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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 17

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1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty. Live always in my presence and be blameless, 2so that I may make my covenant with you and give you many descendants.’ 3Abram bowed low, and God went on, 4‘This is my covenant with you: you are to be the father of many nations. 5Your name will no longer be Abram a 17:5 Abram: that is High Father. , but Abraham b Abraham: that is Father of Many. ; for I shall make you father of many nations. 6I shall make you exceedingly fruitful; I shall make nations out of you, and kings shall spring from you. 7I shall maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you, generation after generation, an everlasting covenant: I shall be your God, yours and your descendants’. 8As a possession for all time I shall give you and your descendants after you the land in which you now are aliens, the whole of Canaan, and I shall be their God.’

9God said to Abraham, ‘For your part, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation by generation. 10This is how you are to keep this covenant between myself and you and your descendants after you: circumcise yourselves, every male among you. 11You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it will be the sign of the covenant between us. 12Every male among you in every generation must be circumcised on the eighth day, both those born in your house and any foreigner, not a member of your family but purchased. 13Circumcise both those born in your house and those you buy; thus your flesh will be marked with the sign of my everlasting covenant. 14Every uncircumcised male, everyone who has not had the flesh of his foreskin circumcised, will be cut off from the kin of his father; he has broken my covenant.’

15God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai c 17:15 Sarai: that is Mockery. your wife, you are to call her not Sarai, but Sarah d Sarah: that is Princess. . 16I shall bless her and give you a son by her. I shall bless her and she will be the mother of nations; from her kings of peoples will spring.’ 17Abraham bowed low, and laughing said to himself, ‘Can a son be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah bear a child at ninety?’ 18He said to God, ‘If only Ishmael might enjoy your special favour!’ 19But God replied, ‘No; your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you are to call him Isaac e 17:19 Isaac: that is He laughs. . With him I shall maintain my covenant as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20But I have heard your request about Ishmael; I have blessed him and I shall make him fruitful. I shall give him many descendants; he will be father of twelve princes, and I shall raise a great nation from him. 21But my covenant I shall fulfil with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year.’ 22When he had finished talking with Abraham, God left him.

23Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, everyone who had been born in his household and everyone he had bought, every male in his household, and that same day he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins as God had commanded him. 24Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised. 25Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised. 26Both Abraham and Ishmael were circumcised on the same day. 27All the men of Abraham's household, born in the house or bought from foreigners, were circumcised with him.

Notes:

a 17:5 Abram: that is High Father.

b Abraham: that is Father of Many.

c 17:15 Sarai: that is Mockery.

d Sarah: that is Princess.

e 17:19 Isaac: that is He laughs.

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