Genesis 17:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 17:4, NIV: "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations."

Genesis 17:4, ESV: "“Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations."

Genesis 17:4, KJV: "As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations."

Genesis 17:4, NASB: "'As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations."

Genesis 17:4, NLT: "'This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!"

Genesis 17:4, CSB: ""As for me, here is my covenant with you: You will become the father of many nations."

What does Genesis 17:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After God appeared to Abram, instructing him to walk with the Lord and to be blameless, promising to increase Abram's numbers greatly, Abram fell face down before the Lord in reverence. This is a common expression of worship, submission, and humility. To this point, Abram has demonstrated a willingness to honor God, and to follow Him, even when he's unsure of every detail.

Now God continues the covenant promise. Specifically, God says Abram will be the father of many nations. While God had promised before this to give Abram countless offspring, this is the first time God describes Abram as the patriarch of multiple nations. It won't be the last time, though. In fact, in the next verse, God will declare a change in Abram's name, signifying this great future. Finally, after 23 years (Genesis 12:4; Genesis 17:1) and many struggles, the man known as Abram will take on the name by which he is truly remembered: Abraham (Genesis 17:5).