Circumcision—Proof of the Agreement
1When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him. He said, “I am God All-Powerful.#17:1 God All-Powerful Literally, “El Shaddai.” Obey me and live the right way. 2If you do this, I will prepare an agreement between us. I will promise to make your people a great nation.”
3Then Abram bowed down before God. God said to him, 4“This is my part of our agreement: I will make you the father of many nations. 5I will change your name from Abram#17:5 Abram This name means “honored father.” to Abraham,#17:5 Abraham This name means “great father” or “father of many.” because I am making you the father of many nations. 6I will give you many descendants. New nations and kings will come from you. 7And I will prepare an agreement between me and you. This agreement will also be for all your descendants. It will continue forever. I will be your God and the God of all your descendants. 8And I will give this land to you and to all your descendants. I will give you the land you are traveling through—the land of Canaan. I will give you this land forever, and I will be your God.”
9Then God said to Abraham, “Now, this is your part of the agreement: You and all your descendants will obey my agreement. 10This is my agreement that all of you must obey. This is the agreement between me and you and all your descendants. Every male must be circumcised. 11You will cut the skin to show that you follow the agreement between me and you. 12When the baby boy is eight days old, you will circumcise him. Every boy born among your people and every boy who is a slave of your people must be circumcised. 13So every baby boy in your nation will be circumcised. Every boy who is born from your family or bought as a slave will be circumcised. 14Abraham, this is the agreement between you and me: Any male who is not circumcised will be cut off from his people#17:14 cut off from his people This means he must be separated from his family and lose his share of the inheritance. because he has broken my agreement.”
Isaac—the Promised Son
15God said to Abraham, “I will give Sarai,#17:15 Sarai A name, probably Aramaic, meaning “princess.” your wife, a new name. Her new name will be Sarah.#17:15 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 new nations. Kings of nations will come from her.”
17Abraham bowed his face to the ground to show he respected God. But he laughed and said to himself, “I am 100 years old. I cannot have a son, and Sarah is 90 years old. She cannot have a child.”
18Then Abraham said to God, “I hope Ishmael will live and serve you.”
19God said, “No, I said that your wife Sarah will have a son. You will name him Isaac.#17:19 Isaac This name means “he laughs” or “he is happy.” I will make my agreement with him that will continue forever with all his descendants.
20“You mentioned Ishmael, and I heard you. I will bless him, and he will have many children. He will be the father of twelve great leaders. His family will become a great nation. 21But I will make my agreement with Isaac, the son who Sarah will have. He will be born at this same time next year.”
22After God finished talking with Abraham, God went up into heaven. 23Then Abraham gathered together Ishmael and all the slaves born in his house. He also gathered all the slaves he had bought. Every man and boy in Abraham’s house was gathered together, and they were all circumcised. Abraham circumcised them that day, just as 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 the same day. 27Also, on that day all the men in Abraham’s house were circumcised. All the slaves born in his house and all the slaves he had bought were circumcised.
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Circumcision, the Sign of the Covenant
1When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the Almighty God. Obey me and always do what is right. 2I will make my covenant with you and give you many descendants.” 3Abram bowed down with his face touching the ground, and God said, 4“I make this covenant with you: I promise that you will be the ancestor of many nations. 5#Rom 4.17Your name will no longer be Abram, but Abraham,#17.5 Abraham: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “ancestor of many nations”. because I am making you the ancestor of many nations. 6I will give you many descendants, and some of them will be kings. You will have so many descendants that they will become nations.
7 # Lk 1.55 “I will keep my promise to you and to your descendants in future generations as an everlasting covenant. I will be your God and the God of your descendants. 8#Acts 7.5I will give to you and to your descendants this land in which you are now a foreigner. The whole land of Canaan will belong to your descendants for ever, and I will be their God.”
9God said to Abraham, “You also must agree to keep the covenant with me, both you and your descendants in future generations. 10#Acts 7.8; Rom 4.11You and your descendants must all agree to circumcise every male among you. 11-12From now on you must circumcise every baby boy when he is eight days old, including slaves born in your homes and slaves bought from foreigners. This will show that there is a covenant between you and me. 13Each one must be circumcised, and this will be a physical sign to show that my covenant with you is everlasting. 14Any male who has not been circumcised will no longer be considered one of my people, because he has not kept the covenant with me.”
15God said to Abraham, “You must no longer call your wife Sarai; from now on her name is Sarah.#17.15 Sarah: This name in Hebrew means “princess”. 16I will bless her, and I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she will become the mother of nations, and there will be kings among her descendants.”
17Abraham bowed down with his face touching the ground, but he began to laugh when he thought, “Can a man have a child when he is a hundred years old? Can Sarah have a child at ninety?” 18He asked God, “Why not let Ishmael be my heir?”
19But God said, “No. Your wife Sarah will bear you a son and you will name him Isaac.#17.19 Isaac: This name in Hebrew means “he laughs”. I will keep my covenant with him and with his descendants for ever. It is an everlasting covenant. 20I have heard your request about Ishmael, so I will bless him and give him many children and many descendants. He will be the father of twelve princes, and I will make a great nation of his descendants. 21But I will keep my covenant with your son Isaac, who will be born to Sarah about this time next year.” 22When God finished speaking to Abraham, he left him.
23On that same day Abraham obeyed God and circumcised his son Ishmael and all the other males in his household, including the slaves born in his home and those he had bought. 24Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised, 25and his son Ishmael was thirteen. 26They were both circumcised on the same day, 27together with all Abraham's slaves.
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Good News Bible. Scripture taken from the Good News Bible (r) (Today's English Version Second Edition, UK/British Edition). Copyright © 1992 British & Foreign Bible Society. Used by permission.