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17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
17:2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
17:3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 17:4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
17:6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
17:8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
17:9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
17:10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
17:11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
17:12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
17:13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
17:14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
17:15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
17:16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
17:21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
17:22 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.
17:23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.
17:24 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
17:25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
17:26 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son.
17:27 And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.

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King James Bible:Genesis
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Genesis
Book: Genesis
Chapter: 17

God renews the Covenant with Abram. (1-6) Circumcision
instituted. (7-14) Sarai's name changed, Isaac promised. (15-22)
Abraham and his family are circumcised. (23-27)

1-6 The Covenant was to be accomplished in due time. The
promised Seed was Christ, and Christians in him. And all who are
of Faith are blessed with Faithful Abram, being partakers of the
same Covenant blessings. In token of this Covenant his name was
changed from Abram, "a high Father," to Abraham, "the Father of
a multitude." All that the Christian world enjoys, it is
indebted for to Abraham and his Seed.

7-14 The Covenant of Grace is from Everlasting in the counsels
of it, and to Everlasting in the consequences of it. The token
of the Covenant was Circumcision. It is here said to be the
Covenant which Abraham and his seed must keep. Those who will
have the Lord to be to them a God, must resolve to be to him a
people. Not only Abraham and Isaac, and his posterity By Isaac,
were to be circumcised, but also Ishmael and the Bond-servants.
It sealed not only the Covenant of the land of Canaan to Isaac's
posterity, but of Heaven, through Christ, to the whole Church of
God. The outward sign is for the visible Church; the inward Seal
of the Spirit is Peculiar to those whom God knows to be
believers, and he alone can know them. The religious observance
of this institution was required, under a very severe penalty.
It is dangerous to make Light of Divine institutions, and to
live in the neglect of them. The Covenant in question was one
that involved great blessings for the world in all future ages.
Even the blessedness of Abraham himself, and all the rewards
conferred upon him, were for Christ's sake. Abraham was
justified, as we have seen, not By his own Righteousness, but By
Faith in the promised Messiah.

15-22 Here is the promise made to Abraham of a son By Sarai, in
whom the promise made to him should be fulfilled. The Assurance
of this promise was the change of Sarai's name into Sarah. Sarai
signifies my princess, as if her honour were confined to one
family only; Sarah signifies a princess. The more favours God
confers upon us, the more low we should be in our own eyes.
Abraham showed great joy; he laughed, it was a laughter of
delight, not of distrust. Now it was that Abraham rejoiced to
see Christ's Day; now he saw it and was glad, Joh 8:56.
Abraham, dreading lest Ishmael should be abandoned and forsaken
of God, Put up a petition On his behalf. God gives us leave in
Prayer to be particular in making known our requests. Whatever
is our care and fear, should be spread before God in Prayer. It
is the duty of parents to pray for their children, and the great
thing we should desire is, that they may be kept in Covenant
with Him, and may have Grace to walk before him in uprightness.
Common blessings are secured to Ishmael. Outward good things are
often given to those children of godly parents who are born
after the Flesh, for their parents' sake. Covenant blessings are
reserved for Isaac, and appropriated to him.

23-27 Abraham and all his family were circumcised; So receiving
the token of the Covenant, and distinguishing themselves from
other families that had No part nor Lot in the matter. It was an
implicit obedience; he did as God said unto him, and did not ask
why or wherefore. He did it because God bade him. It was a
speedy obedience; in the self-same Day. Sincere obedience makes
No delay. Not only the doctrines of Revelation, but the seals of
God's Covenant, remind us that we are guilty, polluted sinners.
They show us our need of the Blood of Atonement; they point to
the promised Saviour, and teach us to Exercise Faith in him.
They show us that without Regeneration, and Sanctification By
his Spirit, and the mortification of our corrupt and Carnal
inclinations, we cannot be in Covenant with God. But let us
remember that the true Circumcision is that of the Heart, By the
Spirit, Ro 2:28,29. Both under the old and new Dispensation,
many have had the outward profession, and the outward Seal, who
were never sealed By the Holy Spirit of promise.

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