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Genesis 17:17 New English Translation (NET Bible)

17 Then Abraham bowed down with his face to the ground and laughed[a] as he said to himself,[b] “Can[c] a son be born to a man who is a hundred years old?[d] Can Sarah[e] bear a child at the age of ninety?”[f]


  1. Genesis 17:17 sn Laughed. The Hebrew verb used here provides the basis for the naming of Isaac: “And he laughed” is וַיִּצְחָק (vayyitskhaq); the name “Isaac” is יִצְחָק (yitskhaq), “he laughs.” Abraham’s (and Sarah’s, see 18:12) laughter signals disbelief, but when the boy is born, the laughter signals surprise and joy.
  2. Genesis 17:17 tn Heb “And he fell on his face and laughed and said in his heart.”
  3. Genesis 17:17 tn The imperfect verbal form here carries a potential nuance, as it expresses the disbelief of Abraham.
  4. Genesis 17:17 tn Heb “to the son of a hundred years.”
  5. Genesis 17:17 sn It is important to note that even though Abraham staggers at the announcement of the birth of a son, finding it almost too incredible, he nonetheless calls his wife Sarah, the new name given to remind him of the promise of God (v. 15).
  6. Genesis 17:17 tn Heb “the daughter of ninety years.”
New English Translation (NET)

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