Genesis 17

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1 And Abram was a son of ninety years and nine years; and Jehovah appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am God Shaddai*; walk thou before Me, and be thou perfect.

2 And I will give My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee very exceedingly.

3 And Abram fell on his faces; and God spoke with him saying:

4 I, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be for a father of a multitude of nations.

5 And thy name shall no more be called Abram; and thy name shall be Abraham, for as the father of a multitude of nations have I given thee.

6 And I will make· thee ·fruitful very exceedingly, and I will make thee into nations, and kings shall go·​·out from thee.

7 And I will raise·​·up My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee, to their generations, for an eternal covenant, to be to thee for God, and to thy seed after thee.

8 And I will give to thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an eternal possession; and I will be to them for God.

9 And God said to Abraham, And thou shalt keep My covenant, thou and thy seed after thee, to their generations.

10 This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee: every male shall be circumcised to you.

11 And you shall cut·​·off the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and you.

12 And a son of eight days shall be circumcised to you, every male in your generations, he that is born of the house, and he that is bought with silver from every son of a foreigner who is not of thy seed.

13 Circumcising he shall be circumcised that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy silver; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an eternal covenant.

14 And the uncircumcised male, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut·​·off from his peoples; he has made· My covenant ·of·​·none·​·effect.

15 And God said to Abraham, Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, for Sarah is her name.

16 And I will bless her, and will also give to thee a son from her; and I will bless her, and she shall be for nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.

17 And Abraham fell upon his faces, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall one be·​·born to a son of a hundred years? And shall Sarah, who is a daughter of ninety years, give·​·birth?

18 And Abraham said to God, Would·​·that Ishmael might live before Thee!

19 And God said, Indeed Sarah, thy wife, shall give·​·birth to a son for thee, and thou shalt call his name Isaac; and I will raise·​·up My covenant with him for an eternal covenant, to his seed after him.

20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee; behold I will bless him, and will make· him ·fruitful, and will multiply him very exceedingly; twelve chiefs shall he beget, and I will make him into a great nation.

21 And My covenant will I raise·​·up with Isaac, to whom Sarah shall give·​·birth for thee at this appointed·​·time in the year after.

22 And He completed speaking with him; and God went·​·up from over Abraham.

23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his silver, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in this same day, as God spoke with him.

24 And Abraham was a son of ninety and nine years, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.

25 And Ishmael his son was a son of thirteen years, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.

26 In this same day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son.

27 And all the men of his house, he that was born in the house, and he that was bought with silver from the son of a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

  

Exploring the Meaning of Genesis 17      

Napsal(a) Emanuel Swedenborg

Here are some excerpts from Swedenborg's "Arcana Coelestia" that help explain the inner meaning of this chapter:

AC 1985. The subject here treated of is the union of the Lord’s Divine Essence with the Human Essence, and of the Human Essence with the Divine Essence; and also the conjunction of the Lord, through the Human Essence, with the human race.

AC 1986. Jehovah was manifested to the Lord in His Human (verse 1). Foretelling the union (verses 2, 3); namely, of the Divine with the Human, and of the Human with the Divine (verses 4, 5). And that all good and truth is from Him (verse 6). The conjunction of the Divine with the human race would thus be effected through Him (verse 7). And the heavenly kingdom would be His, which He would give to those who should have faith in Him (verses 8, 9). But man must first remove his loves and their foul cupidities, and so be purified; this is what was represented and is signified by circumcision (verses 10, 11). Thus conjunction would be effected, both with those who are within the church, and with those who are without it (verse 12).

[2] Purification must by all means precede; otherwise there is no conjunction, but condemnation; and yet after all the conjunction cannot take place except in man‘s impurity (verses 13, 14). The union of the Human Essence with the Divine Essence, or of truth with good, is foretold (verses 15 to 17). Also conjunction with those who are in the truths of faith, namely, as with those who are of the celestial church, so with those who are of the spiritual church (verses 18, 19). And that the latter also would be imbued with the goods of faith (verse 20). In conclusion, these things will be effected through the union in the Lord of the Human Essence with the Divine Essence (verse 21). The end of the prediction (verse 22). It was so to be done, and it was so done (verses 23 to 27).

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Thanks to the Kempton Project for the permission to use this New Church translation of the Word.


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