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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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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