Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision

17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty;[a] walk before me, and be (A)blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and (B)may multiply you greatly.” Then Abram (C)fell on his face. And God said to him, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be (D)the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram,[b] but (E)your name shall be Abraham,[c] (F)for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make (G)you into nations, and (H)kings shall come from you. And I will (I)establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, (J)to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And (K)I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and (L)I will be their God.”

And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a (M)sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is (N)eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or (O)bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

Isaac's Birth Promised

15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah[d] shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will (P)give[e] you a son by her. I will bless her, and (Q)she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham (R)fell on his face (S)and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but (T)Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name (U)Isaac.[f] I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and (V)multiply him greatly. He (W)shall father twelve princes, and (X)I will make him into a great nation. 21 But (Y)I will establish my covenant with Isaac, (Z)whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”

22 When he had finished talking with him, (AA)God went up from Abraham. 23 Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. 26 That very day Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised. 27 And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

18 And the Lord appeared to him by the (AB)oaks[g] of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. (AC)When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord,[h] if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a (AD)little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that (AE)you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—(AF)since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs[i] of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is (AG)in the tent.” 10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you (AH)about this time next year, and (AI)Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now (AJ)Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 (AK)So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, (AL)“After I am worn out, and (AM)my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 (AN)Is anything too hard[j] for the Lord? (AO)At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it,[k] saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The Lord said, (AP)“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be (AQ)blessed in him? 19 For I have (AR)chosen[l] him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “Because (AS)the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 (AT)I will go down to see whether they have done altogether[m] according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, (AU)I will know.”

Abraham Intercedes for Sodom

22 (AV)So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham (AW)still stood before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, (AX)“Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, (AY)so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! (AZ)Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the Lord said, (BA)“If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Abraham answered and said, (BB)“Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, (BC)“Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.


  1. Genesis 17:1 Hebrew El Shaddai
  2. Genesis 17:5 Abram means exalted father
  3. Genesis 17:5 Abraham means father of a multitude
  4. Genesis 17:15 Sarai and Sarah mean princess
  5. Genesis 17:16 Hebrew have given
  6. Genesis 17:19 Isaac means he laughs
  7. Genesis 18:1 Or terebinths
  8. Genesis 18:3 Or My lord
  9. Genesis 18:6 A seah was about 7 quarts or 7.3 liters
  10. Genesis 18:14 Or wonderful
  11. Genesis 18:15 Or acted falsely
  12. Genesis 18:19 Hebrew known
  13. Genesis 18:21 Or they deserve destruction; Hebrew they have made a complete end

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