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Genesis 17

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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.
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1When Abram was ninetie yeere olde and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said vnto him, I am God all sufficient. walke before me, and be thou vpright, 2And I will make my couenant betweene me and thee, and I will multiplie thee exceedingly. 3Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, 4Beholde, I make my couenant with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations, 5Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shalbe Abraham: for a father of many nations haue I made thee. 6Also I will make thee exceeding fruitfull, and will make nations of thee: yea, Kings shall proceede of thee. 7Moreouer I wil establish my couenant betweene me and thee, and thy seede after thee in their generations, for an euerlasting couenant, to be God vnto thee and to thy seede after thee. 8And I will giue thee and thy seede after thee the land, wherein thou art a stranger, euen all the land of Canaan, for an euerlasting possession, and I will be their God. 9Againe God said vnto Abraham, Thou also shalt keepe my couenant, thou, and thy seede after thee in their generations. 10This is my couenant which ye shall keepe betweene me and you, and thy seede after thee, Let euery man childe among you be circumcised: 11That is, ye shall circumcise the foreskin of your flesh, and it shalbe a signe of the couenant betweene me and you. 12And euery man childe of eight dayes olde among you, shalbe circumcised in your generations, aswell he that is borne in thine house, as he that is bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seede. 13He that is borne in thine house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needes be circumcised: so my couenant shall be in your flesh for an euerlasting couenant. 14But the vncircumcised man childe, in whose flesh the foreskin is not circumcised, euen that person shall be cut off from his people, because he hath broken my couenant. 15Afterward God said vnto Abraham, Sarai thy wife shalt thou not call Sarai, but Sarah shalbe her name. 16And I will blesse her, and will also giue thee a sonne of her, yea, I will blesse her, and she shall be the mother of nations: Kings also of people shall come of her. 17Then Abraham fell vpon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a childe be borne vnto him, that is an hundreth yeere olde? and shall Sarah that is ninetie yeere olde beare? 18And Abraham saide vnto God, Oh, that Ishmael might liue in thy sight. 19Then God saide, Sarah thy wife shall beare thee a sonne in deede, and thou shalt call his name Izhak: and I will establish my couenant with him for an euerlasting couenant, and with his seede after him. 20And as concerning Ishmael, I haue heard thee: loe, I haue blessed him, and will make him fruitfull, and will multiplie him exceedingly: twelue princes shall he beget, and I will make a great nation of him. 21But my couenant will I establish with Izhak, which Sarah shall beare vnto thee, the next yeere at this season. 22And he left off talking with him, and God went vp from Abraham. 23Then Abraham tooke Ishmael his sonne and all that were borne in his house, and all that was bought with his money, that is, euery man childe among the men of Abrahams house, and he circumcised the foreskinne of their flesh in that selfe same day, as God had comaunded him. 24Abraham also himselfe was ninetie yeere olde and nine, when the foreskinne of his flesh was circumcised. 25And Ishmael his sonne was thirteene yeere olde, when the foreskinne of his flesh was circumcised. 26The selfe same day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his sonne: 27And all the men of his house, both borne in his house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.