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Genesis 17:4-8

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. 17:6 I will make you 6  extremely 7  fruitful. I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you. 8  17:7 I will confirm 9  my covenant as a perpetual 10  covenant between me and you. It will extend to your descendants after you throughout their generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 11  17:8 I will give the whole land of Canaan – the land where you are now residing 12  – to you and your descendants after you as a permanent 13  possession. I will be their God.”

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 This verb starts a series of perfect verbal forms with vav (ו) consecutive to express God’s intentions.

7 tn Heb “exceedingly, exceedingly.” The repetition is emphatic.

8 tn Heb “and I will make you into nations, and kings will come out from you.”

9 tn The verb קוּם (qum, “to arise, to stand up”) in the Hiphil verbal stem means “to confirm, to give effect to, to carry out” (i.e., a covenant or oath; see BDB 878-79 s.v. קוּם).

10 tn Or “as an eternal.”

11 tn Heb “to be to you for God and to your descendants after you.”

12 tn The verbal root is גּוּר (gur, “to sojourn, to reside temporarily,” i.e., as a resident alien). It is the land in which Abram resides, but does not yet possess as his very own.

13 tn Or “as an eternal.”

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