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Proof of the Agreement

17 When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him. The Lord said, “I am God All-Powerful. Obey me and do what is right. I will make an agreement between us. I will make you the ancestor of many people.”

Then Abram bowed facedown on the ground. God said to him, “I am making my agreement with you: I will make you the father of many nations. I am changing your name from Abram[a] to Abraham.[b] This is because I am making you a father of many nations. I will give you many descendants. New nations will be born from you. Kings will come from you. And I will make an agreement between me and you and all your descendants from now on: I will be your God and the God of all your descendants. You live in the land of Canaan now as a stranger. But I will give you and your descendants all this land forever. And I will be the God of your descendants.”

Then God said to Abraham, “You and your descendants must keep this agreement from now on. 10 This is my agreement with you and all your descendants: Every male among you must be circumcised. You must obey this agreement. 11 Cut away the foreskin to show that you follow the agreement between me and you. 12 From now on when a baby boy is eight days old, you will circumcise him. This includes any boy born among your people or any who is your slave. (He would not be one of your descendants.) 13 So circumcise every baby boy. Circumcise him whether he is born in your family or bought as a slave. Your bodies will be marked. This will show that you are part of my agreement that lasts forever. 14 Any male who is not circumcised will be separated from his people. He has broken my agreement.”

Isaac—the Promised Son

15 God said to Abraham, “I will change the name of Sarai,[c] your wife. Her new name will be Sarah.[d] 16 I will bless her. I will give her a son, and you will be the father. She will be the mother of many nations. Kings of nations will come from her.”

17 Abraham bowed facedown on the ground and laughed. He said to himself, “Can a man have a child when he is 100 years old? Can Sarah give birth to a child when she is 90?” 18 Then Abraham said to God, “Please let Ishmael be the son you promised.”

19 God said, “No. Sarah your wife will have a son, and you will name him Isaac.[e] I will make my agreement with him. It will be an agreement that continues forever with all his descendants.

20 “You asked me about Ishmael, and I heard you. I will bless him. I will give him many descendants. And I will cause their numbers to grow very greatly. He will be the father of 12 great leaders. I will make him into a great nation. 21 But I will make my agreement with Isaac. He is the son whom Sarah will have at this same time next year.” 22 After God finished talking with Abraham, God rose and left him.

23 Then Abraham gathered Ishmael and all the males born in his camp. He also gathered the slaves he had bought. So that day Abraham circumcised every man and boy in his camp. This was what God had told him to do. 24 Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised. 25 And Ishmael, his son, was 13 years old when he was circumcised. 26 Abraham and his son were circumcised on that same day. 27 Also on that day all the men in Abraham’s camp were circumcised. This included all those born in his camp and all the slaves he had bought from other nations.


  1. 17:5 Abram This name means “honored father.”
  2. 17:5 Abraham The end of the Hebrew word for “Abraham” sounds like the beginning of the Hebrew word for “many.”
  3. 17:15 Sarai An Aramaic name meaning “princess.”
  4. 17:15 Sarah A Hebrew name meaning “princess.”
  5. 17:19 Isaac The Hebrew words for “he laughed” (vs. 17) and “Isaac” sound the same.

The Covenant of Circumcision

17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old,(A) the Lord appeared to him(B) and said, “I am God Almighty[a];(C) walk before me faithfully and be blameless.(D) Then I will make my covenant between me and you(E) and will greatly increase your numbers.”(F)

Abram fell facedown,(G) and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you:(H) You will be the father of many nations.(I) No longer will you be called Abram[b]; your name will be Abraham,[c](J) for I have made you a father of many nations.(K) I will make you very fruitful;(L) I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.(M) I will establish my covenant(N) as an everlasting covenant(O) between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God(P) and the God of your descendants after you.(Q) The whole land of Canaan,(R) where you now reside as a foreigner,(S) I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you;(T) and I will be their God.(U)

Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant,(V) you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.(W) 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.(X) 11 You are to undergo circumcision,(Y) and it will be the sign of the covenant(Z) between me and you. 12 For the generations to come(AA) every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised,(AB) including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised.(AC) My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.(AD) 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised(AE) in the flesh, will be cut off from his people;(AF) he has broken my covenant.(AG)

15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai(AH) your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.(AI) 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her.(AJ) I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations;(AK) kings of peoples will come from her.”

17 Abraham fell facedown;(AL) he laughed(AM) and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old?(AN) Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”(AO) 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael(AP) might live under your blessing!”(AQ)

19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son,(AR) and you will call him Isaac.[d](AS) I will establish my covenant with him(AT) as an everlasting covenant(AU) for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers.(AV) He will be the father of twelve rulers,(AW) and I will make him into a great nation.(AX) 21 But my covenant(AY) I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you(AZ) by this time next year.”(BA) 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.(BB)

23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household(BC) or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him.(BD) 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old(BE) when he was circumcised,(BF) 25 and his son Ishmael(BG) was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household(BH), including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.


  1. Genesis 17:1 Hebrew El-Shaddai
  2. Genesis 17:5 Abram means exalted father.
  3. Genesis 17:5 Abraham probably means father of many.
  4. Genesis 17:19 Isaac means he laughs.

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