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Genesis 17:4 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be the father of a multitude of nations.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— As for me, behold, my covenant [is] with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— As for me, behold, my covenant [is] with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— It is I: behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of a multitude of nations.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— As for me, lo! my covenant is with thee,—So shalt thou become—father of a multitude of nations;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 'I—lo, My covenant [is] with thee, and thou hast become father of a multitude of nations;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And God said to him: I am, and my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— As for me, behold, my couenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And I, behold! my covenant [is] with thee, and thou shalt be a father of a multitude of nations.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— As for me, behold, my covenant [is] with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
As for me, 589
{0589} Prime
אֲנִי
'aniy
{an-ee'}
Contracted from H0595; I.
behold, x2009
(2009) Complement
הִנֵּה
hinneh
{hin-nay'}
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
my covenant 1285
{1285} Prime
בְּרִית
b@riyth
{ber-eeth'}
From H1262 (in the sense of cutting (like H1254)); a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh).
[is] with x854
(0854) Complement
אֵת
'eth
{ayth}
Probably from H0579; properly nearness (used only as a preposition or adverb), near; hence generally with, by, at, among, etc.
thee, and thou shalt be x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
a father 1
{0001} Prime
אָב
'ab
{awb}
A primitive word; father in a literal and immediate, or figurative and remote application.
of many 1995
{1995} Prime
הָמוֹן
hamown
{haw-mone'}
From H1993; a noise, tumult, crowd; also disquietude, wealth.
nations. 1471
{1471} Prime
גּוֹי
gowy
{go'-ee}
Apparently from the same root as H1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Genesis 17:4

_ _ my covenant is with thee — Renewed mention is made of it as the foundation of the communication that follows. It is the covenant of grace made with all who believe in the Savior.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis 17:4-6

_ _ The promise here is introduced with solemnity: “As for me,” says the great God, “behold, behold and admire it, behold and be assured of it, my covenant is with thee;” as before (Genesis 17:2), I will make my covenant. Note, The covenant of grace is a covenant of God's own making; this he glories in (as for me), and so may we. Now here,

_ _ I. It is promised to Abraham that he should be a father of many nations; that is, 1. That his seed after the flesh should be very numerous, both in Isaac and Ishmael, as well as in the sons of Keturah: something extraordinary is doubtless included in this promise, and we may suppose that the event answered to it, and that there have been, and are, more of the children of men descended from Abraham than from any one man at an equal distance with him from Noah, the common root. 2. That all believers in every age should be looked upon as his spiritual seed, and that he should be called, not only the friend of God, but the father of the faithful. In this sense the apostle directs us to understand this promise, Romans 4:16, Romans 4:17. He is the father of those in every nation that by faith enter into covenant with God, and (as the Jewish writers express it) are gathered under the wings of the divine Majesty.

_ _ II. In token of this his name was changed from Abram, a high father, to Abraham, the father of a multitude. This was, 1. To put an honour upon him. It is spoken of as the glory of the church that she shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name, Isaiah 62:2. Princes dignify their favourites by conferring new titles upon them; thus was Abraham dignified by him that is indeed the fountain of honour. All believers have a new name, Revelation 2:17. Some think it added to the honour of Abraham's new name that a letter of the name Jehovah was inserted into it, as it was a disgrace to Jeconiah to have the first syllable of his name cut off, because it was the same as the first syllable of the sacred name, Jeremiah 22:28. Believers are named from Christ, Ephesians 3:15. 2. To encourage and confirm the faith of Abraham. While he was childless perhaps even his own name was sometimes an occasion of grief to him: why should he be called a high father who was not a father at all? But now that God had promised him a numerous issue, and had given him a name which signified so much, that name was his joy. Note, God calls things that are not as though they were. It is the apostle's observation upon this very thing, Romans 4:17. He called Abraham the father of a multitude because he should prove to be so in due time, though as yet he had but one child.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Genesis 17:4

The promise is here introduced with solemnity: As for me, saith the Great God, Behold, behold and admire it, behold and be assured of it, my covenant is with thee. And thou shalt be a father of many nations — This implies, That his seed after the flesh should be very numerous, both in Isaac and in Ishmael, and in the sons of Keturah. And the event answered, for there have been, and are, more of the children of men descended from Abraham, than from any one man at equal distance with him from Noah, the common root. That all believers, in every age, should be looked upon as his spiritual seed, as the father of the faithful. In this sense the apostle directs us to understand this promise, Romans 4:16-17. He is the father of those, in every nation, that, by faith, enter into covenant with God, and (as the Jewish writers express it) are gathered under the wings of the divine majesty.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Genesis 17:4

As for me, behold, my covenant [is] with thee, and thou shalt be a (a) father of many nations.

(a) Not only physical descendants, but of a far greater multitude by faith, (Romans 4:17).

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
a father:

Genesis 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
Genesis 13:16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, [then] shall thy seed also be numbered.
Genesis 16:10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
Genesis 25:1-18 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name [was] Keturah. ... And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that [is] before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: [and] he died in the presence of all his brethren.
Genesis 32:12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
Genesis 35:11 And God said unto him, I [am] God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;
Genesis 36:1-43 Now these [are] the generations of Esau, who [is] Edom. ... Duke Magdiel, duke Iram: these [be] the dukes of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession: he [is] Esau the father of the Edomites.
Numbers 1:1-54 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first [day] of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, ... And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.
Numbers 26:1-65 And it came to pass after the plague, that the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying, ... For the LORD had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
Romans 4:11-18 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which [he had yet] being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: ... Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. ... And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

many nations:
Heb. multitude of nations
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Gn 12:2; 13:16; 16:10; 22:17; 25:1; 32:12; 35:11; 36:1. Nu 1:1; 26:1. Ro 4:11. Ga 3:28.

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