||Abraham took sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelekh, and the two of them made a treaty.
Vayikach Avraham tson uvakar vayiten la-Avimelech vayichretu shneyhem brit.
||Abraham then put seven female sheep aside by themselves.
Vayatsev Avraham et-sheva kivsot hatson levadehen.
||Abimelekh asked Abraham, 'What is the meaning of these seven ewes that you have set aside?'
Vayomer Avimelech el-Avraham mah henah sheva kevasot ha'eleh asher hitsavta levadanah.
|seven female sheep|
In Hebrew, seven is sheva, having the same root as shevua, an oath. An oath thus obligates a person through everything that was made in the seven days of creation (Hirsch). It also obligates a person through the power of all the seven Noachide commandments (Midrash HaGadol). See note on Genesis 21:31.