Genesis 16-18; Mark 6
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar.
And Sarai said to Abram, ”Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife.
And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress.
And Sarai said to Abram, ”May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!”
But Abram said to Sarai, ”Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.
The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur.
And he said, ”Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, ”I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.”
The angel of the LORD said to her, ”Return to your mistress and submit to her.”
The angel of the LORD also said to her, ”I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.”
And the angel of the LORD said to her, ”Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has listened to your affliction.
He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”
So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, ”You are a God of seeing,” for she said, ”Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”
Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.
And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ”I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless,
that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”
Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him,
‘Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.
No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you.
And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
And God said to Abraham, ”As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations.
This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.
You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.
He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring,
both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant.
Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
And God said to Abraham, ”As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.
I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”
Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, ”Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
And Abraham said to God, ”Oh that Ishmael might live before you!”
God said, ”No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.
As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation.
But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”
When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.
Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him.
Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised.
And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.
He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth
and said, ”O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.
Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree,
while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on–since you have come to your servant.” So they said, ”Do as you have said.”
And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, ”Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.”
And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly.
Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
They said to him, ”Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, ”She is in the tent.”
The LORD said, ”I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.
Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah.
So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ”After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”
The LORD said to Abraham, ”Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’
Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”
But Sarah denied it, saying, ”I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, ”No, but you did laugh.”
Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way.
The LORD said, ”Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”
Then the LORD said, ”Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave,
I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”
So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD.
Then Abraham drew near and said, ”Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?
Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”
And the LORD said, ”If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham answered and said, ”Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.
Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, ”I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
Again he spoke to him and said, ”Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, ”For the sake of forty I will not do it.”
Then he said, ”Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, ”I will not do it, if I find thirty there.”
He said, ”Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, ”For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.”
Then he said, ”Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, ”For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”
And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him.
And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, ”Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands?
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
And Jesus said to them, ”A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”
And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.
And he marveled because of their unbelief.And he went about among the villages teaching.
And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff–no bread, no bag, no money in their belts–
but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.
And he said to them, ”Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there.
And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”
So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.
And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.
King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some said, ”John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.”
But others said, ”He is Elijah.” And others said, ”He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.”
But when Herod heard of it, he said, ”John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”
For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her.
For John had been saying to Herod, ”It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not,
for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.
But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee.
For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, ”Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.”
And he vowed to her, ”Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.”
And she went out and said to her mother, ”For what should I ask?” And she said, ”The head of John the Baptist.”
And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, ”I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.
And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison
and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught.
And he said to them, ”Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.
Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.
When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, ”This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late.
Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
But he answered them, ”You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, ”Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?”
And he said to them, ”How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, ”Five, and two fish.”
Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass.
So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties.
And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all.
And they all ate and were satisfied.
And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish.
And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.
And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land.
And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them,
but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out,
for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, ”Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded,
for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore.
And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him
and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was.
And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.