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Genesis 17

Chapter 17
God changes Abram's name to Abraham
1When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him. The Lord said, ‘I am God Almighty. #17:1 Almighty’ means that God is the Lord of everything. He is the one who blesses people and gives them life. In all your life, obey me and do nothing wrong. 2Then I will certainly keep my covenant with you. I will make your descendants grow in number.’ #17:2 God had already promised Abraham that he would have very many descendants See Genesis 15:4-5. Now God is helping Abram to remember his promise. Abram should continue to trust God.
3Abram fell down so that his face touched the ground. God said to him, 4‘As for me, this is my covenant that I have made with you. You will become the ancestor of many nations of people. #17:4 Abram will have many descendants. They will live all over the earth, in many different countries. 5Your name will not be Abram any more. Instead your name will be Abraham, because I will cause you to become the ancestor of many nations. 6I will give you many descendants. These will make many nations of people. Some of your descendants will become kings.
7My covenant with you is very strong. I am making it with you and with your descendants. It will continue for generation after generation of your descendants, for all time. I will be your God. I will also be the God of all your descendants. 8You are now living here in Canaan as a foreign person. But I will give all of this land to you and to your descendants. It will belong to them for ever. I will be their God.’
9God continued to speak to Abraham. He said, ‘As for you, you must agree to obey me. You must obey the rules of my covenant. You, and all your descendants after you must obey it. 10This is what you and all your descendants must do to obey my covenant: Every male person in your family must be circumcised. 11Your circumcision will show that you have agreed to my covenant with you. 12Every male child among you must be circumcised when he is 8 days old. You must continue to do this for every generation. Do it for every male that lives with you, not just your own family. Circumcise servants that have been born in your house. Also circumcise foreign servants that you have bought with money. 13You must circumcise all the male servants who work for you in your house. Circumcision will be a mark in your bodies which shows that you accept my covenant. It will continue for all time.
14If any male person among you has not been circumcised, I will not accept him as one of my people. He must become separate from his people. He has not obeyed my covenant.’ #17:14 Circumcision showed that a person trusted God. Every father had to circumcise his son. This showed that the family agreed to obey God's covenant.
God changes Sarai's name to Sarah
15Then God said to Abraham, ‘As for your wife, do not call her Sarai any more. Instead, her name will be Sarah. 16I will bless her. She will give birth to a son for you. Many nations of people will be her descendants. Some of them will become kings. That is how much I will bless her!’
17Abraham fell down so that his face touched the ground. He laughed and he said to himself, ‘I am now 100 years old. That is too old to have a son. Sarah is 90 years old, so she could never give birth to a child. That is too old to have a child.’ 18So Abraham said to God, ‘I would be happy if you would bless Ishmael as my son.’
19God said to Abraham, ‘No, your wife Sarah will give birth to a son for you. You must give to him the name “Isaac”. I will make my covenant with him and with his descendants for all time. #17:19 God tells Abraham that Sarah's child will continue Abraham's family line. It will not be Hagar's child, Ishmael. The name ‘Isaac’ means ‘he laughs’. 20I have heard what you want me to do for Ishmael. I will bless him. I will cause him to have many descendants. Among his descendants there will be 12 rulers. His descendants will become a great nation. 21But I will make my covenant with Isaac, not with Ishmael. At about this time next year, Sarah will give birth to your son, Isaac.’ #17:21 God agrees to bless Ishmael because Abraham asked him to do that. But God makes his covenant with Isaac because he will be Abraham and Sarah's own son. That is what God had promised to do for them.
22When God had finished speaking to Abraham, he went away.
23On that same day, Abraham circumcised Ishmael and every male person in his house. He circumcised every male servant that was born in his house, as well as those that he had bought with money. He did this in the way that God had told him. 24Abraham himself was circumcised when he was 99 years old. 25His son, Ishmael, was 13 years old when he was circumcised. 26Abraham and Ishmael were circumcised on the same day. 27As well as them, all the male people living in Abraham's house were circumcised. This included the male servants that had been born in his house and those that he had bought with money.
1When Abram was 99, the Lord appeared to him and told him, “I am God Almighty. Live in my presence and don't do wrong.#17:1. “Live in my presence and don't do wrong,” literally, “walk before me and be innocent.” 2I will make my agreement between me and you, and I will give you many, many descendants.”
3Abram bowed down with his face to the ground, and God told him, 4“Listen! This is the agreement I'm making with you. You will be the father of many nations, 5so your name won't be Abram any longer. Instead, your name will be Abraham#17:5. The name change is usually interpreted to be from Abram (“exalted father”) to Abraham (“father of many”). because I'm going to make you the father of many nations. 6I will make sure you have a large number of descendants. They will become many nations, and some of their kings will also come from your line. 7I promise to continue my agreement with you, and with your descendants who come after you, for generations to come. This is an eternal agreement. I will always be your God, and the God of your descendants. 8I will give you and your descendants the whole country of Canaan—where you've been living as a foreigner—as land to own forever, and I will be their God.”
9Then God told Abraham, “Your part is to keep my agreement—you and your descendants for generations to come. 10This is my agreement with you and your descendants who come after you, the agreement you are to keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11You are to circumcise your foreskin, and this will be the sign of the agreement between me and you. 12From now and for all generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised. This includes not only your sons but also those born in your household or bought from foreigners. 13You must circumcise those born in your household or bought from foreigners as a sign in your bodies of my eternal agreement. 14Any uncircumcised male who refuses circumcision will be excluded from his people because he has broken my agreement.”
15Then God told Abraham, “Now about Sarai your wife. Don't call her Sarai any longer. Instead, her name will be Sarah. 16I will bless her and I promise to give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will become the mother of nations, and kings will be among her descendants.”
17Abraham bowed down with his face to the ground. But inside he was laughing, asking himself, “How on earth could I have a son at the age of one hundred? How could Sarah have a child when she is ninety?”
18Abraham said to God, “May Ishmael always live under your blessing!”
19“No, it's your wife Sarah who is going to have a son for you!” God replied. “You are to call him Isaac.#17:19. Isaac means “he laughs.” I will keep my agreement with him and his descendants as an eternal agreement. 20Now about Ishmael. I heard what you said, and I will also bless him. I will make sure he has a great many descendants. He will be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. 21But it's with Isaac that I will keep my agreement, the son Sarah will give birth to about this time next year.” 22When God had finished speaking with Abraham he left him.
23That day Abraham circumcised his son Ishmael as well as all those born in his household or purchased, in fact every male among the members of Abraham's household, just as God had told him. 24Abraham was 99 when he was circumcised, 25and his son Ishmael was thirteen. 26Both Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on the same day. 27All the males in Abraham's household, including those born in his household or purchased from foreigners, were circumcised with him.