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“As for me,[a] this[b] is my covenant with you: You will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer will your name be[c] Abram. Instead, your name will be Abraham[d] because I will make you[e] the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you[f] extremely[g] fruitful. I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you.[h] I will confirm[i] my covenant as a perpetual[j] covenant between me and you. It will extend to your descendants after you throughout their generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you.[k] I will give the whole land of Canaan—the land where you are now residing[l]—to you and your descendants after you as a permanent[m] possession. I will be their God.”

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  1. Genesis 17:4 tn Heb “I.”
  2. Genesis 17:4 tn Heb “is” (הִנֵּה, hinneh).
  3. Genesis 17:5 tn Heb “will your name be called.”
  4. Genesis 17:5 sn Your name will be Abraham. The renaming of Abram was a sign of confirmation to the patriarch. Every time the name was used it would be a reminder of God’s promise. “Abram” means “exalted father,” probably referring to Abram’s father Terah. The name looks to the past; Abram came from noble lineage. The name “Abraham” is a dialectical variant of the name Abram. But its significance is in the wordplay with אַב־הֲמוֹן (ʾav hamon, “the father of a multitude,” which sounds like אַבְרָהָם, ʾavraham, “Abraham”). The new name would be a reminder of God’s intention to make Abraham the father of a multitude. For a general discussion of renaming, see O. Eissfeldt, “Renaming in the Old Testament,” Words and Meanings, 70-83.
  5. Genesis 17:5 tn The perfect verbal form is used here in a rhetorical manner to emphasize God’s intention.
  6. Genesis 17:6 tn This verb starts a series of perfect verbal forms with vav (ו) consecutive to express God’s intentions.
  7. Genesis 17:6 tn Heb “exceedingly, exceedingly.” The repetition is emphatic.
  8. Genesis 17:6 tn Heb “and I will make you into nations, and kings will come out from you.”
  9. Genesis 17:7 tn The verb קוּם (qum, “to arise, to stand up”) in the Hiphil verbal stem means “to confirm, to give effect to, to carry out” (i.e., a covenant or oath; see BDB 878-79 s.v. קוּם).
  10. Genesis 17:7 tn Or “as an eternal.”
  11. Genesis 17:7 tn Heb “to be to you for God and to your descendants after you.”
  12. Genesis 17:8 tn The verbal root is גּוּר (gur, “to sojourn, to reside temporarily,” i.e., as a resident foreigner). It is the land in which Abram resides, but does not yet possess as his very own.
  13. Genesis 17:8 tn Or “as an eternal.”

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