Abraham and the Covenant of Circumcision 17 1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; 1 walk before me, and be n blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and o may multiply you greatly.” 3 Then Abram p fell on his face. And God said to him, 4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be q the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, 1 but r your name shall be Abraham, 2 s for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make t you into nations, and u kings shall come from you. 7 And I will v establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, w to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And x 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 y I will be their God.” 9 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 z sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is a eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or b 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 1 shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will c give 1 you a son by her. I will bless her, and d she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham e fell on his face f 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 g Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name h Isaac. 1 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 i multiply him greatly. He j shall father twelve princes, and k I will make him into a great nation. 21 But l I will establish my covenant with Isaac, m whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.” 22 When he had finished talking with him, n 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.
17 1 וַיְהִ֣י אַבְרָ֔ם בֶּן ־ תִּשְׁעִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וְתֵ֣שַׁע שָׁנִ֑ים וַיֵּרָ֨א יְהוָ֜ה אֶל ־ אַבְרָ֗ם וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֵלָיו֙ אֲנִי ־ אֵ֣ל שַׁדַּ֔י הִתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ לְפָנַ֖י וֶהְיֵ֥ה תָמִֽים ׃ 2 וְאֶתְּנָ֥ה בְרִיתִ֖י בֵּינִ֣י וּבֵינֶ֑ךָ וְאַרְבֶּ֥ה אוֹתְךָ֖ בִּמְאֹ֥ד מְאֹֽד ׃ 3 וַיִּפֹּ֥ל אַבְרָ֖ם עַל ־ פָּנָ֑יו וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר אִתּ֛וֹ אֱלֹהִ֖ים לֵאמֹֽר ׃ 4 אֲנִ֕י הִנֵּ֥ה בְרִיתִ֖י אִתָּ֑ךְ וְהָיִ֕יתָ לְאַ֖ב הֲמ֥וֹן גּוֹיִֽם ׃ 5 וְלֹא ־ יִקָּרֵ֥א ע֛וֹד אֶת ־ שִׁמְךָ֖ אַבְרָ֑ם וְהָיָ֤ה שִׁמְךָ֙ אַבְרָהָ֔ם כִּ֛י אַב ־ הֲמ֥וֹן גּוֹיִ֖ם נְתַתִּֽיךָ ׃ 6 וְהִפְרֵתִ֤י אֹֽתְךָ֙ בִּמְאֹ֣ד מְאֹ֔ד וּנְתַתִּ֖יךָ לְגוֹיִ֑ם וּמְלָכִ֖ים מִמְּךָ֥ יֵצֵֽאוּ ׃ 7 וַהֲקִמֹתִ֨י אֶת ־ בְּרִיתִ֜י בֵּינִ֣י וּבֵינֶ֗ךָ וּבֵ֨ין זַרְעֲךָ֧ אַחֲרֶ֛יךָ לְדֹרֹתָ֖ם לִבְרִ֣ית עוֹלָ֑ם לִהְי֤וֹת לְךָ֙ לֵֽאלֹהִ֔ים וּֽלְזַרְעֲךָ֖ אַחֲרֶֽיךָ ׃ 8 וְנָתַתִּ֣י לְ֠ךָ וּלְזַרְעֲךָ֨ אַחֲרֶ֜יךָ אֵ֣ת ׀ אֶ֣רֶץ מְגֻרֶ֗יךָ אֵ֚ת כָּל ־ אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן לַאֲחֻזַּ֖ת עוֹלָ֑ם וְהָיִ֥יתִי לָהֶ֖ם לֵאלֹהִֽים ׃ 9 וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶל ־ אַבְרָהָ֔ם וְאַתָּ֖ה אֶת ־ בְּרִיתִ֣י תִשְׁמֹ֑ר אַתָּ֛ה וְזַרְעֲךָ֥ אַֽחֲרֶ֖יךָ לְדֹרֹתָֽם ׃ 10 זֹ֣את בְּרִיתִ֞י אֲשֶׁ֣ר תִּשְׁמְר֗וּ בֵּינִי֙ וּבֵ֣ינֵיכֶ֔ם וּבֵ֥ין זַרְעֲךָ֖ אַחֲרֶ֑יךָ הִמּ֥וֹל לָכֶ֖ם כָּל ־ זָכָֽר ׃ 11 וּנְמַלְתֶּ֕ם אֵ֖ת בְּשַׂ֣ר עָרְלַתְכֶ֑ם וְהָיָה֙ לְא֣וֹת בְּרִ֔ית בֵּינִ֖י וּבֵינֵיכֶֽם ׃ 12 וּבֶן ־ שְׁמֹנַ֣ת יָמִ֗ים יִמּ֥וֹל לָכֶ֛ם כָּל ־ זָכָ֖ר לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶ֑ם יְלִ֣יד בָּ֔יִת וּמִקְנַת ־ כֶּ֙סֶף֙ מִכֹּ֣ל בֶּן ־ נֵכָ֔ר אֲשֶׁ֛ר לֹ֥א מִֽזַּרְעֲךָ֖ הֽוּא ׃ 13 הִמּ֧וֹל ׀ יִמּ֛וֹל יְלִ֥יד בֵּֽיתְךָ֖ וּמִקְנַ֣ת כַּסְפֶּ֑ךָ וְהָיְתָ֧ה בְרִיתִ֛י בִּבְשַׂרְכֶ֖ם לִבְרִ֥ית עוֹלָֽם ׃ 14 וְעָרֵ֣ל ׀ זָכָ֗ר אֲשֶׁ֤ר לֹֽא ־ יִמּוֹל֙ אֶת ־ בְּשַׂ֣ר עָרְלָת֔וֹ וְנִכְרְתָ֛ה הַנֶּ֥פֶשׁ הַהִ֖וא מֵעַמֶּ֑יהָ אֶת ־ בְּרִיתִ֖י הֵפַֽר ׃ ס 15 וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶל ־ אַבְרָהָ֔ם שָׂרַ֣י אִשְׁתְּךָ֔ לֹא ־ תִקְרָ֥א אֶת ־ שְׁמָ֖הּ שָׂרָ֑י כִּ֥י שָׂרָ֖ה שְׁמָֽהּ ׃ 16 וּבֵרַכְתִּ֣י אֹתָ֔הּ וְגַ֨ם נָתַ֧תִּי מִמֶּ֛נָּה לְךָ֖ בֵּ֑ן וּבֵֽרַכְתִּ֙יהָ֙ וְהָֽיְתָ֣ה לְגוֹיִ֔ם מַלְכֵ֥י עַמִּ֖ים מִמֶּ֥נָּה יִהְיֽוּ ׃ 17 וַיִּפֹּ֧ל אַבְרָהָ֛ם עַל ־ פָּנָ֖יו וַיִּצְחָ֑ק וַיֹּ֣אמֶר בְּלִבּ֗וֹ הַלְּבֶ֤ן מֵאָֽה ־ שָׁנָה֙ יִוָּלֵ֔ד וְאִ֨ם ־ שָׂרָ֔ה הֲבַת ־ תִּשְׁעִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה תֵּלֵֽד ׃ 18 וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אַבְרָהָ֖ם אֶל ־ הָֽאֱלֹהִ֑ים ל֥וּ יִשְׁמָעֵ֖אל יִחְיֶ֥ה לְפָנֶֽיךָ ׃ 19 וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים אֲבָל֙ שָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתְּךָ֗ יֹלֶ֤דֶת לְךָ֙ בֵּ֔ן וְקָרָ֥אתָ אֶת ־ שְׁמ֖וֹ יִצְחָ֑ק וַהֲקִמֹתִ֨י אֶת ־ בְּרִיתִ֥י אִתּ֛וֹ לִבְרִ֥ית עוֹלָ֖ם לְזַרְע֥וֹ אַחֲרָֽיו ׃ 20 וּֽלְיִשְׁמָעֵ֘אל 1 שְׁמַעְתִּיךָ֒ הִנֵּ֣ה ׀ בֵּרַ֣כְתִּי אֹת֗וֹ וְהִפְרֵיתִ֥י אֹת֛וֹ וְהִרְבֵּיתִ֥י אֹת֖וֹ בִּמְאֹ֣ד מְאֹ֑ד שְׁנֵים ־ עָשָׂ֤ר נְשִׂיאִם֙ יוֹלִ֔יד וּנְתַתִּ֖יו לְג֥וֹי גָּדֽוֹל ׃ 21 וְאֶת ־ בְּרִיתִ֖י אָקִ֣ים אֶת ־ יִצְחָ֑ק אֲשֶׁר֩ תֵּלֵ֨ד לְךָ֤ שָׂרָה֙ לַמּוֹעֵ֣ד הַזֶּ֔ה בַּשָּׁנָ֖ה הָאַחֶֽרֶת ׃ 22 וַיְכַ֖ל לְדַבֵּ֣ר אִתּ֑וֹ וַיַּ֣עַל אֱלֹהִ֔ים מֵעַ֖ל אַבְרָהָֽם ׃ 23 וַיִּקַּ֨ח אַבְרָהָ֜ם אֶת ־ יִשְׁמָעֵ֣אל בְּנ֗וֹ וְאֵ֨ת כָּל ־ יְלִידֵ֤י בֵיתוֹ֙ וְאֵת֙ כָּל ־ מִקְנַ֣ת כַּסְפּ֔וֹ כָּל ־ זָכָ֕ר בְּאַנְשֵׁ֖י בֵּ֣ית אַבְרָהָ֑ם וַיָּ֜מָל אֶת ־ בְּשַׂ֣ר עָרְלָתָ֗ם בְּעֶ֙צֶם֙ הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר דִּבֶּ֥ר אִתּ֖וֹ אֱלֹהִֽים ׃ 24 וְאַ֨בְרָהָ֔ם בֶּן ־ תִּשְׁעִ֥ים וָתֵ֖שַׁע שָׁנָ֑ה בְּהִמֹּל֖וֹ בְּשַׂ֥ר עָרְלָתֽוֹ ׃ 25 וְיִשְׁמָעֵ֣אל בְּנ֔וֹ בֶּן ־ שְׁלֹ֥שׁ עֶשְׂרֵ֖ה שָׁנָ֑ה בְּהִ֨מֹּל֔וֹ אֵ֖ת בְּשַׂ֥ר עָרְלָתֽוֹ ׃ 26 בְּעֶ֙צֶם֙ הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה נִמּ֖וֹל אַבְרָהָ֑ם וְיִשְׁמָעֵ֖אל בְּנֽוֹ ׃ 27 וְכָל ־ אַנְשֵׁ֤י בֵיתוֹ֙ יְלִ֣יד בָּ֔יִת וּמִקְנַת ־ כֶּ֖סֶף מֵאֵ֣ת בֶּן ־ נֵכָ֑ר נִמֹּ֖לוּ אִתּֽוֹ ׃ פ
