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.
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. 6 Kings of countries 7 will come from her!”
17:20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you. 8 I will indeed bless him, make him fruitful, and give him a multitude of descendants. 9 He will become the father of twelve princes; 10 I will make him into a great nation.
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.
6 tn Heb “she will become nations.”
7 tn Heb “peoples.”
9 tn Heb “And I will multiply him exceedingly, exceedingly.” The repetition is emphatic.
10 tn For a discussion of the Hebrew word translated “princes,” see E. A. Speiser, “Background and Function of the Biblical Nasi’,” CBQ 25 (1963): 111-17.