The parsha begins with Abraham’s incredible display of chesed (kindness) to three angels who appear as men. This, despite extreme discomfort from his recent bris milah (circumcision). The angels declare that Sarah will give birth to her first child at the age of 90 when Abraham would be 100. Later, Abraham pleads to G-d on behalf of the cities of Sodom and Gemorrah. However, the cities are soon destroyed, but not before the angels save Abraham’s nephew Lot and his family from destruction.
Later the parsha describes how Sarah is abducted by Avimelech, the king of Gerar, who did not realize she was married. G-d responds by striking him with a plague which prevents him from touching her. Sarah conceives and gives birth to Isaac, and Abraham makes a huge celebration. Sarah sees Ishmael (Abraham’s son from Hagar) as a menace to her own son’s spiritual well-being, and asks Abraham to expel Ishmael and Hagar. The Torah portion concludes with the akeidah, Abraham’s tenth and final test, in which he shows his willingness to comply with G-d’s command to bring his beloved son Isaac as an offering.