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I will make you exceedingly fertile; I will make nations of you; kings will stem from you.

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20 He observed the Most High’s command,
    and entered into a covenant with him;
In his own flesh he incised the ordinance,[a]
    and when tested was found loyal.(A)
21 For this reason, God promised him with an oath
    to bless the nations through his descendants,
To make him numerous as grains of dust,
    and to exalt his posterity like the stars,
Giving them an inheritance from sea to sea,
    and from the River[b] to the ends of the earth.

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Footnotes

  1. 44:20 In his own flesh…ordinance: the covenant of circumcision; cf. Gn 17:10–14. And when tested…loyal: Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac at the Lord’s command; cf. Gn 22:1–12.
  2. 44:21 The River: the Euphrates; cf. Gn 2:14.

17 as it is written, “I have made you father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist.(A) 18 He believed, hoping against hope,(B) that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “Thus shall your descendants be.” 19 (C)He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body as [already] dead (for he was almost a hundred years old) and the dead womb of Sarah. 20 He did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief;[a] rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God 21 and was fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do.(D) 22 That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”(E)

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Footnotes

  1. 4:20 He did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief: any doubts Abraham might have had were resolved in commitment to God’s promise. Hb 11:8–12 emphasizes the faith of Abraham and Sarah.

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