Genesis 17:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 17:23, NIV: "On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him."

Genesis 17:23, ESV: "Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him."

Genesis 17:23, KJV: "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."

Genesis 17:23, NASB: "Then Abraham took his son Ishmael, and all the slaves who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on this very same day, as God had said to him."

Genesis 17:23, NLT: "On that very day Abraham took his son, Ishmael, and every male in his household, including those born there and those he had bought. Then he circumcised them, cutting off their foreskins, just as God had told him."

Genesis 17:23, CSB: "So Abraham took his son Ishmael and those born in his household or purchased--every male among the members of Abraham's household--and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on that very day, just as God had said to him."

What does Genesis 17:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abraham immediately demonstrates his faith in the God who appeared to him by obeying God's command. Abraham kept his part of the covenant God had initiated by circumcising himself and every male in his extensive household. He did so on the very day God appeared to him, starting with Ishmael, his 13-year-old son.

Circumcision was not unheard of in that era, but this does not change the magnitude of Abraham's immediate obedience. Circumcision involves removing the foreskin from the penis, which is painful and, one would assume, awkward. We're not told anything of the reaction to Abraham's requirement for all the men and boys under his care. Abraham overcame whatever resistance may have presented itself to obey the command of the Lord. It's worth noting that those who would have resisted this command entirely had an option, of sorts: to be "cut off," or separated, from the family of Abraham (Genesis 17:14).