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God establishes the covenant of circumcision
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
God’s promise to the first patriarch, Abraham, which functions as the basis for Israel’s covenant with Yahweh.The Abrahamic covenant marks a transition in Genesis’ account of God’s initiated redemption of the world (Gen 12:1–3, 7; 13:14–17; 15:4–21; 17:4–16; 22:15–18). Initially made to the patriarch while he was still under the name Abram (“exalted father”; 12:1–3; 13:14–18), the promise would later be expanded to a cosmic dimension in such a way as to necessitate a change of title: Abram becomes Abraham (“father of many”; 17:5–8). While the promise/covenant remains with Israel alone, it moves from the particular of Gen 12:1–3 to the universal of Gen 17:5–6. In the context of the entire biblical story, the Abrahamic promise can be seen as part of an “hourglass” shape: what begins with the universal (Gen 1–11) is subsequently narrowed to the particular (Gen 12:1–3; or more broadly, Gen 12 through the rest of the Old Testament), to open much later from within the early church (e.g., Acts 15; Wright, Climax, 16ff; Paul, 23).
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Abrahamic Promise
Abrahamic Covenant God’s promise to the first patriarch, Abraham, which functions as the basis for Israel’s covenant with Yahweh.The Abrahamic covenant marks a transition in Genesis’ account of God’s initiated redemption of the world (Gen 12:1–3, 7; 13:14–17; 15:4–21; 17:4–16; 22:15–18). Initially made
Abrahamic Promise, Critical Issues
Abrahamic Covenant, Critical Issues Scholars debate several aspects of the Abrahamic covenant—its historicity, unity, conditionality, form, and subsequent use.
Circumcision
Circumcision (מוּלָה‎, mulah; περιτομη, peritomē). The ritual act of incising or removing a male child’s foreskin eight days after birth (Gen 17:12; Lev 12:3; Luke 2:21). A sign of Abraham’s covenant with God (Gen 17:9–14).
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Circumcision
CIRCUMCISION. In the ancient Near East circumcision was widely practiced in two distinct forms: certain classes of Egyptian men, especially priests, slit the foreskin to let it hang free; many men from western Semitic groups in Syria and Palestine removed the foreskin altogether. The origins of the practice
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Circumcision
Circumcision. Surgical removal of the foreskin of the male reproductive organ. In Bible times circumcision was the seal of God’s covenant with Abraham (Gn 17:1–14). While circumcision originated as an ancient tribal or religious rite, since the early part of this century it has been practiced in Western
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Circumcision
Circumcision [Heb. mûl, mālal (Gen. 17:11), mûlôṯ (Ex. 4:26); Gk. peritémnō, peritomḗ]; also “without being circumcised” [Gk. di’ akrobystías] (Rom. 4:11). The custom of cutting off the foreskin (prepuce) of the male genital organ, usually as a religious rite, but today often simply hygienic.
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Circumcision
CIRCUMCISION Surgical removal of the foreskin of the male reproductive organ. In Bible times circumcision was the seal of God’s covenant with Abraham (Gn 17:1–14). While circumcision originated as an ancient tribal or religious rite, since the early part of this century it has been practiced in Western
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Circumcision
circumcision, the removal of the foreskin (prepuce) of the penis. In the ancient Near East, the practice varied. Some societies, including the Hebrews, completely amputated the prepuce, while other cultures (e.g., the Egyptians) made dorsal incisions upon the foreskin. According to Jer. 9:25–26, many
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Abrahamic Promise
ABRAHAMIC PROMISE. The promises given to Abraham embodied in the Abrahamic covenant first appear in (Gen 12:1–3), followed by three important confirmations and applications (Gen 13:14–17; 15:1–7; 17:1–19). The Abrahamic promise, first, concerned Abraham himself (q.v.). He was promised great personal
Circumcision
CIRCUMCISION (Heb. mûlâ, Gr. peritomē) Circumcision is literally the surgical removal of the prepuce or foreskin of the male sexual organ. Similar operations on women are known but are infrequent and religiously meaningless. Circumcision is practiced by many peoples, especially in tropical and subtropical
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Circumcision
CircumcisionThe removal of the foreskin from the penis. While practiced by some ancient Near Eastern peoples for various reasons and in specific ways, circumcision had a unique place in the worship and practice of the people of Israel.According to Genesis circumcision was first practiced by the patriarchs
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
Circumcision
CircumcisionPaul’s insistence that circumcision not be imposed on Gentile converts led to one of the most serious and fundamental controversies in the early church. The controversy over Paul’s stance on circumcision is reflected in Acts 15, the letters to the Galatians and to the Romans, Philippians
Catholic Bible Dictionary
A. The Promise
A. The PromiseAbram came from Ur of the Chaldeans in Mesopotamia, as part of the clan of Terah (Gen 11:28). With his wife Sarai, his father, his brothers, and his nephew Lot, Abram moved from Ur to Haran in northern Mesopotamia (Gen 11:31). When Abram was seventy-five years old, he received a command
A. Three Promises
A. Three PromisesThe Lord made three promises to Abram: [1] “I will make of you a great nation”; [2] “I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse”; and [3] “in you all the families of the earth
B. The Abrahamic Covenant Anticipates Later Covenants
B. The Abrahamic Covenant Anticipates Later CovenantsSeen in the wider context of covenant history, the Abrahamic covenant anticipates the pattern of divine dealings with Israel and the nations in salvation history and the gradual fulfillment of the covenants in the Mosaic, Davidic, and New covenants:
Circumcision
CIRCUMCISION The rite of cutting away the foreskin from the male generative organ, performed on Jewish boys on their eighth day of life. In Israel, circumcision was not just a surgical procedure; it was primarily a religious rite. It was a sign of God’s covenant with Abraham (Gen 17:10), and no man could
Key passages
Ge 17:1–22

When Abram was ninety-nine years old Yahweh appeared to Abram. And he said to him, “I am El-Shaddai; walk before me and be blameless so that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell …

See also
Ne 9:7–8; Ac 7:8; Ro 4:11;