2 I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will make you exceedingly numerous.”
ב וְאֶתְּנָה בְרִיתִי בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶךָ וְאַרְבֶּה אוֹתְךָ בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד׃
3 Avram threw himself on his face; and Hashem spoke to him further,
ג וַיִּפֹּל אַבְרָם עַל־פָּנָיו וַיְדַבֵּר אִתּוֹ אֱלֹהִים לֵאמֹר׃
4 “As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You shall be the father of a multitude of nations.
ד אֲנִי הִנֵּה בְרִיתִי אִתָּךְ וְהָיִיתָ לְאַב הֲמוֹן גּוֹיִם׃
6 I will make you exceedingly fertile, and make nations of you; and kings shall come forth from you.
ו וְהִפְרֵתִי אֹתְךָ בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד וּנְתַתִּיךָ לְגוֹיִם וּמְלָכִים מִמְּךָ יֵצֵאוּ׃
7 I will maintain My covenant between Me and you, and your offspring to come, as an everlasting covenant throughout the ages, to be Hashem to you and to your offspring to come.
ז וַהֲקִמֹתִי אֶת־בְּרִיתִי בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶךָ וּבֵין זַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ לְדֹרֹתָם לִבְרִית עוֹלָם לִהְיוֹת לְךָ לֵאלֹהִים וּלְזַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ׃
8 I assign the land you sojourn in to you and your offspring to come, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting holding. I will be their God.”
v’-na-ta-TEE l’-KHA ul-zar-a-KHA a-kha-RE-kha AYT E-retz m’-gu-RE-kha AYT kol E-retz k’-NA-an la-a-khu-ZAT o-LAM v’-ha-YEE-tee la-HEM LAay-lo-HEEM
ח וְנָתַתִּי לְךָ וּלְזַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ אֵת אֶרֶץ מְגֻרֶיךָ אֵת כָּל־אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן לַאֲחֻזַּת עוֹלָם וְהָיִיתִי לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים׃
9 Hashem further said to Avraham, “As for you, you and your offspring to come throughout the ages shall keep My covenant.
ט וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים אֶל־אַבְרָהָם וְאַתָּה אֶת־בְּרִיתִי תִשְׁמֹר אַתָּה וְזַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ לְדֹרֹתָם׃
10 Such shall be the covenant between Me and you and your offspring to follow which you shall keep: every male among you shall be circumcised.
י זֹאת בְּרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁמְרוּ בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם וּבֵין זַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ הִמּוֹל לָכֶם כָּל־זָכָר׃
11 You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.
יא וּנְמַלְתֶּם אֵת בְּשַׂר עָרְלַתְכֶם וְהָיָה לְאוֹת בְּרִית בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם׃
12 And throughout the generations, every male among you shall be circumcised at the age of eight days. As for the homeborn slave and the one bought from an outsider who is not of your offspring,
יב וּבֶן־שְׁמֹנַת יָמִים יִמּוֹל לָכֶם כָּל־זָכָר לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם יְלִיד בָּיִת וּמִקְנַת־כֶּסֶף מִכֹּל בֶּן־נֵכָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא מִזַּרְעֲךָ הוּא׃
13 they must be circumcised, homeborn, and purchased alike. Thus shall My covenant be marked in your flesh as an everlasting pact.
יג הִמּוֹל יִמּוֹל יְלִיד בֵּיתְךָ וּמִקְנַת כַּסְפֶּךָ וְהָיְתָה בְרִיתִי בִּבְשַׂרְכֶם לִבְרִית עוֹלָם׃
14 And if any male who is uncircumcised fails to circumcise the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his kin; he has broken My covenant.”
יד וְעָרֵל זָכָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יִמּוֹל אֶת־בְּשַׂר עָרְלָתוֹ וְנִכְרְתָה הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַהִוא מֵעַמֶּיהָ אֶת־בְּרִיתִי הֵפַר׃
15 And Hashem said to Avraham, “As for your wife Sarai, you shall not call her Sarai, but her name shall be Sara.
16 I will bless her; indeed, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she shall give rise to nations; rulers of peoples shall issue from her.”
טז וּבֵרַכְתִּי אֹתָהּ וְגַם נָתַתִּי מִמֶּנָּה לְךָ בֵּן וּבֵרַכְתִּיהָ וְהָיְתָה לְגוֹיִם מַלְכֵי עַמִּים מִמֶּנָּה יִהְיוּ׃
17 Avraham threw himself on his face and laughed, as he said to himself, “Can a child be born to a man a hundred years old, or can Sara bear a child at ninety?”
19 Hashem said, “Nevertheless, Sara your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Yitzchak; and I will maintain My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring to come.
20 As for Ishmael, I have heeded you. I hereby bless him. I will make him fertile and exceedingly numerous. He shall be the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation.
כ וּלְיִשְׁמָעֵאל שְׁמַעְתִּיךָ הִנֵּה בֵּרַכְתִּי אֹתוֹ וְהִפְרֵיתִי אֹתוֹ וְהִרְבֵּיתִי אֹתוֹ בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד שְׁנֵים־עָשָׂר נְשִׂיאִם יוֹלִיד וּנְתַתִּיו לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל׃
21 But My covenant I will maintain with Yitzchak, whom Sara shall bear to you at this season next year.”
17:21 But My covenant I will maintain with Yitzchak
Avraham was chosen to be God’s emissary in this world, to live in the Land of Israel, and to establish a nation with a unique mission. But who would be Avraham’s heir, Ishmael or Yitzchak? This ambiguity is eliminated when Hashem declares that, although a great nation will emerge from Ishmael’s lineage, Yitzchak is the chosen heir to Avraham’s legacy and Eretz Yisrael.4 comments
22 And when He was done speaking with him, Hashem was gone from Avraham.
כב וַיְכַל לְדַבֵּר אִתּוֹ וַיַּעַל אֱלֹהִים מֵעַל אַבְרָהָם׃
23 Then Avraham took his son Ishmael, and all his homeborn slaves and all those he had bought, every male in Avraham’s household, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins on that very day, as Hashem had spoken to him.
24 Avraham was ninety-nine years old when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin,
כד וְאַבְרָהָם בֶּן־תִּשְׁעִים וָתֵשַׁע שָׁנָה בְּהִמֹּלוֹ בְּשַׂר עָרְלָתוֹ׃
25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
כה וְיִשְׁמָעֵאל בְּנוֹ בֶּן־שְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה בְּהִמֹּלוֹ אֵת בְּשַׂר עָרְלָתוֹ׃
27 and all his household, his homeborn slaves and those that had been bought from outsiders, were circumcised with him.
כז וְכָל־אַנְשֵׁי בֵיתוֹ יְלִיד בָּיִת וּמִקְנַת־כֶּסֶף מֵאֵת בֶּן־נֵכָר נִמֹּלוּ אִתּוֹ׃