What does Genesis 17:15 mean?
ESV: And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.
NIV: God also said to Abraham, 'As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.
NASB: Then God said to Abraham, 'As for your wife Sarai, you shall not call her by the name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.
CSB: God said to Abraham, "As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai, for Sarah will be her name.
NLT: Then God said to Abraham, 'Regarding Sarai, your wife — her name will no longer be Sarai. From now on her name will be Sarah.
KJV: And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
Verse Commentary:
In verse 5 of this chapter, God signaled a new stage in His relationship with Abram by changing his name to Abraham. This name is very similar to the Hebrew phrase meaning "father of a multitude," emphasizing that Abraham will be the father of nations and that kings would come from him.

Now God tells Abraham that his wife Sarai's name is to be changed to Sarah. Both names apparently mean princess, though in the following verse God will call her the "mother of nations." While this seems like a slight change, it marks a significant new season in God's work in and through Sarah as well. This change will be especially amazing to Abraham, who will laugh out loud at the suggestion of Sarah giving birth (Genesis 17:17).

Later, during a significant encounter, God would change the name of Abraham and Sarah's grandson through Isaac. He will be renamed from Jacob to Israel (Genesis 32:28).
Verse Context:
Genesis 17:15–27 describes God's surprising revelation to the newly renamed, 99-year-old Abraham: His presumably barren, 89-year-old wife, Sarai, now to be named Sarah, would bear him a son within a year. Ishmael, now 13, would still be abundantly blessed, but this new son, Isaac, would be the one through whom God would keep His covenant promises. As soon as God left, Abraham immediately set about obeying God's command to circumcise himself and every male in his household as a sign of the covenant with the Lord.
Chapter Summary:
God appears to Abram once more in Genesis 17, but this instance is very different from prior meetings. God reconfirms His promises to make Abram a father of nations and to give to him and his descendants the land of Canaan. This time, though, God changes Abram's name to Abraham and gives him a requirement to circumcise himself and every male in his household forever. He also changes Sarai's name to Sarah. God announces that Abraham and Sarah will have a son, after all. His 13-year old son Ishmael will be blessed, but this new son, Isaac, to be born within the year, will be the one to whom God's covenant promises will pass.
Chapter Context:
Genesis 17 records the details of God's appearance to Abram, now 99. Thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael to Sarah's servant Hagar, God arrives to change Abram's name to Abraham, to confirm the covenant promises, and to command Abraham. He is to circumcise every male in his household as a sign of the covenant. Then the big news: within a year, Abraham's wife—now renamed Sarah—would bear Abraham a son. This long-awaited son would be the one through whom God would keep all of His promises to Abraham.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
Accessed 4/17/2024 8:07:41 PM
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