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Old Testament:  Genesis 16-17

Genesis 16

The Birth of Ishmael
 1  Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar.  2  So Sarai said to Abram, "The LORD has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her." And Abram agreed with Sarai's proposal.  3  So Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan.)
   4  So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. But when Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt.  5  Then Sarai said to Abram, "This is all your fault! I put my servant into your arms, but now that she's pregnant she treats me with contempt. The LORD will show who's wrong—you or me!"
   6  Abram replied, "Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit." Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.
   7  The angel of the LORD found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur.  8  The angel said to her, "Hagar, Sarai's servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?"
  "I'm running away from my mistress, Sarai," she replied.
   9  The angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority."  10  Then he added, "I will give you more descendants than you can count."
   11  And the angel also said, "You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means `God hears'), for the LORD has heard your cry of distress.  12  This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives."
   13  Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, "You are the God who sees me." She also said, "Have I truly seen the One who sees me?"  14  So that well was named Beer-lahai-roi (which means "well of the Living One who sees me"). It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.
   15  So Hagar gave Abram a son, and Abram named him Ishmael.  16  Abram was eighty-six years old when Ishmael was born.

Genesis 17

Abram Is Named Abraham
 1  When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am El-Shaddai—`God Almighty.' Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.  2  I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants."
   3  At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him,  4  "This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!  5  What's more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, [5]  for you will be the father of many nations.  6  I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them!
   7  "I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you."  8  And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God."

The Mark of the Covenant
 9  Then God said to Abraham, "Your responsibility is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility.  10  This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised.  11  You must cut off the flesh of your foreskin as a sign of the covenant between me and you.  12  From generation to generation, every male child must be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. This applies not only to members of your family but also to the servants born in your household and the foreign-born servants whom you have purchased.  13  All must be circumcised. Your bodies will bear the mark of my everlasting covenant.  14  Any male who fails to be circumcised will be cut off from the covenant family for breaking the covenant."

Sarai Is Named Sarah
 15  Then God said to Abraham, "Regarding Sarai, your wife—her name will no longer be Sarai. From now on her name will be Sarah. [15]   16  And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings of nations will be among her descendants."
   17  Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. "How could I become a father at the age of 100?" he thought. "And how can Sarah have a baby when she is ninety years old?"  18  So Abraham said to God, "May Ishmael live under your special blessing!"
   19  But God replied, "No—Sarah, your wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac, [19]  and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant.  20  As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will make him extremely fruitful and multiply his descendants. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.  21  But my covenant will be confirmed with Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah about this time next year."  22  When God had finished speaking, he left Abraham.
   23  On that very day Abraham took his son, Ishmael, and every male in his household, including those born there and those he had bought. Then he circumcised them, cutting off their foreskins, just as God had told him.  24  Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised,  25  and Ishmael, his son, was thirteen.  26  Both Abraham and his son, Ishmael, were circumcised on that same day,  27  along with all the other men and boys of the household, whether they were born there or bought as servants. All were circumcised with him.
<<  16:13 Hebrew El-roi.
<<  17:5 Abram means "exalted father"; Abraham sounds like a Hebrew term that means "father of many."
<<  17:7 Hebrew seed; also in 17:7b, 8, 9, 10, 19.
<<  17:15 Sarai and Sarah both mean "princess";the change in spelling may reflect the difference in dialect between Ur and Canaan.
<<  17:19 Isaac means "he laughs."

New Testament:  Matthew 5:27-48

Matthew 5 : 27-48

Teaching about Adultery
 27  "You have heard the commandment that says, `You must not commit adultery.' [27]   28  But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  29  So if your eye—even your good eye [29] —causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  30  And if your hand—even your stronger hand [30] —causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Teaching about Divorce
 31  "You have heard the law that says, `A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.' [31]   32  But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.

Teaching about Vows
 33  "You have also heard that our ancestors were told, `You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.' [33]   34  But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, `By heaven!' because heaven is God's throne.  35  And do not say, `By the earth!' because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, `By Jerusalem!' for Jerusalem is the city of the great King.  36  Do not even say, `By my head!' for you can't turn one hair white or black.  37  Just say a simple, `Yes, I will,' or `No, I won't.' Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

Teaching about Revenge
 38  "You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: `An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' [38]   39  But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.  40  If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.  41  If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, [41]  carry it two miles.  42  Give to those who ask, and don't turn away from those who want to borrow.

Teaching about Love for Enemies
 43  "You have heard the law that says, `Love your neighbor' [43]  and hate your enemy.  44  "But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!"  45  In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  46  If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.  47  If you are kind only to your friends, [47]  how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.  48  But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
<<  5:27 Exod 20:14; Deut 5:18.
<<  5:29 Greek your right eye.
<<  5:30 Greek your right hand.
<<  5:31 Deut 24:1.
<<  5:33 Num 30:2.
<<  5:38 Greek the law that says: `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' Exod 21:24; Lev 24:20; Deut 19:21.
<<  5:41 Greek milion [4,854 feet or 1,478 meters].
<<  5:43 Lev 19:18.
<<  5:44 Some manuscripts add Bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you. Compare Luke 6:27-28.
<<  5:47 Greek your brothers.

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