- 1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said: "I am God the Almighty. Walk in my presence and be blameless.
- Between you and me I will establish my covenant, and I will multiply you exceedingly."
- When Abram prostrated himself, God continued to speak to him:
- "My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations.
- 2 No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
- I will render you exceedingly fertile; I will make nations of you; kings shall stem from you.
- I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
- I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land in which you are now staying, the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God."
- God also said to Abraham: "On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.
- This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you that you must keep: every male among you shall be circumcised.
- Circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be the mark of the covenant between you and me.
- Throughout the ages, every male among you, when he is eight days old, shall be circumcised, including houseborn slaves and those acquired with money from any foreigner who is not of your blood.
- Yes, both the houseborn slaves and those acquired with money must be circumcised. Thus my covenant shall be in your flesh as an everlasting pact.
- If a male is uncircumcised, that is, if the flesh of his foreskin has not been cut away, such a one shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."
- 3 God further said to Abraham: "As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai; her name shall be Sarah.
- I will bless her, and I will give you a son by her. Him also will I bless; he shall give rise to nations, and rulers of peoples shall issue from him."
- 4 Abraham prostrated himself and laughed as he said to himself, "Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Or can Sarah give birth at ninety?"
- Then Abraham said to God, "Let but Ishmael live on by your favor!"
- God replied: "Nevertheless, your wife Sarah is to bear you a son, and you shall call him Isaac. I will maintain my covenant with him as an everlasting pact, to be his God and the God of his descendants after him.
- As for Ishmael, I am heeding you: I hereby bless him. I will make him fertile and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation.
- But my covenant I will maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you by this time next year."
- When he had finished speaking with him, God departed from Abraham.
- Then Abraham took his son Ishmael and all his slaves, whether born in his house or acquired with his money--every male among the members of Abraham's household--and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins on that same day, as God had told him to do.
- Abraham was ninety-nine years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised,
- and his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised.
- Thus, on that same day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised;
- and all the male members of his household, including the slaves born in his house or acquired with his money from foreigners, were circumcised with him.
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Footnotes1 The Almighty: traditional but incorrect rendering of the divine title shaddai, of uncertain meaning.
2 Abram and Abraham are merely two forms of the same name, both meaning, "the father is exalted"; another variant form is Abiram (Numbers 16:1; 1 Kings 16:34). The additional -ha- in the form Abraham is explained by folk etymology as coming from ab-hamon goyim, "father of a host of nations."
3 Sarai and Sarah are variant forms of the same name, both meaning "princess."
4 Laughed: yishaq, which is the Hebrew form of the name "Isaac"; other similar explanations of the name are given in Genesis 18:12 and 21:6.
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