Contents Calendar Find Reference
Translation 
Navigating the Bible
Genesis Chapter 17
Genesis
Subjects
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy

Circumcision
17:1 Abram was 99 years old. God appeared to him and said, 'I am God Almighty. Walk before Me and be perfect.
17:2 I will make a covenant between Me and you, and I will increase your numbers very much.'
17:3 Abram fell on his face. God spoke to him [again], saying,
17:4 'As far as I am concerned, here is My covenant with you: You shall be the father of a horde of nations.
17:5 No longer shall you be called Abram. Your name shall become Abraham, for I have set you up as the father of a horde of nations.
17:6 I will increase your numbers very, very much, and I will make you into nations - kings will be your descendants.
17:7 I will sustain My covenant between Me and between you and your descendants after you throughout their generations, an eternal covenant; I will be a God to you and to your offspring after you.
17:8 To you and your offspring I will give the land where you are now living as a foreigner. The whole land of Canaan shall be [your] eternal heritage, and I will be a God to [your descendants].'
17:9 God [then] said to Abraham, 'As far as you are concerned, you must keep My covenant - you and your offspring throughout their generations.
17:10 This is My covenant between Me, and between you and your offspring that you must keep: You must circumcise every male.
17:11 You shall be circumcised through the flesh of your foreskin. This shall be the mark of the covenant between Me and you.
17:12 'Throughout all generations, every male shall be circumcised when he is eight days old. [This shall include] those born in your house, as well as [slaves] bought with cash from an outsider, who is not your descendant.
17:13 [All slaves,] both houseborn and purchased with your money must be circumcised. This shall be My covenant in your flesh, an eternal covenant.
17:14 The uncircumcised male whose foreskin has not been circumcised, shall have his soul cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.'

Fulfillment
17:15 God said to Abraham, 'Sarai your wife - do not call her by the name Sarai, for Sarah is her name.
17:16 I will bless her, and make her bear you a son. I will bless her so that she will be [the mother] of entire nations - kings will be her descendants.'
17:17 Abraham fell on his face and he laughed. He said to himself, 'Can a hundred-year-old man have children? Can Sarah, who is ninety, give birth?'
17:18 To God, Abraham said, 'May it be granted that Ishmael live before you!'
17:19 God said, 'Still, your wife Sarah will give birth to a son. You must name him Isaac. I will keep My covenant with him as an eternal treaty, for his descendants after him.
17:20 I have also heard you with regard to Ishmael. I will bless him, and make him fruitful, increasing his numbers very greatly. He will father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation.
17:21 But I will keep My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you this time next year.'
17:22 When He finished speaking to him, God went up, [leaving] Abraham.
17:23 Abraham took his son Ishmael, everyone born in his house, and every [slave] bought for money - every male in his household - and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins. [It was] on the very day that God had spoken to him.
17:24 Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised on the flesh of his foreskin.
17:25 His son Ishmael was thirteen years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised.
17:26 On the very day that Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised,
17:27 all the men of the household, both homeborn and bought for cash from a stranger, were circumcised with him.



Commentary:

99 years old
  Thirteen years after Ishmael was born, in the year 2047. See Genesis 17:25. The vision did not come until Ishmael was legally an adult.

God Almighty
  El Shaddai in Hebrew. Shaddai is interpreted as being the same as she-dai, 'He who has sufficient [power]' (Rashi).

perfect
  Tamim in Hebrew. See note on Genesis 6:9.

Abraham
  Avraham in Hebrew. It is related to Av Ham, the 'father of hordes,' but the 'r' is retained.

You shall be circumcised
  (Radak; Sherashim; Chizzkuni; Septuagint). Or, 'When you are circumcised' (Saadia); or, 'You shall cut off the flesh of your foreskin' (Targum; Rashi).

eight days old
  Cf. Leviticus 12:3.

born in your house
  Some say that this denotes homeborn slaves (Shabbath 135b; Rashi).

cut off from his people
  This denotes being cut off from one's spiritual source. It also denotes premature death and childlessness (see Genesis 9:11).

laughed
  Yitzchak in Hebrew, equivalent to Isaac (see note on Genesis 17:19). Some interpret the word tzachak here literally as 'laughed' (Abarbanel; Septuagint), while others interpret it as 'rejoiced' (Targum; Saadia; Rashi).

Isaac
  Yitzchak in Hebrew. Literally, 'He will laugh,' or 'he laughed.'

twelve princes
  Enumerated in Genesis 25:13-15.

went up
  This indicates that the prophetic vision ended (Moreh Nevukhim 1:10). See note on Genesis 11:5.

on the very day
  Literally, 'on that very day' (cf. Rashi). Others have, 'in broad daylight' (Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 29; see note on Genesis 7:13). Some say that this took place on Yom Kippur (ibid.). According to others, it was on Passover (cf. Rashi on Genesis 19:3).





Copyright © 2000 World ORT
Notice: This computer program is protected by copyright law and international treaties. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this program, or any portion of it, may result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law.