Genesis 17:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 17:9, NIV: "Then God said to Abraham, 'As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come."

Genesis 17:9, ESV: "And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations."

Genesis 17:9, KJV: "And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations."

Genesis 17:9, NASB: "God said further to Abraham, 'Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations."

Genesis 17:9, NLT: "Then God said to Abraham, 'Your responsibility is to obey the terms of the covenant. You and all your descendants have this continual responsibility."

Genesis 17:9, CSB: "God also said to Abraham, "As for you, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations are to keep my covenant."

What does Genesis 17:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

God has made significant covenant promises to Abraham and Abraham's offspring through every generation. Abraham will become the father of multiple nations. Kings will come from him. His offspring will possess all the land of Canaan and God Almighty will be their God forever. This is a promise God will keep, regardless of how faithless Abraham's offspring may be in the future. God may judge them, and punish them, but He will never violate His promises.

Now, God reveals to Abraham another act of faith he must take in order to keep this covenant. In fact, every generation of Abraham's offspring will need to do what God requires in the following verses in order to keep the covenant. The requirement will be personal, painful, and intimate. It will also be symbolic, suggesting God's influence in every generation and the unending nature of the covenant agreement. This requirement is circumcision: the removal of the foreskin from the penis. For newborn boys, this ritual will happen within days of birth (Genesis 17:12).