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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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1And when Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation) was ninety years old and nine, the Lord-Yehōvah (Messiah Pre-Incarnate) appeared to Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation), and said unto him, I [am] the Almighty God-El Shaddai [The Powerful Living Word]: walk before me, and be youi perfect.
2And I will make my covenant between me and youi, and will multiply youi exceedingly.
3And Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation) fell on his face: and God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] talked with him, saying,
4As for me, behold, my covenant [is] with youi, and youi shall be a father of many nations.
5Neither shall youri name any more be called Avram (Exalted Father; Father Of Elevation), but youri name shall be Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will] [father of many/They Will Fly]; for a father of many nations have I made youi.
6And I will make youi exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of youi, and kings shall come out of youi.
7And I will establish my covenant between me and youi and youri seed after youi in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] unto youi, and to youri seed after youi.
8And I will give unto youi, and to youri seed after youi, the land wherein youi are a stranger, all the land of Kena’an (merchant; trader; or that humbles and subdues), for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered].
9And God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] said unto Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will], Youi shall keep my covenant therefore, youi, and youri seed after youi in their generations.
10This [is] my covenant, which youf shall keep, between me and youi and youri seed after youi; Every man child among youi shall be circumcised.
11And youf shall circumcise the flesh of yourf foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant between me and you.
12And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in yourf generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which [is] not of youri seed.
13He that is born in youri house, and he that is bought with youri money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in yourf flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.
15And God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] said unto Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will], As for Sarai (My Princess) youri wife, youi shall not call her name Sarai (My Princess), but Sarah [Princess] [shall] her name [be].
16And I will bless her, and give youi a son also of her: yes, I will bless her, and she shall be [a mother] of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
17Then Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will] fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall [a child] be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah [Princess], that is ninety years old, bear?
18And Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will] said unto God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered], O that Yishma’el (He Will Hear God; God hears [EL]) might live before youi!
19And God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] said, Sarah [Princess] youri wife shall bear youi a son indeed; and youi shall call his name Yitz’chak [Laughter]: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, [and] with his seed after him.
20And as for Yishma’el (He Will Hear God; God hears [EL]), I have heard youi: Behold, I have Blessed (Favored by God; happy; prosperous) him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget (to be father of; be ancestor of), and I will make him a great nation.
21But my covenant will I establish with Yitz’chak [Laughter], which Sarah [Princess] shall bear unto youi at this set time in the next year.
22And he left off talking with him, and God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] went up from Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will].
23And Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will] took Yishma’el (He Will Hear God; God hears [EL]) his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Avraham’s [exalted father/Fly They Will] house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God-Elōhīm [The Living Word - The Many Powered] had said unto him.
24And Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will] [was] ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
25And Yishma’el (He Will Hear God; God hears [EL]) his son [was] thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
26In the selfsame day was Avraham [exalted father/Fly They Will] circumcised, and Yishma’el (He Will Hear God; God hears [EL]) his son.
27And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.