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Genesis 17

17
Abram and Circumcision, the Sign of the Covenant
1When#Literally “And it happened that” Abram was ninety-nine years old Yahweh appeared to Abram. And he said to him, “I am El-Shaddai;#Often translated, “God Almighty” walk before me and be blameless 2so that#Or “and” I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you exceedingly.”#Literally “with very very” 3Then Abram fell upon his face and God spoke with him, saying, 4“As for me, behold, my covenant shall be with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5Your name shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. 6And I will make you exceedingly#Literally “with very very” fruitful. I will make you a nation, and kings shall go out from you. 7And I will establish my covenant between me and you, and between your offspring after you, throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant to be as God for you and to your offspring after you. 8And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land in which you are living as an alien,#Literally “a land of your sojournings” all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting property. And I will be to them as God.”
9And God said to Abraham, “Now as for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you, throughout their generations. 10This is my covenant which you shall keep, between me and you, and also with#Or “between” your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12And at eight days of age#Literally “a son of eight days” you shall yourselves circumcise every male belonging to your generations and the servant born in your house and the one bought from any foreigner#Literally “those born of house and acquisition of money from every son of a foreigner” who is not from your offspring. 13You must certainly circumcise#Literally “circumcising you will circumcise” the servant born in your house and the one bought from any foreigner.#Literally “those born of house and acquisition of money from every son of a foreigner” And my covenant shall be with your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14And as for any uncircumcised male who has not circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his#Literally “her”; the reference is still to a male; the pronoun is feminine because “person” (nephesh) is grammatically feminine people. He has broken my covenant. 15And God said to Abraham, “as for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, for Sarah shall be her name. 16And I will bless her; moreover, I give to you from her a son. And I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations.#Literally “she shall become to nations” Kings of peoples shall come#Or “be” from her.” 17And Abraham fell upon his face and laughed. And he said in his heart, “Can a child be born to a man a hundred years old,#Literally “to a man one hundred years old can he be born?” or can Sarah bear a child at ninety?”#Literally “can ninety-year-old Sarah bear a child?” 18And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19And God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear a son for you, and you shall call his name Isaac. And I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant to his offspring after him. 20And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I will bless him and I will make him fruitful, and I will multiply him exceedingly.#Literally “with very very” He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this appointed time next year.” 22When#Or “And” he finished speaking with him, God went up from Abraham. 23And Abraham took Ishmael his son and all who were born of his house, and all those acquired by his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on the same day that God spoke with him. 24Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin. 25And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin. 26Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on the same day. 27And all the men of his house, those born in the house, and those acquired by money from a foreigner,#Literally “born of house and acquisition of money from the son of a foreigner” were circumcised with him.
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1-2When Abram was ninety-nine years old, God showed up and said to him, “I am The Strong God, live entirely before me, live to the hilt! I’ll make a covenant between us and I’ll give you a huge family.”
3-8Overwhelmed, Abram fell flat on his face.
Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: You’ll be the father of many nations. Your name will no longer be Abram, but Abraham, meaning that ‘I’m making you the father of many nations.’ I’ll make you a father of fathers—I’ll make nations from you, kings will issue from you. I’m establishing my covenant between me and you, a covenant that includes your descendants, a covenant that goes on and on and on, a covenant that commits me to be your God and the God of your descendants. And I’m giving you and your descendants this land where you’re now just camping, this whole country of Canaan, to own forever. And I’ll be their God.”
9-14God continued to Abraham, “And you: You will honor my covenant, you and your descendants, generation after generation. This is the covenant that you are to honor, the covenant that pulls in all your descendants: Circumcise every male. Circumcise by cutting off the foreskin of the penis; it will be the sign of the covenant between us. Every male baby will be circumcised when he is eight days old, generation after generation—this includes house-born slaves and slaves bought from outsiders who are not blood kin. Make sure you circumcise both your own children and anyone brought in from the outside. That way my covenant will be cut into your body, a permanent mark of my permanent covenant. An uncircumcised male, one who has not had the foreskin of his penis cut off, will be cut off from his people—he has broken my covenant.”
15-16God continued speaking to Abraham, “And Sarai your wife: Don’t call her Sarai any longer; call her Sarah. I’ll bless her—yes! I’ll give you a son by her! Oh, how I’ll bless her! Nations will come from her; kings of nations will come from her.”
17Abraham fell flat on his face. And then he laughed, thinking, “Can a hundred-year-old man father a son? And can Sarah, at ninety years, have a baby?”
18Recovering, Abraham said to God, “Oh, keep Ishmael alive and well before you!”
19But God said, “That’s not what I mean. Your wife, Sarah, will have a baby, a son. Name him Isaac (Laughter). I’ll establish my covenant with him and his descendants, a covenant that lasts forever.
20-21“And Ishmael? Yes, I heard your prayer for him. I’ll also bless him; I’ll make sure he has plenty of children—a huge family. He’ll father twelve princes; I’ll make him a great nation. But I’ll establish my covenant with Isaac whom Sarah will give you about this time next year.”
22God finished speaking with Abraham and left.
23Then Abraham took his son Ishmael and all his servants, whether houseborn or purchased—every male in his household—and circumcised them, cutting off their foreskins that very day, just as God had told him.
24-27Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised. His son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised. Abraham and Ishmael were circumcised the same day together with all the servants of his household, those born there and those purchased from outsiders—all were circumcised with him.