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.
1 In truth, after he began to be ninety-nine years of age, the Lord appeared to him. And he said to him: "I am the Almighty God. Walk in my sight and become complete.
2 And I will set my covenant between me and you. And I will multiply you very exceedingly."
3 Abram fell prone on his face.
4 And God said to him: "I AM, and my covenant is with you, and you will be the father of many nations.
5 No longer will your name be called Abram. But you will be called Abraham, for I have established you as the father of many nations.
6 And I will cause you to increase very greatly, and I will set you among the nations, and kings will come forth from you.
7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you, and with your offspring after you in their generations, by a perpetual covenant: to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
8 And I will give to you and to your offspring, the land of your sojourn, all the land of Canaan, as an eternal possession, and I will be their God."
9 Again God said to Abraham: "And you therefore shall keep my covenant, and your offspring after you in their generations.
10 This is my covenant, which you shall observe, between me and you, and your offspring after you: All the males among you shall be circumcised.
11 And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, so that it may be a sign of the covenant between me and you.
12 An infant of eight days will be circumcised among you, every male in your generations. So also servants born to you, as well as those bought, shall be circumcised, even those who are not of your stock.
13 And my covenant shall be with your flesh as an eternal covenant.
14 The male, the flesh of whose foreskin will not be circumcised, that soul shall be eliminated from his people. For he has made my covenant void."
15 God said also to Abraham: "Your wife Sarai, you shall not call Sarai, but Sarah.
16 And I will bless her, and from her I will give you a son, whom I will bless, and he will be among the nations, and the kings of the peoples will rise from him."
17 Abraham fell on his face, and he laughed, saying in his heart: "Do you think a son can be born to a one hundred year old man? And will Sarah give birth at the age of ninety?"
18 And he said to God, "If only Ishmael would live in your sight."
19 And God said to Abraham: "Your wife Sarah shall give birth to a son, and you shall call his name Isaac, and I will establish my covenant with him as a perpetual covenant, and with his offspring after him.
20 Likewise, concerning Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I will bless and enlarge him, and I will multiply him greatly. He will produce twelve leaders, and I will make him into a great nation.
21 Yet in truth, I will establish my covenant with Isaac, to whom Sarah will give birth for you at this time next year."
22 And when he had finished speaking with him, God ascended from Abraham.
23 Then Abraham took his son Ishmael, and all who were born in his house, and all whom he had bought, every male among the men of his house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskin promptly, the very same day, just as God had instructed him.
24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin.
25 And his son Ishmael had completed thirteen years at the time of his circumcision.
26 On the very same day, Abraham was circumcised with his son Ishmael.
27 And all the men of his house, those born in his house, as well as those who were bought, even the foreigners, were circumcised with him.