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Genesis 17:4-5

Context
17:4 “As for me, 1  this 2  is my covenant with you: You will be the father of a multitude of nations. 17:5 No longer will your name be 3  Abram. Instead, your name will be Abraham 4  because I will make you 5  the father of a multitude of nations.

1 tn Heb “I.”

2 tn Heb “is” (הִנֵּה, hinneh).

3 tn Heb “will your name be called.”

4 sn Your name will be Abraham. The renaming of Abram was a sign of confirmation to the patriarch. Every time the name was used it would be a reminder of God’s promise. “Abram” means “exalted father,” probably referring to Abram’s father Terah. The name looks to the past; Abram came from noble lineage. The name “Abraham” is a dialectical variant of the name Abram. But its significance is in the wordplay with אַב־הֲמוֹן (’av-hamon, “the father of a multitude,” which sounds like אַבְרָהָם, ’avraham, “Abraham”). The new name would be a reminder of God’s intention to make Abraham the father of a multitude. For a general discussion of renaming, see O. Eissfeldt, “Renaming in the Old Testament,” Words and Meanings, 70-83.

5 tn The perfect verbal form is used here in a rhetorical manner to emphasize God’s intention.



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