Genesis 17:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 17:16, NIV: "I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.'"

Genesis 17:16, ESV: "I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”"

Genesis 17:16, KJV: "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."

Genesis 17:16, NASB: "I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.'"

Genesis 17:16, NLT: "And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Kings of nations will be among her descendants.'"

Genesis 17:16, CSB: "I will bless her; indeed, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she will produce nations; kings of peoples will come from her.""

What does Genesis 17:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verse, God told Abraham that He was changing Sarai's name to Sarah. Earlier, God had renamed Abram as Abraham, indicating that Abraham would become the father of nations. Now God reveals that Sarah's name change is related to her own destiny as the "mother of nations." From her, as well, will come future kings.

This is the first time the text reveals that Sarah is the one through whom God will keep His covenant promise to make Abraham into a great nation. In chapter 16, Sarah and Abraham seem to have decided that the opportunity for her to birth children to him had passed. Instead, she would have a child with him through her slave Hagar. That boy, Ishmael, is now 13 years old.

God reveals that Sarah will, in fact, give birth to a son of her own with Abraham, a notion Abraham and Sarah had completely abandoned. This assumption was so strong in Abraham's mind that he will literally fall down laughing at the suggestion that Sarah will be known as the mother of nations, as seen in the next verse.