1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty. Walk before me and be blameless. 2I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”
3 Abram fell on his face. God talked with him, saying, 4“As for me, behold, my covenant is with you. You will be the father of a multitude of nations. 5Your name will no more be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you. Kings will come out of you. 7I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you and to your offspring after you. 8I will give to you, and to your offspring after you, the land where you are traveling, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession. I will be their God.”
9 God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall 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 your offspring after you. Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin. It will be a token of the covenant between me and you. 12He who is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he who is born in the house, or bought with money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring. 13He who is born in your house, and he who is bought with your money, must be circumcised. My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14The uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people. He has broken my covenant.”
15 God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but her name shall be Sarah. 16I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. Yes, I will bless her, and she will be a mother of nations. Kings of peoples will come from her.”
17 Then Abraham fell on his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to him who is one hundred years old? Will Sarah, who is ninety years old, give birth?” 18Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!”
19 God said, “No, but Sarah, your wife, will bear you a son. You shall call his name Isaac.#17:19 Isaac means “he laughs”. I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20As for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.”
22 When he finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham. 23Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born in his house, and all who were bought with his money: every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the same day, as God had said to him. 24Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25Ishmael, his son, was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26In the same day both Abraham and Ishmael, his son, were circumcised. 27All the men of his house, those born in the house, and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
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God changes Abram's name to Abraham
1When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him. The Lord said, ‘I am God Almighty. In all your life, obey me and do nothing wrong. 2Then I will certainly keep my covenant with you. I will make your descendants grow in number.’ #17:2 God had already promised Abram that he would have very many descendants. See Genesis 15:4-5. Here, God was helping Abram to remember his promise. Abram should continue to trust God.
3Abram fell down so that his face touched the ground. God said to him, 4‘As for me, this is my covenant that I have made with you. You will become the ancestor of many nations of people. 5Your name will not be Abram any more. Instead your name will be Abraham, because I will cause you to become the ancestor of many nations. 6I will give you many descendants. These will make many nations of people. Some of your descendants will become kings.
7My covenant with you is very strong. I am making it with you and with your descendants. It will continue for generation after generation of your descendants, for all time. I will be your God. I will also be the God of all your descendants. 8You are now living here in Canaan as a foreign person. But I will give all of this land to you and to your descendants. It will belong to them for ever. I will be their God.’
9God continued to speak to Abraham. He said, ‘As for you, you must agree to obey me. You must obey the rules of my covenant. You, and all your descendants after you must obey it. 10This is what you and all your descendants must do to obey my covenant: Every male person in your family must be circumcised. 11Your circumcision will show that you have agreed to my covenant with you. 12Every male child among you must be circumcised when he is eight days old. You must continue to do this for every generation. Do it for every male that lives with you, not just your own family. Circumcise servants that have been born in your house. Also circumcise foreign servants that you have bought with money. 13You must circumcise all the male servants who work for you in your house. Circumcision will be a mark in your bodies which shows that you accept my covenant. It will continue for all time.
14If any male person among you has not been circumcised, I will not accept him as one of my people. He must become separate from his people. He has not obeyed my covenant.’ #17:14 Circumcision showed that a person trusted God. Every father had to circumcise his son. This showed that the family agreed to obey God's covenant.
God changes Sarai's name to Sarah
15Then God said to Abraham, ‘As for your wife, do not call her Sarai any more. Instead, her name will be Sarah. 16I will bless her. She will give birth to a son for you. Many nations of people will be her descendants. Some of them will become kings. That is how much I will bless her!’
17Abraham fell down so that his face touched the ground. He laughed and he said to himself, ‘I am now 100 years old. That is too old to have a son. Sarah is 90 years old, so she could never give birth to a child. That is too old to have a child.’ 18So Abraham said to God, ‘I would be happy if you would bless Ishmael as my son.’
19God said to Abraham, ‘No, your wife Sarah will give birth to a son for you. You must give him the name “Isaac”. #17:19 The name ‘Isaac’ means ‘he laughs’. I will make my covenant with him and with his descendants for all time. 20I have heard what you want me to do for Ishmael. I will bless him. I will cause him to have many descendants. Among his descendants there will be 12 rulers. His descendants will become a great nation. 21But I will make my covenant with Isaac, not with Ishmael. At about this time next year, Sarah will give birth to your son, Isaac.’
22When God had finished speaking to Abraham, he went away.
23On that same day, Abraham circumcised Ishmael and every male person in his house. He circumcised every male servant that was born in his house, as well as those that he had bought with money. He did this in the way that God had told him. 24Abraham himself was circumcised when he was 99 years old. 25His son, Ishmael, was 13 years old when he was circumcised. 26Abraham and Ishmael were circumcised on the same day. 27As well as them, all the male people living in Abraham's house were circumcised. This included the male servants that had been born in his house and those that he had bought with money.
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