Genesis 17:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 17:2, NIV: "Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.'"

Genesis 17:2, ESV: "that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.”"

Genesis 17:2, KJV: "And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly."

Genesis 17:2, NASB: "I will make My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly.'"

Genesis 17:2, NLT: "I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.'"

Genesis 17:2, CSB: "I will set up my covenant between me and you, and I will multiply you greatly.""

What does Genesis 17:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This appearance by God to Abram differs from their previous encounters in the book of Genesis. In the previous verse, God began by placing an expectation on Abram. He told Abram to walk before Him and to be blameless. God now restates that He will make His covenant between Himself and Abram and will multiply him exceedingly by greatly increasing Abram's numbers.

The next verses will reveal that Abram received this covenant promise from God very reverently. At the same time, he also wants to understand how this could happen. After all, Abram was 99 years old at this time (Genesis 17:1). It has been 13 years since the birth of his only child, Ishmael, through his servant Hagar (Genesis 16:16). It has been 23 years since God began making these repeated promises (Genesis 12:4), which do not seem to line up with Abram's everyday experience.

God has asked Abram to continue to believe. This time, though, God will ask for even more.