Genesis 17:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.

King James Bible
And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

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

World English Bible
I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you. Kings will come out of you.

Young's Literal Translation
and I have made thee exceeding fruitful, and made thee become nations, and kings go out from thee.

Genesis 17:6 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Thy name shall be Abraham - Abram אברם literally signifies a high or exalted father. Ab-ra-ham אברהם differs from the preceding only in one letter; it has ה he before the last radical. Though this may appear very simple and easy, yet the true etymology and meaning of the word are very difficult to be assigned. The reason given for the change made in the patriarch's name is this: For a father of many nations have I made thee, אב המון גוים ab-hamon goyim, "a father of a multitude of nations." This has led some to suppose that אברהם Abraham, is a contraction for אב רב המון ab-rab-hamon, "the father of a great multitude."

Aben Ezra says the name is derived from אביר המון abir-hamon, "a powerful multitude."

Rabbi Solomon Jarchi defines the name cabalistically, and says that its numeral letters amount to two hundred and forty-eight, which, says he, is the exact number of the bones in the human body. But before the ה he was added, which stands for five, it was five short of this perfection.

Rabbi Lipman says the ה he being added as the fourth letter, signifies that the Messiah should come in the fourth millenary of the world.

Clarius and others think that the ה he, which is one of the letters of the Tetragrammaton, (or word of four letters, יהוה YeHoVaH), was added for the sake of dignity, God associating the patriarch more nearly to himself, by thus imparting to him a portion of his own name.

Having enumerated so many opinions, that of William Alabaster, in his Apparatus to the Revelation, should not be passed by. He most wisely says that ab-ram or ab-rom signifies father of the Romans, and consequently the pope; therefore Abraham was pope the first! This is just as likely as some of the preceding etymologies.

From all these learned as well as puerile conjectures we may see the extreme difficulty of ascertaining the true meaning of the word, though the concordance makers, and proper name explainers find no difficulty at all in the case; and pronounce on it as readily and authoritatively as if they had been in the Divine council when it was first imposed.

Hottinger, in his Smegma Orientale, supposes the word to be derived from the Arabic root rahama, which signifies to be very numerous. Hence ab raham would signify a copious father or father of a multitude. This makes a very good sense, and agrees well with the context. Either this etymology or that which supposes the inserted ה he to be an abbreviation of the word המן hamon, multitude, is the most likely to be the true one. But this last would require the word to be written, when full, אב רם המון ab-ram-hamon.

The same difficulty occurs, Genesis 17:15, on the word Sarai, שרי which signifies my prince or princess, and Sarah, שרה where the whole change is made by the substitution of a ה he for a י yod. This latter might be translated princess in general; and while the former seems to point out her government in her own family alone, the latter appears to indicate her government over the nations of which her husband is termed the father or lord; and hence the promise states that she shall be a mother of nations, and that kings of people should spring from her. See Genesis 17:15, Genesis 17:16.

Now as the only change in each name is made by the insertion of a single letter, and that letter the same in both names, I cannot help concluding that some mystery was designed by its insertion; and therefore the opinion of Clarius and some others is not to be disregarded, which supposes that God shows he had conferred a peculiar dignity on both, by adding to their names one of the letters of his own: a name by which his eternal power and Godhead are peculiarly pointed out.

From the difficulty of settling the etymology of these two names, on which so much stress seems to be laid in the text, the reader will see with what caution he should receive the lists of explanations of the proper names in the Old and New Testaments, which he so frequently meets with, and which I can pronounce to be in general false or absurd.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Genesis 17:4,20 As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations...

Genesis 35:11 And God said to him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of you...


Genesis 17:16 And I will bless her, and give you a son also of her: yes, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations...

Genesis 36:31 And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.


Ezra 4:20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, which have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom...

Matthew 1:6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;


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 17:16
I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her."

Genesis 26:22
He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, "Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land."

Genesis 28:3
May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.

Genesis 35:11
And God said to him, "I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants.

Genesis 36:31
These were the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned:

Genesis 41:52
The second son he named Ephraim and said, "It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering."

Genesis 47:27
Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.

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