Exit Parallel Mode
 

Genesis 17

17
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.
17
Covenant Circumcision
1When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him, saying, “I am God Almighty. # Gn 28:3; 35:11; Ex 6:3 Live in My presence and be blameless. # Gn 6:9; Ps 15:2; Lk 1:6 2I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you greatly.”
3Then Abram fell facedown and God spoke with him: 4“As for Me, My covenant is with you: you will become the father of many nations. # Abraham was the father of the Israelites, Ishmaelites, Edomites, and Midianites. Spiritually, he is the father of all believers; Gl 3:7,29. 5Your name will no longer be Abram, # = The Father Is Exalted but your name will be Abraham, # = Father of a Multitude for I will make you the father of many nations. # Gn 35:11; 48:19; Rm 4:11-12,16-18 6I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings come from you. 7I will keep My covenant between Me and you, and your future offspring throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant # Gn 9:16 to be your God and the God of your offspring after you. # Ex 6:7; Lv 11:45; 26:12,45; Dt 29:13; Heb 11:16; Rv 21:7 8And to you and your future offspring # Gl 3:16 I will give the land where you are residing — all the land of Canaan — as an eternal possession, # Gn 48:4; Ac 7:5 and I will be their God.”
9God also said to Abraham, “As for you, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations are to keep My covenant. 10This is My covenant, which you are to keep, between Me and you and your offspring after you: Every one of your males must be circumcised. 11You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskin to serve as a sign of the covenant between Me and you. # You in v. 11 is pl. # Ex 12:48; Dt 10:16; Ac 7:8; Rm 4:11 12Throughout your generations, every male among you at eight days old is to be circumcised. # Lv 12:3; Lk 1:59; 2:21; Php 3:5 This includes a slave born in your house and one purchased with money from any foreigner. The one who is not your offspring, 13a slave born in your house, as well as one purchased with money, must be circumcised. My covenant will be marked in your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14If any male is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that man will be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
15God said to Abraham, “As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai, for Sarah # = Princess will be her name. 16I will bless her; indeed, I will give you a son by her. # Gn 18:10 I will bless her, and she will produce nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
17Abraham fell facedown. Then he laughed # Gn 21:6-7; Rm 4:19 and said to himself, “Can a child be born to a hundred-year-old man? Can Sarah, a ninety-year-old woman, give birth? ” 18So Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael were acceptable to You! ”# Lit Ishmael would live in Your sight
19But God said, “No. Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac. # = He Laughs I will confirm My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his future offspring. 20As for Ishmael, I have heard you. I will certainly bless him; I will make him fruitful and will multiply him greatly. He will father 12 tribal leaders, # Gn 25:13-16 and I will make him into a great nation. 21But I will confirm My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.” # Gn 18:10,14; 21:1 22When He finished talking with him, God withdrew # Lit went up, or ascended from Abraham. # Gn 35:13
23Then Abraham took his son Ishmael and all the slaves born in his house or purchased with his money — every male among the members of Abraham’s household — and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on that very day, just as God had said to him. 24Abraham was 99 years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised, 25and his son Ishmael was 13 years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised. 26On that same day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27And all the men of his household — both slaves born in his house and those purchased with money from a foreigner — were circumcised with him.