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Genesis 17

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Covenant of Circumcision
1When Abram was 99 years old, Adonai appeared to Abram, and He said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Continually walk before Me and you will be blameless.
2My heart’s desire is to make My covenant between Me and you, and then I will multiply you exceedingly much.”
3Abram fell on his face, and God spoke with him, saying,
4“For My part, because My covenant is with you, you will be the father of a multitude of nations.
5No longer will your name be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, because I make you the father of a multitude of nations.
6Yes, I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings will come forth from you.
7Yes, I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, in order to be your God and your seed’s God after you.
8I will give to you and to your seed after you the land where you are an outsider —the whole land of Canaan—as an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
9God also said to Abraham, “As for you, My covenant you must keep, you and your seed after you throughout their generations.
10This is My covenant that you must keep between Me and you and your seed after you: all your males must be circumcised.
11You must be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and this will become a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
12Also your eight-day-olds must be circumcised, every male, throughout your generations, including a house-born slave or a slave bought with money from any foreigner who is not of your seed.
13Your house-born slave and your purchased slave must surely be circumcised. So My covenant will be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14But the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin—that person will be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
15God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her by the name Sarai. Rather, Sarah is her name.
16And I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son from her. I will bless her and she will give rise to nations. Kings of the peoples will come from her.”
17Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to his heart, “Will a son be born to a 100-year-old man? Or will Sarah—who is 90 years old—give birth?”
18So Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live before you!”
19But God said, “On the contrary, Sarah your wife will bear you a son and you must name him Isaac. So I will confirm My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.
20As for Ishmael, I have heard you. See, I have blessed him and I will make him fruitful, and I will multiply him very very much. He will father twelve princes and I will make him a great nation.
21But My covenant will I establish with Isaac whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.”
22When He finished speaking with him, God went up from Abraham.
23Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all of his house-born slaves and all his purchased slaves—every male among the men of Abraham’s house—and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on this very same day, just as God had spoken with him.
24Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin,
25and his son Ishmael was 13 years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
26On this very same day Abraham and Ishmael his son were circumcised.
27Also all the men of his house, house-born slaves and slaves purchased from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
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Covenant of Circumcision.#The Priestly source gathers the major motifs of the story so far and sets them firmly within a covenant context; the word “covenant” occurs thirteen times. There are links to the covenant with Noah (v. 1 = 6:9; v. 7 = 9:9; v. 11 = 9:12–17). In this chapter, vv. 1–8 promise progeny and land; vv. 9–14 are instructions about circumcision; vv. 15–21 repeat the promise of a son to Sarah and distinguish this promise from that to Hagar; vv. 22–27 describe Abraham’s carrying out the commands. The Almighty: traditional rendering of Hebrew El Shaddai, which is P’s favorite designation of God in the period of the ancestors. Its etymology is uncertain, but its root meaning is probably “God, the One of the Mountains.” 1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said: I am God the Almighty. Walk in my presence and be blameless.#Gn 35:11; Ex 6:3. 2Between you and me I will establish my covenant, and I will multiply you exceedingly.#Gn 12:2; 13:16; Ex 32:13.
3Abram fell face down and God said to him: 4For my part, here is my covenant with you: you are to become the father of a multitude of nations.#Sir 44:21; Rom 4:17. 5No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham,#Abram and Abraham are merely two forms of the same name, both meaning, “the father is exalted”; another variant form is Abiram (Nm 16:1; 1 Kgs 16:34). The additional -ha- in the form Abraham is explained by popular etymology as coming from ab-hamon goyim, “father of a multitude of nations.” for I am making you the father of a multitude of nations.#Neh 9:7. 6I will make you exceedingly fertile; I will make nations of you; kings will stem from you. 7I will maintain my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting covenant, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.#Ps 105:42; Lk 1:72–73; Gal 3:16. 8I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land in which you are now residing as aliens, the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God.#Ex 32:13; Dt 1:8; 14:2; Lk 1:55; Acts 7:5. 9God said to Abraham: For your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages. 10This is the covenant between me and you and your descendants after you that you must keep: every male among you shall be circumcised.#Circumcised: circumcision was widely practiced in the ancient world, usually as an initiation rite for males at puberty. By shifting the time of circumcision to the eighth day after birth, biblical religion made it no longer a “rite of passage” but the sign of the eternal covenant between God and the community descending from Abraham. #Jn 7:22; Acts 7:8; Rom 4:11. 11Circumcise the flesh of your foreskin. That will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.#Sir 44:20. 12Throughout the ages, every male among you, when he is eight days old, shall be circumcised, including houseborn slaves and those acquired with money from any foreigner who is not of your descendants.#Lv 12:3; Lk 1:59; 2:21. 13Yes, both the houseborn slaves and those acquired with money must be circumcised. Thus my covenant will be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14If a male is uncircumcised, that is, if the flesh of his foreskin has not been cut away, such a one will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.
15God further said to Abraham: As for Sarai your wife, do not call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.#Sarai and Sarah are variant forms of the same name, both meaning “princess.” 16I will bless her, and I will give you a son by her. Her also will I bless; she will give rise to nations, and rulers of peoples will issue from her.#Gn 18:10; Gal 4:23. 17Abraham fell face down and laughed#Laughed: yishaq, which is also the Hebrew form of the name “Isaac”; similar explanations of the name are given in Gn 18:12 and 21:6. as he said to himself, “Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah give birth at ninety?”#Rom 4:19; Heb 11:11–12. 18So Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael could live in your favor!” 19God replied: Even so, your wife Sarah is to bear you a son, and you shall call him Isaac. It is with him that I will maintain my covenant as an everlasting covenant and with his descendants after him.#Gn 11:30; 21:2; Ex 32:13; Sir 44:22. 20Now as for Ishmael, I will heed you: I hereby bless him. I will make him fertile and will multiply him exceedingly. He will become the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation.#Gn 16:10; 21:13, 18; 25:12–16. 21But my covenant I will maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you by this time next year.#Gn 18:14; 21:2; 26:2–5; Rom 9:7. 22When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God departed from him.
23Then Abraham took his son Ishmael and all his slaves, whether born in his house or acquired with his money—every male among the members of Abraham’s household—and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins on that same day, as God had told him to do. 24Abraham was ninety-nine years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised,#Gn 17:10; Rom 4:11. 25and his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised. 26Thus, on that same day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised; 27and all the males of his household, including the slaves born in his house or acquired with his money from foreigners, were circumcised with him.