1-2When Abram was ninety-nine years old, God showed up and said to him, “I am The Strong God, live entirely before me, live to the hilt! I’ll make a covenant between us and I’ll give you a huge family.”
3-8Overwhelmed, Abram fell flat on his face.
Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: You’ll be the father of many nations. Your name will no longer be Abram, but Abraham, meaning that ‘I’m making you the father of many nations.’ I’ll make you a father of fathers—I’ll make nations from you, kings will issue from you. I’m establishing my covenant between me and you, a covenant that includes your descendants, a covenant that goes on and on and on, a covenant that commits me to be your God and the God of your descendants. And I’m giving you and your descendants this land where you’re now just camping, this whole country of Canaan, to own forever. And I’ll be their God.”
9-14God continued to Abraham, “And you: You will honor my covenant, you and your descendants, generation after generation. This is the covenant that you are to honor, the covenant that pulls in all your descendants: Circumcise every male. Circumcise by cutting off the foreskin of the penis; it will be the sign of the covenant between us. Every male baby will be circumcised when he is eight days old, generation after generation—this includes house-born slaves and slaves bought from outsiders who are not blood kin. Make sure you circumcise both your own children and anyone brought in from the outside. That way my covenant will be cut into your body, a permanent mark of my permanent covenant. An uncircumcised male, one who has not had the foreskin of his penis cut off, will be cut off from his people—he has broken my covenant.”
15-16God continued speaking to Abraham, “And Sarai your wife: Don’t call her Sarai any longer; call her Sarah. I’ll bless her—yes! I’ll give you a son by her! Oh, how I’ll bless her! Nations will come from her; kings of nations will come from her.”
17Abraham fell flat on his face. And then he laughed, thinking, “Can a hundred-year-old man father a son? And can Sarah, at ninety years, have a baby?”
18Recovering, Abraham said to God, “Oh, keep Ishmael alive and well before you!”
19But God said, “That’s not what I mean. Your wife, Sarah, will have a baby, a son. Name him Isaac (Laughter). I’ll establish my covenant with him and his descendants, a covenant that lasts forever.
20-21“And Ishmael? Yes, I heard your prayer for him. I’ll also bless him; I’ll make sure he has plenty of children—a huge family. He’ll father twelve princes; I’ll make him a great nation. But I’ll establish my covenant with Isaac whom Sarah will give you about this time next year.”
22God finished speaking with Abraham and left.
23Then Abraham took his son Ishmael and all his servants, whether houseborn or purchased—every male in his household—and circumcised them, cutting off their foreskins that very day, just as God had told him.
24-27Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised. His son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised. Abraham and Ishmael were circumcised the same day together with all the servants of his household, those born there and those purchased from outsiders—all were circumcised with him.
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THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of NavPress. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers.
1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him, saying, “I am God Almighty.#Gn 28:3; 35:11; Ex 6:3 Live#17:1 Or Walk in my presence and be blameless.#Gn 6:9; Ps 15:2; Lk 1:6 2I will set up my covenant between me and you, and I will multiply you greatly.”
3Then Abram fell facedown and God spoke with him: 4“As for me, here is my covenant with you: You will become the father of many nations. 5Your name will no longer be Abram;#17:5 = The Father Is Exalted your name will be Abraham,#17:5 = Father of a Multitude for I will make you the father of many nations.#Gn 35:11; 48:19; Rm 4:11–12,16–18 6I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings come from you. 7I will confirm my covenant that is between me and you and your future offspring throughout their generations. It is a permanent covenant#Gn 9:16 to be your God and the God of your offspring after you.#Ex 6:7; Lv 11:45; 26:12,45; Dt 29:13; Heb 11:16; Rv 21:7 8And to you and your future offspring#17:8 Lit seed#Gl 3:16 I will give the land where you are residing — all the land of Canaan — as a permanent possession,#Gn 48:4; Ac 7:5 and I will be their God.”
9God also said to Abraham, “As for you, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations are to keep my covenant. 10This is my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you, which you are to keep: Every one of your males must be circumcised. 11You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskin to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and you.#17:11 You in v. 11 is pl.#Ex 12:48; Dt 10:16; Ac 7:8; Rm 4:11 12Throughout your generations, every male among you is to be circumcised#Lv 12:3; Lk 1:59; 2:21; Php 3:5 at eight days old — every male born in your household or purchased from any foreigner and not your offspring. 13Whether born in your household or purchased, he must be circumcised. My covenant will be marked in your flesh as a permanent covenant. 14If any male is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that man will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
15God said to Abraham, “As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai, for Sarah#17:15 = Princess will be her name. 16I will bless her; indeed, I will give you a son by her.#Gn 18:10 I will bless her, and she will produce nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
17Abraham fell facedown. Then he laughed#Gn 21:6–7; Rm 4:19 and said to himself, “Can a child be born to a hundred-year-old man? Can Sarah, a ninety-year-old woman, give birth?” 18So Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael were acceptable#17:18 Lit alive to you!”
19But God said, “No. Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac.#17:19 = He Laughs I will confirm my covenant with him as a permanent covenant for his future offspring. 20As for Ishmael, I have heard you. I will certainly bless him; I will make him fruitful and will multiply him greatly. He will father twelve tribal leaders,#Gn 25:13–16 and I will make him into a great nation. 21But I will confirm my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.”#Gn 18:10,14; 21:1 22When he finished talking with him, God withdrew#17:22 Lit went up, or ascended from Abraham.#Gn 35:13
23So Abraham took his son Ishmael and those born in his household or purchased — every male among the members of Abraham’s household — and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on that very day, just as God had said to him. 24Abraham was ninety-nine years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised, 25and his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised. 26On that very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27And all the men of his household — whether born in his household or purchased from a foreigner — were circumcised with him.
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