Genesis 21:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 21:1, NIV: "Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised."

Genesis 21:1, ESV: "The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised."

Genesis 21:1, KJV: "And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken."

Genesis 21:1, NASB: "Then the LORD took note of Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had promised."

Genesis 21:1, NLT: "The LORD kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised."

Genesis 21:1, CSB: "The LORD came to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised."

What does Genesis 21:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Lord keeps His promises, no matter how unlikely they may seem from a human perspective. Not only had God promised to make Abraham a great nation, He had promised specifically that this nation would come through Sarah, a vow made twice within the last year (Genesis 17:16–21; 18:10–15). Now the Lord visits Sarah "as he had said" and the Lord does to her "as he had promised." Somehow, in this visiting, the Lord made Sarah, finally, able to conceive a child with Abraham.

It's interesting that, though most of God's promises about the great nation that would flow from Abraham have been made directly to Abraham, the focus of the promise's fulfillment rests on Sarah. God maintains a relationship with her and His promise is made to and through her.

The repetition and phrasing in this verse is meant to slow us down and cause us to notice that God is faithful. He does as He says.