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Genesis 17

17
The Sign of the Covenant
1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord #Gen. 12:7; 18:1appeared to Abram and said to him, #Gen. 28:3; 35:11; Ex. 6:3; Job 42:2“I am Almighty God; #2 Kin. 20:3walk before Me and be #Gen. 6:9; Deut. 18:13blameless. 2And I will make My #Gen. 15:18; Ex. 6:4; (Gal. 3:19)covenant between Me and you, and #Gen. 12:2; 13:16; 15:5; 18:18will multiply you exceedingly.” 3Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: 4“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a #(Rom. 4:11, 12, 16)father of many nations. 5No longer shall #Neh. 9:7your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; #Rom. 4:17for I have made you a father of many nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations #Gen. 17:16; 35:11of you, and #Matt. 1:6kings shall come from you. 7And I will #(Gal. 3:17)establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, #Gen. 26:24; 28:13; Lev. 11:45; 26:12, 45; Heb. 11:16to be God to you and #Rom. 9:8; Gal. 3:16your descendants after you. 8Also #Gen. 12:7; 13:15, 17; Acts 7:5I give to you and your descendants after you the land #Gen. 23:4; 28:4in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and #Ex. 6:7; 29:45; Lev. 26:12; Deut. 29:13; Rev. 21:7I will be their God.”
9And God said to Abraham: “As for you, #Ex. 19:5you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: #John 7:22; Acts 7:8Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be #Ex. 12:13, 48; (Rom. 4:11)a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12He who is eight days old among you #Lev. 12:3shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. 13He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person #Ex. 4:24–26shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
15Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, #Gen. 18:10and she shall be a mother #Gen. 35:11; Gal. 4:31; 1 Pet. 3:6of nations; #Gen. 17:6; 36:31; 1 Sam. 8:22kings of peoples shall be from her.”
17Then Abraham fell on his face #Gen. 17:3; 18:12; 21:6and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?18And Abraham #Gen. 18:23said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!”
19Then God said: “No, #Gen. 18:10; 21:2; (Gal. 4:28)Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My #Gen. 22:16; Matt. 1:2; Luke 3:34covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. 20And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and #Gen. 16:10will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget #Gen. 25:12–16twelve princes, #Gen. 21:13, 18and I will make him a great nation. 21But My #Gen. 26:2–5covenant I will establish with Isaac, #Gen. 21:2whom Sarah shall bear to you at this #Gen. 18:14set time next year.” 22Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.
23So Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very same day, as God had said to him. 24Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26That very same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael; 27and #Gen. 18:19all the men of his house, born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
17
1When Avram was 99 years old Adonai appeared to Avram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai [God Almighty]. Walk in my presence and be pure-hearted. 2I will make my covenant between me and you, and I will increase your numbers greatly.” 3Avram fell on his face, and God continued speaking with him: 4“As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations. 6I will cause you to be very fruitful. I will make nations of you, kings will descend from you.
(vii) 7“I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you. 8I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now foreigners, all the land of Kena‘an, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God.”
9God said to Avraham, “As for you, you are to keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation. 10Here is my covenant, which you are to keep, between me and you, along with your descendants after you: every male among you is to be circumcised. 11You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; this will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12Generation after generation, every male among you who is eight days old is to be circumcised, including slaves born within your household and those bought from a foreigner not descended from you. 13The slave born in your house and the person bought with your money must be circumcised; thus my covenant will be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14Any uncircumcised male who will not let himself be circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin — that person will be cut off from his people, because he has broken my covenant.”
15God said to Avraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are not to call her Sarai [mockery]; her name is to be Sarah [princess]. 16I will bless her; moreover, I will give you a son by her. Truly I will bless her: she will be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” 17At this Avraham fell on his face and laughed — he thought to himself, “Will a child be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah give birth at ninety?” 18Avraham said to God, “If only Yishma‘el could live in your presence!” 19God answered, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you are to call him Yitz’chak [laughter]. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20But as for Yishma‘el, I have heard you. I have blessed him. I will make him fruitful and give him many descendants. He will father twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21But I will establish my covenant with Yitz’chak, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.” 22With that, God finished speaking with Avraham and went up from him.
23Avraham took Yishma‘el his son, all the slaves born in his house and all who had been bought with his money, every male among the people in Avraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin that very day, just as God had said to him.
(Maftir) 24Avraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, 25and Yishma‘el his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26Avraham and Yishma‘el his son were circumcised on the same day; 27and all the men in his household, both slaves born in his house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
Haftarah Lekh L’kha: Yesha‘yahu (Isaiah) 40:27–41:16
B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah Lekh L’kha: Acts 7:1–8; Romans 3:19–5:6; Galatians 3:15–18; 5:1–6; Colossians 2:11–15; Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 7:1–19; 11:8–12