B'resheet (Gen) 17
1When Avram was 99 years old Adonai appeared to Avram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai [God Almighty]. Walk in my presence and be pure-hearted. 2I will make my covenant between me and you, and I will increase your numbers greatly.” 3Avram fell on his face, and God continued speaking with him: 4“As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations. 6I will cause you to be very fruitful. I will make nations of you, kings will descend from you.
(vii) 7“I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you. 8I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now foreigners, all the land of Kena‘an, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God.”
9God said to Avraham, “As for you, you are to keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation. 10Here is my covenant, which you are to keep, between me and you, along with your descendants after you: every male among you is to be circumcised. 11You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; this will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12Generation after generation, every male among you who is eight days old is to be circumcised, including slaves born within your household and those bought from a foreigner not descended from you. 13The slave born in your house and the person bought with your money must be circumcised; thus my covenant will be in your flesh as an everlasting covenant. 14Any uncircumcised male who will not let himself be circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin — that person will be cut off from his people, because he has broken my covenant.”
15God said to Avraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are not to call her Sarai [mockery]; her name is to be Sarah [princess]. 16I will bless her; moreover, I will give you a son by her. Truly I will bless her: she will be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” 17At this Avraham fell on his face and laughed — he thought to himself, “Will a child be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah give birth at ninety?” 18Avraham said to God, “If only Yishma‘el could live in your presence!” 19God answered, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you are to call him Yitz’chak [laughter]. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20But as for Yishma‘el, I have heard you. I have blessed him. I will make him fruitful and give him many descendants. He will father twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21But I will establish my covenant with Yitz’chak, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.” 22With that, God finished speaking with Avraham and went up from him.
23Avraham took Yishma‘el his son, all the slaves born in his house and all who had been bought with his money, every male among the people in Avraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin that very day, just as God had said to him.
(Maftir) 24Avraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, 25and Yishma‘el his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26Avraham and Yishma‘el his son were circumcised on the same day; 27and all the men in his household, both slaves born in his house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
Haftarah Lekh L’kha: Yesha‘yahu (Isaiah) 40:27–41:16
B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah Lekh L’kha: Acts 7:1–8; Romans 3:19–5:6; Galatians 3:15–18; 5:1–6; Colossians 2:11–15; Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 7:1–19; 11:8–12
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Abraham to Father Many Nations
1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty.#17:1 Hebrew El-Shaddai Walk before Me and be blameless. 2I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.”
3Then Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4“As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5No longer will you be called Abram,#17:5 Abram means exalted father. but your name will be Abraham,#17:5 Abraham means father of many. for I have made you a father of many nations.#17:5 Cited in Romans 4:17
6I will make you exceedingly fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you.
7I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
8And to you and your descendants I will give the land where you are residing—all the land of Canaan—as an eternal possession; and I will be their God.”
The Covenant of Circumcision
9God also said to Abraham, “You must keep My covenant—you and your descendants in the generations after you. 10This is My covenant with you and your descendants after you, which you are to keep: Every male among you must be circumcised. 11You are to circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and this will be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
12Generation after generation, every male must be circumcised when he is eight days old, including those born in your household and those purchased from a foreigner—even those who are not your offspring. 13Whether they are born in your household or purchased, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh will be an everlasting covenant.
14But if any male is not circumcised, he will be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
15Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, do not call her Sarai, for her name is to be Sarah.#17:15 Both Sarai and Sarah mean princess; the change in spelling may reflect the difference in dialect between Ur and Canaan. 16And I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will descend from her.”
17Abraham fell facedown. Then he laughed and said to himself, “Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah give birth at the age of ninety?” 18And Abraham said to God, “O that Ishmael might live under Your blessing!”
19But God replied, “Your wife Sarah will indeed bear you a son, and you are to name him Isaac.#17:19 Isaac means he laughs. I will establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20As for Ishmael, I have heard you, and I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He will become the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21But I will establish My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.”
22When He had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
23On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or purchased with his money—every male among the members of Abraham’s household—and he circumcised them, just as God had told him.
24So Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on the same day. 27And all the men of Abraham’s household—both servants born in his household and those purchased from foreigners—were circumcised with him.
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