The name of
Abram is changed to
Abraham, and new
promises are given for his new son, Isaac
Abram was ninety
years old and nine, the Lord appeared to
Abram, and said
unto him, I am the Almighty
God; walk before
me, and be thou perfect.
And I will make my covenant between me and
thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
Abram fell on his
face: and God talked
with him, saying,
As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee,
and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Neither shall thy name any more be called
Abram, but thy
name shall be
Abraham; for a
father of many
nations have I made thee.
And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and
I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
And I will establish my covenant between me
and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an
everlasting covenant, to be a
God unto thee, and
to thy seed after thee.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed
after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land
of Canaan, for an
everlasting possession; and I will be their
appeared to Abram again
when he was ninety-nine years old and requested, "be thou perfect"
God's Laws ("walk before
me"). The result of following His Laws would be: "I will make my
covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly." So still there was a requirement for the promises which
God gave to
Abram, that is, he should
God's Laws and be perfect.
<2>Also a new chapter started in
God's relationship with
God changed his name from
Abram (which has become
synonymous to mean "father of one [nation]") to
Abraham, "father of
many [nations]." <3>With this, it seems that
God had changed His
God had promised
Abram that He would make
"a great nation" of him, but now He promised he would be "a father
of many nations." The truth is that it is
Abraham who would be the father of many nations.
God changed his name from
Abraham and said, "I
have made thee [the
Abraham] a father of
many nations." So it is
Abraham who would be the father of many nations, not
is the father of a great nation, whose seed was Ishmael, so the
promise also belongs to Ishmael. However,
Abraham would have a son by the name of Isaac who would create
many nations, and Isaac's father is
<5>"And I will make nations of thee," and "kings
shall come out of thee." Here are two completely different promises,
a promise of material possession which is "nations," and a promise
of spiritual domination, "kings."
promised to give to his seed (Isaac) all the land of
Canaan. This time
God gave a definite name as
to which land He was going to give to Isaac. There was a definite
boundary about the land that would be given to him. But in the case
of the promises given before (to
Abram), many lands with
no boundaries would be given to his seed.
<7>So we can see that not only was the name of
Abram changed to
Abraham, but a
completely new relationship was established between
Abraham. These promises
also are completely different than the previous ones.
shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee
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.
And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your
foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and
And he that is eight days old shall be
circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he
is born in the house, or bought with money of any
stranger, which is not of thy seed.
He that is born in thy house, and he that is
bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my
covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh
of his foreskin is not circumcised, that
soul shall be cut off
from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
<8>The sign of the covenant was that all males
should be circumcised.
Abraham, As for
Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah
her name be.
And I will bless her, and give thee a son of
her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of
kings of people shall be of her.
<9>The name of
Abraham's wife also was
changed from Sarai to Sarah. With this she was blessed to have a
son. It is here again that the promise of "many nations" and "kings"
was given to her seed, which is Isaac.
upon his face, and 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 old, bear?
God, O that Ishmael
might live before thee!
could not believe that he would have a child at that age and from
his ninety year old wife. That is why he asked
God if these promises could be fulfilled through Ishmael, whom
he already had from Hagar, "that Ishmael might live before thee."
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 everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee:
Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall be begat,
and I will make him a great nation.
But my covenant will I establish with Isaac,
which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next
Abraham was thinking,
and that is why He said to him, "Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a
son indeed." He assured
Abraham that He had
decided it would happen so it surely ("indeed") would occur.
repeated His promises which were given to
about his seed (Ishmael). He said, "As for Ishmael,...I have blessed
him." That is, "I have already blessed him and promised what I will
do about him." <13>Abraham
could not believe he would have another son, so he asked if also
these promises would be fulfilled by Ishmael.
<14>That is why
here repeated the promises He had given about Ishmael: "And [I] will
make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly;...and I will
make him a great nation." So again
God showed that the previous promises which were given to
were about Ishmael. He had already blessed him, and would multiply
him as the number of the stars, give him a large territory, and make
"a great nation" from him. These all are the same promises
previously given to
Abram. <15>Also He had
blessed Ishmael, which is, spiritual domination (scepter).
<16>"But my covenant will I establish with
Isaac." However, this covenant and also all the new promises He gave
Abram's name became
Abraham would be with
his son Isaac. With this,
God separated the promises
given before and after the name change from
Abraham and Sarai to