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18 After all, Abraham[a] will surely become[b] a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on the earth may receive blessing[c] through him.

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  1. Genesis 18:18 tn Heb “And Abraham.” The disjunctive clause is probably causal, giving a reason why God should not hide his intentions from Abraham. One could translate, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation?”
  2. Genesis 18:18 tn The infinitive absolute lends emphasis to the finite verb that follows.
  3. Genesis 18:18 tn Or “find blessing.” The denominative verb בָּרַךְ (barakh) mainly occurs in the D-stems: Piel for actice, Pual for passive, Hitpael for middle or reflexive. Only in three formulations of the Abrahamic covenant does it occur in the Niphal. Few other verbs that occur in the Piel and Pual also occur in the Niphal but not the Qal; the tendency is for such Niphals to be middle rather than passive. The middle voice may be expressed here as “they may consider themselves blessed through him,” “they may find/receive blessing through him,” or “they may become blessed through him.” Verses 18-19 refer back to Gen 12:1-3 which include how others may receive blessing or cursing from the Lord.