Gen 17; 18: "The work of the Elohim in the life of Abram draws
him nearer to the great moment of his life: the expression of the covenant, and
to see the goodness of Yahweh in the provision of a son as the medium of the
divine promises. Gen 17 provides the background to the covenant, and Gen 18 to
the preparation for a son. So Yahweh instructed his man of faith:  The
covenant extended and renewed: Gen 17:1-8.  The token of the covenant
revealed: vv 9-14.  The covenant confirmed: vv 15-22.  The token accepted:
"Then Abraham experiences a visit from the Elohim, recorded in
Gen 18.  Visitors for Abraham: Gen 18:1-8.  A son is promised: vv 9-15.
 Impending destruction of Sodom revealed to Abram: vv 16-22.  Abraham
pleads for his nephew: vv 23-33.
"In view of the threatened and impending destruction of Sodom,
Abraham pleaded for the righteous as his seed proclaims the Gospel today. Even
as he laboured in pleading, the Destroying Angels were approaching the doomed
city. The Sodomites were oblivious to the impending destruction; so also was
Lot. Abraham alone knew the fate of the city, as we do the state of the world
today. Thus Abraham's eloquent and urgent appeal (cp Luk 17:28-30). But when it
came to ten only in Sodom (Gen 18:32), Abraham concluded his appeal, as he knew
that there were at least ten in Lot's immediate family. What a sad state
concludes the chapter" (GEM).
"If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand"
The promise of Isaac: the seed of the Abraham
NINETY-NINE YEARS OLD: 24 years since Abraham entered
the Land: "So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram
was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran" (Gen 12:4).
THE LORD: Cp Gen 18:1, angels!
ALMIGHTY: "Shaddai", from rt "shadad" = to be powerful.
By impl, to ravage. "Shadad" is translated "destroy" (Pro 11:3), "destroyer"
(Job 15:21), "spoiler" (Jer 6:26; 15:8; 51:48,53,56). Other words derive from
"shad", such as "breast", pap, teat. Thus, EL as the "nourisher".
THE LORD ALMIGHTY: "El Shaddai": Gen 28:3; 35:11;
43:14; 49:25; 2Co 6:18. "Strength of the Destroyers".
WALK BEFORE ME: Walking in relation to God: (1) Before:
here -- security, presence; (2) After: Deu 13:4 -- service, obedience; (3) With:
Gen 5:24; 6:9 -- fellowship; (4) In: Col 2:6 -- full union.
BLAMELESS (PERFECT): Cp Gen 6:9. The word "perfect"
means "upright or sincere" (AV mg). Righteous men such as Noah, Jacob, and Job
all were described by this Heb word, or a form of it. Jesus said in Mat 5:48:
"Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." The Gr "teleios" sig
completeness or maturity. So if Abraham really did, in a spiritual sense, "walk
before God", he would be showing his godly and upright character.
CONFIRM: "Establish" or "give" or "make". Not sw as Gen
MY COVENANT: God begins to implement His covenant,
already given in Gen 15.
I WILL GREATLY INCREASE YOUR NUMBERS (WILL MULTIPLY THEE
EXCEEDINGLY): "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude
that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing
before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and
were holding palm branches in their hands" (Rev 7:9).
ABRAM FELL FACEDOWN: Humility, extreme
GOD SAID TO HIM: When man is in the dust, God can speak
to him of grace!
A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS: In ct to one nation. A
multitude of "goyim" (ie Gentiles); thus the widening of the promise: HAW. Cp
Rom 4:16,17; Gal 3:29.
ABRAM: "Father of a height": ref Abraham's pagan
ABRAHAM: "Hamon" = "a multitude, as of swelling of
springs, or voices of singers" (Gesenius).
KINGS WILL COME FROM YOU: Fulfilled in (1) line of
David; (2) Jesus (Luk 1:32,33) and (3) immortalized saints (Mat 19:28; Rev
5:9,10; 17:24; 20:4; Isa 32:1). By ct, Ishmael had princes (v 2), and Esau had
dukes (Gen 36).
From Abraham came the line of David culminating in Christ (Mat
1:1). Also the immortal saints in the kingdom age are described in Rev as "kings
and priests reigning on the earth" (Rev 5:10). Heb intensive plural to describe
one really great "something" (Isa 53:9, AV mg; Zec 6:11; Num 5:29,14; Dan 2:1,5;
2Ch 16:14; Oba 1:21). So the one really great king coming from Abraham (ie
Jesus). In Gen 17: 20 Ishmael would beget 12 "princes", and in Gen 36 that
"dukes" would come from Esau. In both cases these Heb words are not the same as
"kings" (melek) in Gen 17:6, and in neither case is the word ever translated
"king". So this passage applies to the kings coming thru David, incl Christ,
rather than Ishmael or later on Esau and their descendants.
