17:4 As for me, behold, my covenant [is] with thee, and thou
shalt be a a father of many nations.
(a) Not only physical descendants, but of a far greater
multitude by faith, (Ro 4:17).
17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy
name shall be b Abraham; for a father of many nations
have I made thee.
(b) The changing of his name is a seal to confirm God's
promise to him.
17:10c This [is] my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me
and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you
shall be circumcised.
(c) Circumcision is called the covenant, because it
signifies the covenant and has the promise of grace
joined to it: a phrase that is common to all
17:11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your d foreskin;
and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and
(d) That private part is circumcised, to show that all
that is begotten by man is corrupt, and must die.
17:14 And the uncircumcised e man child whose flesh of his
foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off
from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
(e) Though women were not circumcised, they still partook
of God's promise: for under mankind all was
consecrated. Here it is declared, that whoever
condemns the sign, also despises the promise.
17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and f laughed, and said
in his heart, Shall [a child] be born unto him that is an
hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years
(f) Which proceeded from a sudden joy, and not from lack
17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed;
and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish
my covenant with him for an g everlasting covenant,
[and] with his seed after him.
(g) The everlasting covenant is made with the children of
the Spirit. A temporary promise is made with the
children of the flesh, as was promised to Ishmael.
17:23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born
in his house, and all that were bought with his money,
every male among the men of Abraham's house; and h
circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame
day, as God had said unto him.
(h) They were well taught if they obeyed and were
circumcised without resistance. This teaches that
masters in their houses ought to be as preachers to
their families, that from the highest to the lowest
they may obey the will of God.