151 The word of God came to Abraham in a vision, saying, "Don't be afraid, I'm your shield and your great reward."
2 Abraham said, "What will you give me since I am childless?"
4 The word of God said, "A son will come out of your bowels to be your heir. 5 Look at the stars, that's how much seed you're going to have."
6 Abraham believed God. And God counted him righteous for believing him.
7 God said, "I'm God. I brought you from Ur to inherit this land."
8 Abraham said, "How can I know I will inherit it?"
9 God said, "Get a heifer, she goat, and ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a pigeon."
10 So Abraham gathered all the animals God asked for and cut them up into pieces. (Except for the birds, which he didn't chop up.) 11 The dead animals attracted some birds of prey, which Abraham drove away. 12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abraham.
Your seed will be a stranger in a land that is not theirs and will serve them for 400 years. 14 I'll judge the nation that they serve. Then they'll leave with lots of possessions. 15 And you'll die at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation they will come back here again.
17 Later that night, there appeared a burning lamp between the pieces of dead animals. 18 God repeated the promise he made to Abraham and his descendants about giving to them the land of Canaan, saying,
19 To your seed I give this land, from the great river in Egypt to the Euphrates River. 20-21 This includes the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaims, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
Abraham impregnates Sarah's slave, Hagar
161Sarah, Abraham's wife, couldn't have children. But she had a female Egyptian slave named Hagar. 2-3 So Sarah said to Abraham, "God has prevented me from having children. Have sex with Hagar, so I can have children through her."
4 Abraham did as Sarah suggested and had sex with Hagar. She conceived. And when she realized that she was pregnant, she despised Sarah.
Return to your mistress and submit to her. 10 I'll multiply your seed exceedingly. No one will be able to count all the seed you're going to have.
11 You are pregnant and will have a son. His name will be Ishmael. 12 He will be a wild man. He will fight against everyone, and everyone will fight against him.
Hagar gives birth to Ishmael
15 Hagar bare Abraham a son, Ishmael. 16 He was 86 years old when Ishmael was born.
God's everlasting covenant: circumcision
171 God appeared to Abraham when he was 99 years old, and said, 2 "I'll make a covenant with you, and I'll make sure you have lots of descendants." 3 Abraham fell on his face. God continued,
10 This is my covenant: Every male will be circumcised. 11 You will circumcise the flesh of your foreskin. It shall be a token of the covenant between us. 12 When a baby boy is eight days old, he shall be circumcised, whether he is born in your house, or is bought with money, or is a stranger. 13 My covenant will be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 An uncircumcised boy must be cut off from his people.
God promises to get Sarah pregnant
15 God said to Abraham, 16 "I'll bless Sarah and give you a son from her. She will be a mother of nations and kings."
Abraham laughs at God
17 Abraham fell down laughing, and said in his heart,
Will Sarah and I have a child when I'm 100 and she's 90 years old?
Sarah, Abraham's wife, couldn't have children (16:1)
Sarah is the first of a long line of barren women who were desperate for children.
(In the Bible, it is the women who are barren, never the men.)
He went in unto Hagar, and she conceived. (16:4)
Neither Sarah nor Abraham asked Hagar for permission. Sarah just gave her to Abraham, who then had sex with her. Hagar probably didn't want to have sex with Abraham, or become pregnant with his child. No wonder she despised Sarah!