GENERATIONS: "Circles of time": The Abraham covenant
was for all peoples and times as a Memorial.
TO BE YOUR GOD: This phrase is often repeated in the OT
in ref to the Jews (Jer 31:33; Eze 11:20; Zec 13:9), and occasionally in the NT
in ref to Christians (Heb 8:10; 2Co 6:16).
Ct Act 7:5: "He gave him no inheritance here, not even a foot
of ground. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would
possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child."
MY COVENANT: Or, "the seal of my covenant".
CIRCUMCISED: Abraham openly assents to this.
Circumcision was only the outward sign of an inward disposition. As the rite was
not displayed to open view, so the true keeping of the covenant, in heart, is
not a matter of external appearance. Cp Deu 30:6; Rom 2:25-29; Col 3:11. See Elp
250. Circumcision was the lit cutting off of the flesh... sym of sin nature or
sinful thinking or sinful actions. So the act of circumcising was an outward act
pointing to a spiritual need. Only an indirect correspondence between
circumcision and baptism: only males were circumcised. Also, people are baptized
only when they are old enough to know and believe the gospel and to repent. A
similarity is that in baptism one's sins are forgiven and in circumcision the
"flesh" of sin is cut off. In each, one enters into a covenant with God as well.
Faith supersedes circumcision: Rom 4:11,12; Gal 5:2.
Circumcision of the flesh: repudiation (cutting of) of flesh:
Gal 5:24. In AV, "foreskin" = "prepuce". From rt "arel" = to be naked, unclean.
Nakedness sym sin: Gen 3:11; Rev 3:18. Circumcision is a cutting off of sin's
flesh. Being situated in the organ of generation, God's mark of circumcision
brought home to the individual that he was a member of the divine family. His
redemption would not be thru the flesh. History of circumcision: prob practiced
by other nations, esp Egypt, before Abraham's day. But only now consecrated as a
religious rite (Spk).
3 provisions, related to: age, sex, and status.
God promises to save all classes: Jews (born in house) and
Gentiles (bought with money) thru a common rite of circumcision (Rom 2:26-29) --
a cutting off of flesh.
Death will also be the penalty of those who neglect spiritual
circumcision (cp Rev 21:8).
The same letter "h" is added to Sarai's name as to Abram's
name. The "h" plus "yod" = "Yah"!
"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from
him" (Psa 127:3).
FACEDOWN: Prostration, humility, prayer.
LAUGHED: Not the laughter of doubt, but of joy and hope
based on faith: Joh 8:56; Rom 4:19. Note the question of amazed
SARAH: Note: Abraham is already using Sarah's new name,
given her by God.
Abraham believed God's promise, thru Sarah. He knew that Isaac
would be true seed (v 17), and he had abandoned thought that Ishmael would be
the heir, and he wished only that God would favor Ishmael in some small way (v
20) (WAbr 73).
The seed to be called "through Isaac": Gen 21:12. "Isaac" =
"laughter" (v 17). The covenant to be renewed to Isaac: Gen 26:1-4. And to his
seed (Jacob) after him: Gen 28:13,14.
Sarah repr the new covenant: Jerusalem above (Gal 5:24), the
barren that shall bear (Isa 54:1), the ecclesia.
EVERLASTING COVENANT: Typ Christ: Luk 1:68-71; Rom
A GREAT NATION: The Arabian (Moslem) empire, from India
to Atlantic at one time. Today, the many members of the Arab
The angel ascended from him into the heavens.
All the men of Abraham's camp were circumcised the same day (v
26), and thus incapacitated -- ie unable to defend against attack. Men of faith
today are circumcised in heart, rendered unable to wage fleshly warfare during
the days of their probation. Like Abraham's camp, they will be entirely
dependent upon Yahweh's protection.
THIRTEEN: 13 = attitude of rebellion: Gen 14:4; cp 1Ki
6:38; 7:7; Est 3:12,13. In Gen 49:9, "evil days" = 130 (13x10) years! Deu 14:
unclean animals are 26 (2x13)! 2Co 11:24: 40 stripes less one = 39