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Genesis 17

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.’
Circumcision
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.
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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.