (see Gen 17:1). The statement may simply refer to serving the Lord or it may have a more positive moral connotation (“serve faithfully”).

270 tn Heb “my oath” (twice in this verse). From the Hebrew perspective the oath belonged to the person to whom it was sworn (Abraham), although in contemporary English an oath is typically viewed as belonging to the person who swears it (the servant).

271 tn Heb “if you are making successful my way on which I am going.”

272 tn The words “may events unfold as follows” are supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

273 tn Heb “the spring of water.”

274 tn Heb “and it will be.”

275 tn Heb “As for me, before I finished speaking to my heart.” The adverb טֶרֶם (terem) indicates the verb is a preterite; the infinitive that follows is the direct object.

276 tn Heb “Look, Rebekah was coming out.” As in 24:15, the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) is used here for dramatic effect.

277 tn Heb “whom Milcah bore to him.” The referent (Nahor) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

278 tn Heb “daughter.” Rebekah was actually the granddaughter of Nahor, Abraham’s brother. One can either translate the Hebrew term בַּת (bat) as “daughter,” in which case the term אָח (’akh) must be translated more generally as “relative” rather than “brother” (cf. NASB, NRSV) or one can translate בַּת as “granddaughter,” in which case אָח may be translated “brother” (cf. NIV).

279 tn Heb “and I will turn to the right or to the left.” The expression apparently means that Abraham’s servant will know where he should go if there is no further business here.

280 tn Heb “From the Lord the matter has gone out.”

281 tn Heb “We are not able to speak to you bad or good.” This means that Laban and Bethuel could not say one way or the other what they wanted, for they viewed it as God’s will.

282 tn Following the imperatives, the jussive with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

283 tn Heb “as the Lord has spoken.”

284 tn Heb “the servant”; the noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

285 tn Heb “And they ate and drank, he and the men who [were] with him and they spent the night.”

286 tn Heb “Send me away to my master.”

287 tn Heb “her”; the referent (Rebekah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

288 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial, indicating a reason for the preceding request.

289 tn After the preceding imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

290 tn Heb “and we will ask her mouth.”

291 tn The imperfect verbal form here has a modal nuance, expressing desire.

292 tn Heb “and said to her.”

293 tn Heb “become thousands of ten thousands.”

sn May you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands. The blessing expresses their prayer that she produce children and start a family line that will greatly increase (cf. Gen 17:16).

294 tn Heb “gate,” which here stands for a walled city. In an ancient Near Eastern city the gate complex was the main area of defense (hence the translation “stronghold”). A similar phrase occurs in Gen 22:17.

295 tn Heb “And she arose, Rebekah and her female servants, and they rode upon camels and went after.”

296 tn Heb “the servant”; the word “Abraham’s” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

297 tn The disjunctive clause switches the audience’s attention to Isaac and signals a new episode in the story.

298 tn Heb “from the way of.”

299 sn The Hebrew name Beer Lahai Roi (בְּאֵר לַחַי רֹאִי, bÿer lakhay roi) means “The well of the Living One who sees me.” See Gen 16:14.

300 tn This disjunctive clause is explanatory.

301 tn Or “the South [country].”

sn Negev is the name for the southern desert region in the land of Canaan.

302 tn Heb “Isaac”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

303 tn The meaning of this Hebrew term is uncertain (cf. NASB, NIV “to meditate”; NRSV “to walk”).

304 tn Heb “at the turning of the evening.”

305 tn Heb “And he lifted up his eyes.” This idiom emphasizes the careful look Isaac had at the approaching caravan.

306 tn Heb “and look.” The clause introduced by the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) invites the audience to view the scene through Isaac’s eyes.

307 tn Heb “lifted up her eyes.”

308 tn Heb “and she said to.”

309 tn Heb “the servant.” The word “Abraham’s” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

310 tn Heb “and the servant said.” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

311 tn Heb “her”; the referent has been specified here in the translation for clarity.

312 tn Heb “Rebekah”; here the proper name was replaced by the pronoun (“her”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

313 tn Heb “and he took Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her.”

314 tn Heb “after his mother.” This must refer to Sarah’s death.



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