Genesis 17

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English: Darby Version

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1 And Abram was ninety-nine years old, when Jehovah appeared to Abram, and said to him, I [am] the Almighty ùGod: walk before my face, and be perfect.

2 And I will set my covenant between me and thee, and will very greatly multiply thee.

3 And Abram fell on his face; and God talked with him, saying,

4 It is I: behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of a multitude of nations.

5 And thy name shall no more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of a multitude of nations have I made thee.

6 And I will make thee exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee.

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

9 And God said to Abraham, And [as for] thee, thou shalt keep my covenant, thou and thy seed after thee in their generations.

10 This is my covenant which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee -- that every male among you be circumcised.

11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and [that] shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.

12 And at eight days old shall every male in your generations be circumcised among you -- he who is born in the house, and he who is bought with money, any stranger who is not of thy seed.

13 He who is born in thy house, and he who is bought with thy money, must be circumcised; and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

14 And the uncircumcised male who hath not been circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his peoples: he hath broken my covenant.

15 And God said to Abraham, [As to] Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.

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

17 And Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall [a child] be born to him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear?

18 And Abraham said to God, Oh that Ishmael might live before thee!

19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall indeed bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name Isaac; and I will establish my covenant with him, for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.

20 And for Ishmael I have heard thee: behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will very greatly multiply him; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.

21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to thee at this appointed time in the next year.

22 And he left off talking with him; and God went up from Abraham.

23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all who were born in his house, and all who were bought with his money -- every male among the people of Abraham's house -- and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on that same day, as God had said to him.

24 And Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.

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

26 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son;

27 and all the men of his house, born in his house, or bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.

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Swedenborg

Weitere Verweise Swedenborgs zu diesem Kapitel:

Arcana Coelestia 1025, 1038, 1416, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 598

True Christian Religion 675


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 430, 701, 706, 750

Canons of the New Church 45

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 50

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Word/Phrase Explanations

abram
Abram and Nahor taking to themselves wives, Sarah and Milcah (Gen 11:29), signifies marriages of evil with falsity in idolatrous worship. Abram, Nahor, and Haran,...

Nine
'Nine' signifies conjunction.

Ninety-nine years
Ninety-nine years,' as in Genesis 17:1, signifies the time before the Lord fully conjoined the internal human with the rational.

old
Swedenborg tells us that space and time in the physical world correspond to states of life in the spiritual world. So when the Bible talks...

Jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

walk
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

Perfect
'The days of the perfect' signifies the states of people who are in good and truths from good.

Covenant
A covenant is a promise by the Lord about something He will do, or not do. He promised Noah that He would never again destroy...

multiply
'Spreading themselves on the earth,' as in Genesis 8:17, signifies the internal self operating on the external.

Fell on his face
'To fall on his face' represents humility.

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

multitude
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

Nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

abraham
Abraham (or Abram, as he is named in the beginning of his story) is one of the major characters in the story of the sacred...

Make
'To make,' as in Hosea 8:11, refers to good. In the opposite sense it refers to evil. To make heaven, and earth, and the sea,...

Fruitful
To be fruitful is predicated of goodnesses, and to be multiplied, of truths.

kings
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

come
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Seed
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

after
According to Swedenborg, time and space don’t exist in spiritual reality; they are purely natural things that exist only on the physical plane. This means...

generations
To “generate” something is to create it, and that idea underpins the meaning of a “generation” of people – it is a group that was...

everlasting
In many cases, the use of “eternity” in the Bible is pretty literal, simple meaning forever. This is especially true when the text is referring...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

Land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

land of
'The land of Rameses,' as in Genesis 47:11, signifies the inmost of the spiritual principle in the natural mind.

sojourning
There is a long history of using travel to round out an education, from the 19th-century “world tours” taken by Oxford and Cambridge graduates to...

Land of Canaan
The land of Canaan' in the Word, means love, and consequently, the will of the celestial self.

of Canaan
'Sons of Canaan,' as in Genesis 10, are people who kept external worship separate from internal.

Canaan
Canaan signifies a worship in things external without internals, which arose out of the internal church corrupted, called Ham. Thus it is that Ham is...

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

male
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

flesh
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

foreskin
Heaven is filled with the love and delight of marriage, which has its origin in the marriage of love and wisdom in the Lord and...

Sign
'A sign' is mentioned in the Word in reference to the future, which constitutes revelation. This also refers to truth, when it constitutes testification. It...

eight
According to Swedenborg, the number eight represents something that is complete within itself, in every respect. Two reasons are offered for this. First, eight is...

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

born
In a general sense, being "born" in the Bible represents one spiritual state producing another, usually some form of love or affection producing or "giving...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Money
'Money' relates to truth.

stranger
'A sojourner' or 'stranger,' as in Matthew 25:32, signifies someone who is willing to be instructed.

Uncircumcised
'The uncircumcised,' as in Ezekiel 31:18, signifies people lacking the good of charity.

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

wife
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

Call
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

Sarah
'Sarah' denotes truth joined to good. 'Sarah' denotes truth joined to good. Sarai was called 'Sarah' so she would represent the divine intellectual principle by...

Bless
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

child
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

hundred
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

bear
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

Ishmael
'Ishmael' represents the first rationality pertaining to the Lord. 'Ishmael' signifies rationality separate from good. 'Ishmael' signifies the Lord's merely human rational. Ishmael, in Genesis...

Might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

Isaac
'Isaac' represents spiritual love. 'Isaac,' in Genesis 17:19, signifies the rational divine. 'Isaac' signifies the Lord's divine rational in reference to divine good. Isaac' signifies...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

Twelve
'Twelve' signifies all aspects of faith. This has been unknown to the world until now. Nevertheless, this is the constant significance of 'twelve,' anywhere it...

beget
To beget or to be begotten is very similar in meaning to birth: It represents one spiritual state leading to the next spiritual state. "Beget,"...

nation
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

time
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

people
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

Thirteen years
'Thirteen years,' as in Genesis 17:25, signifies a state of holy remains.

Thirteen
'Thirteen,' between twelve and fourteen, denotes the intermediate state. 'Thirteen,' as the sum of ten and three, denotes remains.

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library by following this link.


 Abraham and Lot
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Abraham and Sarah's Family
The Lord promises Abraham many descendants.
Story | Ages 2 - 8

 Abraham and the Angels, Birth of Isaac
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Abram Becomes Abraham
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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