Genesis 17:1-13

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless.
2 And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous."
3 Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him,
4 "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations.
5 No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations.
6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
7 I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
8 And I will give to you, and to your offspring after you, the land where you are now an alien, all the land of Canaan, for a perpetual holding; and I will be their God."
9 God said to Abraham, "As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations.
10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.
11 You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.
12 Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old, including the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring.
13 Both the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money must be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant.

Genesis 17:1-13 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 17

This chapter treats of a covenant made with Abram, sometimes called the covenant of circumcision, the time when God appeared to him, and promised to make it, and did, Ge 17:1-3; the particulars of it, both with respect to himself, whose name was now changed, and to his posterity, Ge 17:4-8; the token of it, circumcision, the time of its performance, and the persons obliged to it, Ge 17:9-14; the change of Sarai's name, and a promise made that she should have a son, to the great surprise of Abraham, Ge 17:15-17; a prayer of his for Ishmael, and the answer to it, with a confirmation of Sarah's having a son, whose name should be called Isaac, and the establishment of the covenant with him, Ge 17:18-22; and the chapter is closed with an account of the circumcision of Abraham, and all his family of the male sort, agreeably to the command of God, Ge 17:23-27.

Genesis 17:1-13 In-Context

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless.
2 And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous."
3 Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him,
4 "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations.
5 No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations.
6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
7 I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
8 And I will give to you, and to your offspring after you, the land where you are now an alien, all the land of Canaan, for a perpetual holding; and I will be their God."
9 God said to Abraham, "As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations.
10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.
11 You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.
12 Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old, including the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring.
13 Both the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money must be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant.
14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."
15 God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.
16 I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her."
17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to himself, "Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?"

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Traditional rendering of Heb [El Shaddai]
  • [b]. That is [exalted ancestor]
  • [c]. Here taken to mean [ancestor of a multitude]
  • [d]. Heb [seed]
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.