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20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you.[a] I will indeed bless him, make him fruitful, and give him a multitude of descendants.[b] He will become the father of twelve princes;[c] I will make him into a great nation.

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  1. Genesis 17:20 sn The Hebrew verb translated “I have heard you” forms a wordplay with the name Ishmael, which means “God hears.” See the note on the name “Ishmael” in 16:11.
  2. Genesis 17:20 tn Heb “And I will multiply him exceedingly, exceedingly.” The repetition is emphatic.
  3. Genesis 17:20 tn For a discussion of the Hebrew word translated “princes,” see E. A. Speiser, “Background and Function of the Biblical Nasi’,” CBQ 25 (1963): 111-17.