What does Genesis 17:25 mean?
ESV: And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
NIV: and his son Ishmael was thirteen;
NASB: And his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
CSB: and his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when the flesh of his foreskin was circumcised.
NLT: and Ishmael, his son, was thirteen.
KJV: And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
Verse Commentary:
Ishmael, 13, was also circumcised on this momentous day in the life of Abraham and his household. God had made clear to Abraham that Ishmael, though he would be greatly blessed, would not be the child through whom the covenant promises would pass. Still, as a male living in Abraham's household, Ishmael must be circumcised along with all the other men and boys. God's prior instructions were very specific: those who were not circumcised could not be a part of the promised people (Genesis 17:14).
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.
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