Genesis 17:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 17:19, NIV: "Then God said, 'Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him."

Genesis 17:19, ESV: "God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him."

Genesis 17:19, KJV: "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."

Genesis 17:19, NASB: "But God said, 'No, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him."

Genesis 17:19, NLT: "But God replied, 'No--Sarah, your wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant."

Genesis 17:19, CSB: "But God said, "No. Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac. I will confirm my covenant with him as a permanent covenant for his future offspring."

What does Genesis 17:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous verse showed 99-year-old Abraham's reaction to God's revelation: that his barren, 89-year-old wife, Sarah, would bear him a son after all. Abraham's immediate response was disbelieving laughter (Genesis 17:17).

Beyond laughter, Abraham's first coherent thought was for his 13-year-old son, born through his servant Hagar: "If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!" Now God responds with a "yes but." God will reveal in the following verses that He will bless Ishmael. However, Ishmael will not be the child of the covenant promises God has given to Abraham. Instead, that fulfillment would come through Sarah and their previously inconceivable son, who God commands to be named Isaac. It was with Isaac and his offspring that God would establish His everlasting covenant.

This name is not without a purpose. Isaac means "he laughs." Abraham's first response to the idea of having a son with his 90-year-old wife was to laugh. Sarah, too, will laugh at the idea (Genesis 18:12). Their son's name will serve as a permanent reminder of how God can fulfill promises which our limited experience says are impossible (Mark 10:27).