Genesis 17:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 17:10, NIV: "This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised."

Genesis 17:10, ESV: "This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised."

Genesis 17:10, KJV: "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."

Genesis 17:10, NASB: "This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised."

Genesis 17:10, NLT: "This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised."

Genesis 17:10, CSB: "This is my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you, which you are to keep: Every one of your males must be circumcised."

What does Genesis 17:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After declaring the covenant He is making with Abraham and all of Abraham's descendants, God now describes what He requires from Abraham and his offspring to keep this covenant: Every male will have to be circumcised. The following verses get more specific in describing why, how, and when the practice should be kept.

Abraham was not the first person on earth to practice circumcision, but the way God implements this ritual is unique. Circumcision involves the removal of the foreskin, a circular flap of skin covering the end of the penis. The symbolism of this act relates to crucial aspects of Jewish and Christian theology. The foreskin is a natural-born part of the person, but needs to be deliberately shed (under circumcision) in order for the people of Israel to honor God. This is symbolic of the need to set aside sin and other in-born urges in favor of God's will. The removal involves a circular shape: circles are frequently used as symbols of permanence and eternity, and this covenant is said to be everlasting. Also, the means of human reproduction, male sperm, would literally pass "through" this circle, symbolizing the influence of God on the very existence of His people.