Genesis 17:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 17:27, NIV: "And every male in Abraham's household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him."

Genesis 17:27, ESV: "And all the men of his house, those born in the house and those bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him."

Genesis 17:27, KJV: "And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him."

Genesis 17:27, NASB: "And all the men of his household, those who were born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him."

Genesis 17:27, NLT: "along with all the other men and boys of the household, whether they were born there or bought as servants. All were circumcised with him."

Genesis 17:27, CSB: "And all the men of his household--whether born in his household or purchased from a foreigner--were circumcised with him."

What does Genesis 17:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This final verse of Genesis 17 repeats once more, for emphasis, that Abraham obeyed God's command completely. Every single male in his household, including those born in the household and those purchased as slaves, was circumcised right along with Abraham and Ishmael on the very day God had given that instruction. We're not told what Abraham felt about all God had revealed to him, but Abraham's full and unhesitating obedience reveals his full faith in the Lord.

One reason for this repeated emphasis might be the very nature of the command: to circumcise every male, which meant cutting off the foreskin of the penis. The natural reaction one might expect, at least from most men, is a desire to wait. "Hang on, let's think about this first.". Instead, Abraham's pointed obedience to God the very same day demonstrates how seriously he took his relationship with God.

How many men were in Abraham's household? We can't know for sure, but it likely included hundreds or more. Abraham was extremely wealthy. Years earlier, when Lot had been captured by foreign invaders, Abraham was able to raise an army of 318 trained men "born in his household" to go on the rescue mission. We must imagine that the household consisted of many more men at that time, and even more born and acquired since then.

That makes for a significant number of circumcisions in a single day with very little warning to all those men. Abraham exercised his authority and overcame whatever resistance or objections may have been raised in order to fully obey the Lord.