Genesis 21: Sarah has a son and there are some fights over well water


Synopsis

Sarah has a son at the appointed time – not sure if it is Abraham’s or not as God is apparently the one who makes her pregnant. Anyway, the son is called Isaac and he is circumcised. Sarah and God convince Abraham to send Hagar and her son away.  Hagar takes Ishmael away and is prepared for the two of them to die. God send s an angel to her and shows her where a well is so that they may live. Ishmael grows up to be an archer and he eventually is married to an Egyptian woman.  In the meantime, the king who had sworn peace with Abraham starts to fight with him over the wells. The king says this is the first I’ve heard of it. Abraham pays the king seven ewes in order to be owner of the well which he names Beersheba.  The king and his captain return. We are now told this is the king of the Philistines.

In other words:

Sarah finally has a son. Hagar and her son are turned away, but not to worry – they will be ok. Abraham, with the approval of the King of the Philistines, digs a well at Beersheba.

Favorite bit:

The negotiations between King Abimelech and Abraham (Genesis 21: 22-32) – This is the same king that had paid off Abraham for the whole, trying to steal his wife without knowing it incident in the previous chapter. Only this time, they are filling in his well. When Abraham challenges the king he says – I had no idea! Go ahead and dig your well. Abraham insists on paying for it.  I love all the under currents of – bribery and graft because you know the reasons the wells were filled in were to try and force Abraham out or to extort him for money. This was a strong man king after all.

Moral Lesson learned:

When cutting a deal with a strong man – make sure you have witnesses and that you are seen to be paying your fair price above the board so that they can’t extort later.  (Genesis 21:27)