The Covenant of Circumcision
1#Ge 6:9; Dt 18:13; Ge 28:3When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am Almighty God. Walk before Me and be blameless. 2#Ge 13:16; 15:18And I will make My covenant between you and Me and will exceedingly multiply you.”
3#Ge 17:17Abram fell on his face and God said to him, 4#Ge 35:11; 12:2“As for Me, My covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5#Ne 9:7; Ge 17:15No longer will your name be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6#Ge 35:11; 17:16I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7#Ge 26:24; 28:13; Heb 11:16I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. 8#Ge 12:7; 13:15; Ex 6:7All the land of Canaan, where you now live as strangers, I will give to you and to your descendants for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
9Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10#Ac 7:8This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you; every male among you shall be circumcised. 11#Ro 4:11; Ac 7:8You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12#Lev 12:3; Lk 2:21Every male throughout every generation that is eight days old shall be circumcised, whether born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner who is not your descendant. 13#Ex 12:44He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised. My covenant shall be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14#Ex 4:24–26Any uncircumcised male whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised shall be cut off from his people. He has broken My covenant.”
15Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you will not call her name Sarai, but her name will be Sarah. 16#Ge 35:11; 17:6I will bless her and also give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she will be the mother of nations. Kings of peoples will come from her.”
17#Ge 21:6; 17:3Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man that is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!”
19#Ge 21:2–3Then God said, “No, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call his name Isaac. I will establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant and with his descendants after him. 20#Ge 21:18; 21:13And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He will be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21#Ge 18:10; 26:2–5But I will establish My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.” 22#Ge 18:33Then He stopped talking with Abraham, and God went up from him.
23Then Abraham took Ishmael, his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very same day as God had said to him. 24#Ro 4:11Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25His son, Ishmael, was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26Abraham and Ishmael were circumcised on the same day. 27All the men born in Abraham’s household or bought from foreigners 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.
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THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of NavPress. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers.