Genesis 17 – Abraham

To some extent, i really don’t understand this chapter. It just seems like a repetition of previous chapters with some more clarification. It doesn’t seem like there is too much of a need for it. God has already made these promises to Abram, but it almost seems as though He is making the promises all over again. Like somehow the first time didn’t matter.

I believe that this was just a reminder and clarification for Abram’s sake. After so much time had gone by (~23 years) it would be easy to lose sight of the promise and it’s promised fulfillment. So God took it a step further. He not only reminded Abram of the promise, He made it even more real.

God gave Abram a new name. Abram went from “exalted father” to Abraham “father of nations”. Sarai went from “leader / head / director” to Sarah “Princess”. The promise became even more real with the promise that Sarah would bear a son in approximately one year, and that God would continue to bless Ishmael. Of course, there was still the issue of circumcision, the outward expression of the covenant. The physical expression that would forever stand as a physical representation of the promise between God and man.

So, the question comes; have we lost focus of God’s promise for us? Is there something that God has told you that you have lost due to the busyness of life? What do we need to be reminded of?

Worthy of note as well, this is the first appearance of the name God Almighty (El-Shaddai).



Filed under Application, Bible, Content, Genesis, Old Testament, Person, Torah

2 responses to “Genesis 17 – Abraham

  1. Pingback: Genesis 18 – Responding | A Personal Copy

  2. Dear Brother in Christ,
    I can to some extent understand it when you say that you don’t understand this chapter. When I first read it, in about 1973, I also did not understand it either. Somehow I knew it was important! In 1974 I started studying it in great detail. That study took me one whole year of using all my spare time, evenings, weekends, public holidays etc to get to grips with its contents. I am now of the opinion that it is arguably the most important single chapter in the Bible! You just cannot understand the Bible properly if you don’t understand this chapter. You are free to disagree.

    I cannot go into the details here and will be posting my exposition of this chapter in my blog in the next few days. Depending on your current views, you may embrace what I say or you may reject what I say. I found that there is no covenant of grace. There is a very important covenant of faith!

    Keep up your good work and may the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.


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