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Genesis Chapter 17
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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.'

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.


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).

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

  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).

  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).

  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).

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