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Genesis 17:16-17

Context
17:16 I will bless her and will give you a son through her. I will bless her and she will become a mother of nations. 1  Kings of countries 2  will come from her!”

17:17 Then Abraham bowed down with his face to the ground and laughed 3  as he said to himself, 4  “Can 5  a son be born to a man who is a hundred years old? 6  Can Sarah 7  bear a child at the age of ninety?” 8 

1 tn Heb “she will become nations.”

2 tn Heb “peoples.”

3 sn Laughed. The Hebrew verb used here provides the basis for the naming of Isaac: “And he laughed” is וַיִּצְחָק (vayyitskhaq); the name “Isaac” is יִצְחָק (yitskhaq), “he laughs.” Abraham’s (and Sarah’s, see 18:12) laughter signals disbelief, but when the boy is born, the laughter signals surprise and joy.

4 tn Heb “And he fell on his face and laughed and said in his heart.”

5 tn The imperfect verbal form here carries a potential nuance, as it expresses the disbelief of Abraham.

6 tn Heb “to the son of a hundred years.”

7 sn It is important to note that even though Abraham staggers at the announcement of the birth of a son, finding it almost too incredible, he nonetheless calls his wife Sarah, the new name given to remind him of the promise of God (v. 15).

8 tn Heb “the daughter of ninety years.”



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