XVII This chapter contains articles of agreement betwixt the great Jehovah, the father of mercies, and pious Abram, the father of the faithful. Mention was made of this covenant, chap. xv, 18. but here it is particularly drawn up. Here are,
I. The circumstances of the making of this covenant, the time and manner, ver. 1. and the posture Abram was in, ver. 3.
II. The covenant itself, in the particular instances.
1. That he should be the father of many nations, ver.4. 6. and in token of that his name was changed, ver. 5.
2. That God would be a God to him and his seed, and would give them the land of Canaan, ver. 7, 8. and the seal of this part of the covenant was circumcision, ver. 9-14.
3. That he should have a son by Sarai, and in token of that her name was changed, ver. 15, 16. This promise Abraham received, ver. 17. And his request for Ishmael, (ver. 18.) was answered abundantly to his satisfaction, ver. 19-22.
III. The circumcision of Abraham and his family, according to God's appointment, ver. 23-27.
- In some visible
Verse 1. And when Abram was ninety nine years old - Full thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael. So long the promise of Isaac was deferred;
1. Perhaps to correct Abram's over-hasty marrying of Hagar.
2. That Abram and Sarai being so far striken in age, God's power in this matter might be the more magnified. The Lord appeared unto Abram