Proof of the Agreement
1When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him. The Lord said, “I am God All-Powerful. Obey me and do what is right. 2I will make an agreement between us. I will make you the ancestor of many people.”
3Then Abram bowed facedown on the ground. God said to him, 4“I am making my agreement with you: I will make you the father of many nations. 5I am changing your name from Abram# This name means “honored father.” to Abraham.# The end of the Hebrew word for “Abraham” sounds like the beginning of the Hebrew word for “many.” This is because I am making you a father of many nations. 6I will give you many descendants. New nations will be born from you. Kings will come from you. 7And I will make an agreement between me and you and all your descendants from now on: I will be your God and the God of all your descendants. 8You live in the land of Canaan now as a stranger. But I will give you and your descendants all this land forever. And I will be the God of your descendants.”
9Then God said to Abraham, “You and your descendants must keep this agreement from now on. 10This is my agreement with you and all your descendants: Every male among you must be circumcised. You must obey this agreement. 11Cut away the foreskin to show that you follow the agreement between me and you. 12From now on when a baby boy is eight days old, you will circumcise him. This includes any boy born among your people or any who is your slave. (He would not be one of your descendants.) 13So circumcise every baby boy. Circumcise him whether he is born in your family or bought as a slave. Your bodies will be marked. This will show that you are part of my agreement that lasts forever. 14Any male who is not circumcised will be separated from his people. He has broken my agreement.”
Isaac—the Promised Son
15God said to Abraham, “I will change the name of Sarai,# An Aramaic name meaning “princess.” your wife. Her new name will be Sarah.# A Hebrew name meaning “princess.” 16I will bless her. I will give her a son, and you will be the father. She will be the mother of many nations. Kings of nations will come from her.”
17Abraham bowed facedown on the ground and laughed. He said to himself, “Can a man have a child when he is 100 years old? Can Sarah give birth to a child when she is 90?” 18Then Abraham said to God, “Please let Ishmael be the son you promised.”
19God said, “No. Sarah your wife will have a son, and you will name him Isaac.# The Hebrew words for “he laughed” (vs. 17) and “Isaac” sound the same. I will make my agreement with him. It will be an agreement that continues forever with all his descendants.
20“You asked me about Ishmael, and I heard you. I will bless him. I will give him many descendants. And I will cause their numbers to grow very greatly. He will be the father of 12 great leaders. I will make him into a great nation. 21But I will make my agreement with Isaac. He is the son whom Sarah will have at this same time next year.” 22After God finished talking with Abraham, God rose and left him.
23Then Abraham gathered Ishmael and all the males born in his camp. He also gathered the slaves he had bought. So that day Abraham circumcised every man and boy in his camp. This was what God had told him to do. 24Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised. 25And Ishmael, his son, was 13 years old when he was circumcised. 26Abraham and his son were circumcised on that same day. 27Also on that day all the men in Abraham’s camp were circumcised. This included all those born in his camp and all the slaves he had bought from other nations.