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ACAD – Nations: Genesis 17

Proof of the Agreement

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty. Obey me and do what is right. I will make an agreement between us, and I will make you the ancestor of many people.”

Then Abram bowed facedown on the ground. God said to him, “I am making my agreement with you: I will make you the father of many nations. I am changing your name from Abram[a] to Abraham[b] because I am making you a father of many nations. I will give you many descendants. New nations will be born from you, and kings will come from you. And I will make an agreement between me and you and all your descendants from now on: I will be your God and the God of all your descendants. You live in the land of Canaan now as a stranger, but I will give you and your descendants all this land forever. And I will be the God of your descendants.”

Then God said to Abraham, “You and your descendants must keep this agreement from now on. This is my agreement with you and all your descendants, which you must obey: Every male among you must be circumcised. Cut away your foreskin to show that you are prepared to follow the agreement between me and you. From now on when a baby boy is eight days old, you will circumcise him. This includes any boy born among your people or any who is your slave, who is not one of your descendants. Circumcise every baby boy whether he is born in your family or bought as a slave. Your bodies will be marked to show that you are part of my agreement that lasts forever. Any male who is not circumcised will be cut off from his people, because he has broken my agreement.”

Isaac—the Promised Son

God said to Abraham, “I will change the name of Sarai,[c] your wife, to Sarah.[d] I will bless her and give her a son, and you will be the father. She will be the mother of many nations. Kings of nations will come from her.”

Abraham bowed facedown on the ground and laughed. He said to himself, “Can a man have a child when he is a hundred years old? Can Sarah give birth to a child when she is ninety?” Then Abraham said to God, “Please let Ishmael be the son you promised.”

God said, “No, Sarah your wife will have a son, and you will name him Isaac.[e] I will make my agreement with him to be an agreement that continues forever with all his descendants.

“As for Ishmael, I have heard you. I will bless him and give him many descendants. And I will cause their numbers to grow greatly. He will be the father of twelve great leaders, and I will make him into a great nation. But I will make my agreement with Isaac, the son whom Sarah will have at this same time next year.” After God finished talking with Abraham, God rose and left him.

Then Abraham gathered Ishmael, all the males born in his camp, and the slaves he had bought. So that day Abraham circumcised every man and boy in his camp as God had told him to do. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised.  And Ishmael, his son, was thirteen years old when he was circumcised. Abraham and his son were circumcised on the same day. Also on that day all the men in Abraham’s camp were circumcised, including all those born in his camp and all the slaves he had bought from other nations.


  1. 17:5 Abram This name means “honored father.”
  2. 17:5 Abraham The end of the Hebrew word for “Abraham” sounds like the beginning of the Hebrew word for “many.”
  3. 17:15 Sarai An Aramaic name meaning “princess.”
  4. 17:15 Sarah A Hebrew name meaning “princess.”
  5. 17:19 Isaac The Hebrew words for “he laughed” (v. 17) and “Isaac” sound the same.

New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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