God promises, and Abraham obeys Intro This is after the big wobble of chapter 16 - God's grace and faithfulness shown; he comes and repeats, even expands the promise. The promise is ratcheted up, and reflected in name changes. Illustrations of 'covenant'. Covenants in the Bible and the covenant of grace. Two panels, emphasising the same thing: A - YHWH's intention to make an oath about progeny v1-2 B - Abraham falls on his face v3a C - Abraham the father of nations v4b-6 D - God will carry out his oath forever v7 E - the sign of the oath v9-14 A1 - YHWH's intention to bless Sarah with progeny v16 B1 - Abraham falls on his face v17-18 C1 - Sarah mother of son, Isaac v19 D1 - God will carry out his oath forever v19b, 21a E - the sign of the oath v23-27 1. Abram becomes Abraham (v1-14) The significance of 'go' in Genesis 12 , and 17, and of course Matthew 28 . Horizons of the promise are broadened again Covenant is pre-existing at this point. Now, two elements are added: 'be blameless', and circumcision. Relation to 'spiritual circumcision' or 'circumcision of the heart' Circumcision a sign on the very human body which will be a constant reminder of 'offspring'. Sex was inseparable from procreation until recent years. God is building architecture of his glorious promise. So, it always was anticipatory. Whereas baptism is proclamatory; the thing waited for has happened. Continuity and discontinuity. Circumcision corresponds, but is NOT a flat parallel, to baptism! [add points from baptism doc] Circumcision, i.e., multigenerational nature of the covenant, which is 'everlasting' (eg v7) - in what sense? The spiritual core and essence of this covenant is everlasting, since it will bring about the new covenant 2. Sarah will have a son, Isaac (v15-21) Isaac/laughter. Laughter of 'unbelievable' becomes laughter of 'joy'. Isaac will be the means of God's blessing Glory of God: He keeps his promises, he delivers on the 'unbelievable' things he says FCF: Taking God at his word, or not? Prompt obedience and walking blamelessly, or not? Person of Jesus: A true seed of Abraham, a true David, a true Israel, a true Adam. Who walks blamelessly before the LORD. Everything awaited was now finally here. Truly circumcised in heart. Work of Jesus: He is cut off from the LORD, like an uncircumcised outsider. He becomes like those far outside the promise, so that the way could be opened up. The old covenant gives birth to the new. Union with Jesus: Baptism proclaims the reality which circumcision anticipated. The old has died, a new life has been raised. A new righteous people of God has been created. 3. Abraham obeys straight away (v22-27) God went up v22 - ascension On 'that very day'. The whole household. What repentance looks like: I have died to unbelief, and now I live to faith, hope, and love. What faith looks like: covenant implications for 'relational effort'! In Christ we share in the new covenant together. 'Walking blamelessly' - what that actually means. cf Galatians 5.6, 'faith expressing itself through love.' For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. Galatians 5:6 ESV Wrap-up: Covenants in the Bible and the 'covenant of grace'. The blood of the eternal covenant...(Hebrews 13)