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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God made an agreement with Abram
1Later on, when Abram was 99 years old, God showed himself to Abram and said, “I am God. I have power over everything. I want you to live my way and always do the right thing. 2If you do that, I will make an agreement with you, and I will give you a really big family. You see, you will have a son, and later on lots of people will be born into his family, and they will be a real big family.”
3Abram got down on his knees and put his face near the ground, to show respect to God, and God said to him, 4“I promise that I will do this for you. I will give you a big family. Lots of people will be born into your family, so that you will be the father of lots of nations. 5So I am changing your name from Abram to Abraham.” (That name Abram means father that people respect, and that name Abraham means father of lots of people.) And God said, “Yes, I will make you the father of lots of nations.#Romans 4:17 6I will give you a real big family later on, and they will split up into lots of nations. And some of your people will be the big bosses of those nations.
7I am making this agreement with you, and with all your family that will be born later on. This agreement will last for ever. It will never end. I promise that I will be your God, for ever.#Luke 1:55 8You see, you are now living in this country called Canaan, but it doesn’t belong to you. But later on, I will give all this country to the people that will be born into your family. They will have this country for themselves for ever, and I will be their God.”#Acts 7:5
9Then God said to Abraham, “You have to agree to this. You and everyone that will be born into your family later on, you mob have to always respect me and let me be your God. 10-11This is what you have to do to show that we made this agreement together. You and every man in your camp has to have the young man operation. And all the men born into your family later on will have to have it too.#Acts 7:8; Romans 4:11 12-13From now on, every baby boy in your camp has to have that young man operation 8 days after he is born. Every man in your family has to have that operation. And if you buy a man to work for you, he has to have that operation too. Every male person has to have that mark on his body. It will show that we made this agreement, you and me, and that this agreement will last for ever. 14Any man that doesn’t have that operation will be breaking our agreement, and I will take him away from your family.”
God promised a son to Abraham and Sarah
15Then God said to Abraham, “I am changing your wife’s name too. Don’t call her Sarai any more. Call her Sarah.” (Both of those names mean important woman.) 16And God said, “I will do a good thing for her too. She will have a son, and you will be his father. Yes, I will do that good thing for her. Lots of people will be born into her son’s family, and they will split up into lots of nations. And some of those people will be the big bosses of those nations.”
17Abraham got down on his knees again and put his face near the ground, and he laughed. He thought, “I am nearly 100 years old, and Sarah is nearly 90. We can’t have a baby. We are too old.” 18So then Abraham said to God, “Look, I already have a son, Ishmael. I want you to be good to him, so that he will be that son you are talking about.”
19God said, “No, not Ishmael. Listen, your wife Sarah will have a baby boy. He will be your son, and you will call him Isaac.” (That name Isaac means laugh.) And God said, “He will be the son I’m talking about. I will keep this agreement going with him. It will be the same for him, and for all the people that will be born into his family later on. This agreement will go on for ever.
20And you asked me to do good things for Ishmael. Well, I listened to you, and I will be good to him too. He will have a big family, and later on, 12 big bosses will be in his family. I will make his mob into a great nation. 21But my agreement will not be with Ishmael. You see, about this time next year, your wife Sarah will have a baby boy. He will be your son, and you will call him Isaac, and I will make the same agreement with him that I just made with you.”
22After God said all that, he left Abraham.
23-27Then, on that same day, Abraham did a young man operation on every man and every boy in his camp. All Abraham’s work-men had that operation. They were the work-men that Abraham bought, and the work-men that were born in his camp. And Abraham and his son Ishmael had that operation too. They all had that operation on the same day. Ishmael was 13 years old, and Abraham was 99 years old, when they had that young man operation.
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