Genesis 17:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him.

King James Bible
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 circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.

Darby Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born in his house, and all who were bought with his money; every male among the men of Abraham's house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the same day, as God had said to him.

Young's Literal Translation
And Abraham taketh Ishmael his son, and all those born in his house, and all those bought with his money -- every male among the men of Abraham's house -- and circumciseth the flesh of their foreskin, in this self-same day, as God hath spoken with him.

Genesis 17:23 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

And Abraham took Ishmael, etc. - Had not Abraham, his son, (who was of age to judge for himself), and all the family, been fully convinced that this thing was of God, they could not have submitted to it. A rite so painful, so repugnant to every feeling of delicacy, and every way revolting to nature, could never have sprung up in the imagination of man. To this day the Jews practice it as a Divine ordinance; and all the Arabians do the same. As a distinction between them and other people it never could have been designed, because it was a sign that was never to appear. The individual alone knew that he bore in his flesh this sign of the covenant, and he bore it by the order of God, and he knew it was a sign and seal of spiritual blessings, and not the blessings themselves, though a proof that these blessings were promised, and that he had a right to them. Those who did not consider it in this spiritual reference are by the apostle denominated the concision, Philippians 3:2, i.e., persons whose flesh was cut, but whose hearts were not purified.

The contents of this chapter may be summed up in a few propositions: -

1. God, in renewing his covenant with Abram, makes an important change in his and Sarai's name; a change which should ever act as a help to their faith, that the promises by which God had bound himself should be punctually fulfilled. However difficult it may be for us to ascertain the precise import of the change then made, we may rest assured that it was perfectly understood by both; and that, as they had received this name from God, they considered it as placing them in a new relation both to their Maker and to their posterity. From what we have already seen, the change made in Abram's name is inscrutable to us; there is something like this in Revelation 2:17 : To him that overcometh will I give a white stone, and a New Name - which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it. The full import of the change made in a soul that enters into covenant with God through Christ, is only known to itself; a stranger intermeddleth not with its joy. Hence, even men of learning and the world at large have considered experimental religion as enthusiasm, merely because they have not understood its nature, and have permitted themselves to be carried away by prejudices which they have imbibed perhaps at first through the means of ignorant or hypocritical pretenders to deep piety; but while they have the sacred writings before them, their prejudices and opposition to that without which they cannot be saved are as unprincipled as they are absurd.

2. God gives Abraham a precept, which should be observed, not only by himself, but by all his posterity; for this was to be a permanent sign of that covenant which was to endure for ever. Though the sign is now changed from circumcision to baptism, each of them equally significant, yet the covenant is not changed in any part of its essential meaning. Faith in God through the great sacrifice, remission of sins, and sanctification of the heart, are required by the new covenant as well as by the old.

3. The rite of circumcision was painful and humiliating, to denote that repentance, self-denial, etc., are absolutely necessary to all who wish for redemption in the blood of the covenant; and the putting away this filth of the flesh showed the necessity of a pure heart and a holy life.

4. As eternal life is the free gift of God, he has a right to give it in what way he pleases, and on what terms. He says to Abraham and his seed, Ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and he that doth not so shall be cut off from his people. He says also to sinners in general, Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Repent, and believe the Gospel; and, Except ye repent, ye shall perish. These are the terms on which he will bestow the blessings of the old and new covenants. And let it be remembered that stretching out the hand to receive an alms can never be considered as meriting the bounty received, neither can repentance or faith merit salvation, although they are the conditions on which it is bestowed.

5. The precepts given under both covenants were accompanied with a promise of the Messiah. God well knows that no religious rite can be properly observed, and no precept obeyed, unless he impart strength from on high; and he teaches us that that strength must ever come through the promised seed. Hence, with the utmost propriety, we ask every blessing through him, in whom God is well pleased.

