“If I testify on my own behalf, that testimony does not hold good. There is another who testifies for me, and I know what his testimony holds.
“Your messengers have been to John; you have his testimony to the truth. Not that I rely on human testimony; but I remind you of it for your own salvation. John was a lamp, burning brightly, and for a time you were ready to exult in his light. But I rely on a testimony higher than John’s.
“There is enough to testify that the Father has sent me, in the works my Father gave me to do and to finish–the very works I have in hand. This testimony to me was given by the Father who sent me, although you never heard his voice, or saw his form. But his word has found no home in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
“You study the scriptures diligently, supposing that in having them you have eternal life; yet although their testimony points to me, you refuse to come to me for that life.
“I do not look to men for honor. But with you it is different, as I know well, for you have no love of God in you.
“I have come accredited by my Father, and you have no welcome for me; if another comes self-accredited you will welcome him.
“How can you have faith so long as you receive honor from one another, and care nothing for the honor that comes from God?
“Do not imagine that I shall be your accuser at God’s tribunal. Your accuser is Moses, the very Moses on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses you would believe what I tell you, for it was about me that he wrote. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how are you to believe what I say?”
At that time Abimelech, with Phicol the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do; now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my offspring or with my posterity; but as I have dealt loyally with you, you will deal with me and with the land where you have resided as an alien.”
And Abraham said, “I swear it.”
When Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelich’s servants had seized, Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this; you did not tell me, and I did not hear of it until today.”
So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech; and the two men made a covenant. Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs of the flock. And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart?”
He said, “These seven ewe lambs you shall accept from my hand, in order that you may be a witness for me that I dug this well.”
Therefore that place was called Beersheba, because there both of them swore an oath.
When they had made a covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech, with Phicol the commander of his army, left and returned to the land of the Philistines.
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and called there on the name of of the Lord, the Everlasting God. And Abraham resided as an alien many days in the land of the Philistines.
“As Son of Man, he has also been given the right to pass judgement.
“Do not wonder at this, because the time is coming when all who are in the grave shall hear his voice and come forth. Those who have done right will rise to life; those who have done wrong with rise to hear their doom.
“I cannot act by myself; I judge as I am bidden, and my verdict is just; because my aim is not my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.”
And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.”
The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son.
But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. As for the son of this slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is’ your offspring.”
So Abraham arose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away.
And she departed, and wandered around in the wilderness of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, for she said, “Do not let me look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept.
And God heard the voice of the boy; and the Angel of God called to Hagar from Heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy, where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.”
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.
God was with the boy; and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
To this charge Jesus replied, “In truth, in very truth I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he does only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does.
For the Father loves the Son and shows him all his works (and will show greater yet, to fill you with wonder. As the Father raises the dead and gives them life; so the Son gives life to men, as he determines.
And again, the Father does not judge anyone, but has given full jurisdiction to the Son; it is his will that all should pay the same honor to the Son as to the Father. To deny honor to the Son is to deny it to the Father who sent him.
In very truth, anyone who gives heed to what I say and puts his faith in him who sent me has hold of eternal life–and does not come up for judgement, but has already passed from death to life.
In truth, in very truth I tell you, a time is coming (Indeed it is already here!) when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and all who hear shall come to life. For as the Father has life-giving power in himself, so has the Son, by the Father’s gift.
The Lord dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as he had promised. Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him.
Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son whom Sarah bore him. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.
Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
Now Sarah said, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” And she said, “Who would have ever said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.
It was works of this kind done on the Sabbath that stirred the Jews to persecute Jesus.
He defended himself by saying, “My father has never yet ceased his work, and I am working too.”
This made the Jews even more determined to kill him, because he was not only breaking the Sabbath; but by calling God his father, he claimed equality with God.
From there Abraham journeyed toward the region of the Negeb, and settled between Kadesh and Shur.
While residing in Gerar as an alien, Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.”
And King Abimelech of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said, “You are about to die because of the woman you have taken, for she is a married woman.”
Now Abimelech had not approached her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent people? Did he himself not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I did this in the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands.”
Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart; furthermore it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Now, then, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet; and he will pray for you; and you will live. But if you do not restore her, know that you will surely die, you and all that are yours.”
So Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants and told them all these things; and the men were very much afraid. The Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought such great guilt on me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not have been done.” And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What were you thinking, that you did this thing?”
Abraham said, “I did it because I thought: “There is no fear of God in this place; and they will kill me because of my wife. Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me; at every place to which we come, say of me, ‘He is my brother.’ “
Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves, and gave them to Abraham, and restored his wife Sarah to him. Abimelech said, “My land is before you; settle where it pleases you.” To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; it is your exoneration before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”
The Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. For the Lord had closed fast all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.