6. The precept, the promise, and the rite, were prefaced with, "I am God all-sufficient; walk before me, and be thou perfect." God, who is the sole object of religious worship, has the sole authority to prescribe that worship, and the rites and ceremonies which shall be used in it; hence he prescribed circumcision and sacrifices under the old law, and baptism and the eucharist under the Gospel; and to render both effectual to the end of their institution, faith in God was indispensably necessary.

7. Those who profess to believe in him must not live as they list, but as he pleases. Though redeemed from the curse of the law, and from the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish Church, they are under the law to Christ, and must walk before him - be in all things obedient to that moral law which is an emanation from the righteousness of God, and of eternal obligation; and let it ever be remembered that Christ is "the author of eternal salvation to all that obey him." Without faith and obedience there can be no holiness, and without holiness none can see the Lord. Be all that God would have thee to be, and God will be to the"' all that thou canst possibly require. He never gives a precept but he offers sufficient grace to enable thee to perform it. Believe as he would have thee, and act as he shall strengthen thee, and thou wilt believe all things savingly, and do all things well.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Genesis 17:10-14,26,27 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your seed after you; Every man child among you shall be circumcised...

Genesis 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD...

Genesis 34:24 And to Hamor and to Shechem his son listened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised...

Joshua 5:2-9 At that time the LORD said to Joshua, Make you sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time...

Psalm 119:60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep your commandments.

Proverbs 27:1 Boast not yourself of to morrow; for you know not what a day may bring forth.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave...

Acts 16:3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters...

Romans 2:25-29 For circumcision truly profits, if you keep the law: but if you be a breaker of the law, your circumcision is made uncircumcision...

Romans 4:9-12 Comes this blessedness then on the circumcision only, or on the uncircumcision also...

1 Corinthians 7:18,19 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised...

Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Consecration to God --Illustrated by Abraham's Circumcision
Let me remind you of the order in which these blessings come. If we should speak of sanctification or consecration, it is not as a first thing, but as an elevation to be reached only by preceding stepping-stones. In vain do men pretend to be consecrated to God before they are called of God's Spirit; such have yet to be taught that no strength of nature can suffice to serve the Lord aright. They must learn what this meaneth, "Ye must be born again," for assuredly until men are brought into spiritual
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 14: 1868

Balaam's Prophecy. (Numb. xxiv. 17-19. )
Carried by the Spirit into the far distant future, Balaam sees here how a star goeth out of Jacob and a sceptre riseth out of Israel, and how this sceptre smiteth Moab, by whose enmity the Seer had been brought from a distant region for the destruction of Israel. And not Moab only shall be smitten, but its southern neighbour, Edom, too shall be subdued, whose hatred against Israel had already been prefigured in its ancestor, and had now begun to display Itself; and In general, all the enemies of
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

All are Commanded to Pray --Prayer the Great Means of Salvation
CHAPTER I. ALL ARE COMMANDED TO PRAY--PRAYER THE GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION, AND POSSIBLE AT ALL TIMES BY THE MOST SIMPLE. Prayer is nothing else but the application of the heart to God, and the interior exercise of love. St Paul commands us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. v. 17). Our Lord says: "Take ye heed, watch and pray." "And what I say unto you, I say unto all" (Mark xiii. 33, 37). All, then, are capable of prayer, and it is the duty of all to engage in it. But I do not think that all are
Jeanne Marie Bouvières—A Short Method Of Prayer And Spiritual Torrents

Nature of Covenanting.
A covenant is a mutual voluntary compact between two parties on given terms or conditions. It may be made between superiors and inferiors, or between equals. The sentiment that a covenant can be made only between parties respectively independent of one another is inconsistent with the testimony of Scripture. Parties to covenants in a great variety of relative circumstances, are there introduced. There, covenant relations among men are represented as obtaining not merely between nation and nation,
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Cross References
Genesis 14:14
When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan.

Genesis 17:9
Then God said to Abraham, "As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.

Genesis 17:11
You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

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