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Archive for the ‘My Chiasmus Discoveries’ Category

Jude

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A number of chiasmi have been suggested for the epistle of Jude – many of which can be found on the net.

Following is my attempt.

Here’s the breakdown:

A/A’:  Jude’s intro and benediction.

B/C/DD’C’B’:  Words of blessing and encouragement regarding ‘mercy, love, faith … faith, love, mercy’.  (Note the chiastic reversal of the word order.  This is a nice, clear beginning/end clue that the entire book of Jude may have been written as a chiasmus.  When you see something like this, the possibility of an overall chiasmus is worth checking out.)

E/E’:  The overall problem is introduced.  E:  Ungodly persons have crept in “who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ”.  E’:  This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as it was spoken of previously by the apostles: “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts”.

F/F’This is Jude’s ‘main body’!  It addresses the problem directly.  It gives examples of disobedience and promises judgment.

F and F’ have 2 parts each:  F (1 and 2) … F’ (1 and 2).  And each of the 1 and 2 parts can be divided into an additional 2 parts (a and b):  F1 (a and b), F2 (a and b);  F’1 (a and b), F’2 (a and b).

Note:  this a/b pattern is continued in E’.

I hope that’s not too difficult to follow.  Anyway, continuing …

Both F1a and F’1a give 3 Old Testament examples of misbehavior and/or error.

Both F2a and F’2a refer to extra-Biblical pseudepigraphical texts (Assumption of Moses, Book of Enoch, respectively).  F2a mentions Michael the archangel.  F’2a refers to the Lord coming with “many thousands of His holy ones (angels)”, with presumably, though not stated specifically, Michael at the lead (see 1 Thess. 4:16).

The final a section in F’ gives the strongest warning.  Jesus will return with many angels and execute judgment!

Note how all the b sections in F through E’ use the word ‘these’ to refer to those in the church who are causing problems.  It’s interesting to read all these b sections in order.  It gives a nice description of the trouble makers.

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A   1  Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:  

B   2  May mercy

C   and peace and love be multiplied to you.  

D   3  Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.  

E   4  For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.  

F

1

a   5  Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.  6  And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,  7  just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.  

b   8  Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.  

2

a   9  But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”  

b   10  But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.  

F’

1

a   11  Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.  

b   12  These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;  13  wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.  

2

a   14  It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,  15  to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”  

b   16  These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.  

E’

a   17  But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,  18  that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.”  

b   19  These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.  

D’   20  But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith

C’   praying in the Holy Spirit,  21  keep yourselves in the love of God, 

B’   waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.  22  And have mercy on some, who are doubting;  23  save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

A’   24  Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,  25  to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

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DCF 1.0

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This chiasmus is part of a larger chiasmus (Revelation 1:4 – 3:22) that can be found here.

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The chiasmus below can be briefly outlined as follows:

A    God, the Father

B/C    Jesus

D/E/E’F’    The Church

C’/B’   Jesus

A’   God, the Father

The chiasmus can be read helically.  That is, it can be read in the order of it’s matches:  from A to A’, to B to B’, to C to C’, to D, E, E’, F’.  In my opinion, the passage actually becomes clearer when read this way:

(A)  “Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come – and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne.  (A’)  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”  (B)  And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  (B’)  Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.  (C)  To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood;  (C’)  to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  (D/E/E’/D’)  He has made us to be a kingdom; priests to His God and Father.”

(For another example of a passage that can be read helically, see Psalm 150.)

I think the center of this chiasmus is strong, focusing on the church as a kingdom of priests.  The center offers a little ‘high churchology’, if you will.  😉

The beginning and end have a match in God, the Father.  ‘God’ surrounds and centers the chiasmus – and more importantly, it’s message.

The reference to God as “Alpha and Omega” is interesting.  Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet, while Omega is the last.  The phrase’s meaning is that God is the first and the last, the beginning and the end.  In other words, He is the source of everything that is.  …  For me, it’s interesting as well because the chiasmus itself begins and ends with ‘God, the Father’.  It makes me wonder whether the writer is winking at us with this little phrase – perhaps with a small smile of creative satisfaction. ;-).

I like the way the second half ends each section with strength:  C’:  “Amen”; B’:  “Amen”; A’:  “The Almighty”.

Overall, I think this is a nice little chiasmus.  I like the beautiful, strong message in the center.  We are a kingdom … a kingdom of priests.  Wow!  Nice.

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4  John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

A    [Me:  God, the Father:]  Grace to you and peace, from Him  /  who is and who was and who is to comeand from the seven Spirits who are before His throne

B    [Me:  Jesus:]  5  and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth

C    [Me: Praise for Jesus (doxology – part a):]  To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood – 

D    (6  and He has made us to be

E    a kingdom,

E’   priests

D’   to His God and Father –)

C’   [Me: Praise for Jesus (doxology – part b):]  to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 

B’  [Me:  Jesus:]  7  Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. 

A’  [Me:  God, the Father:]  8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,  /  who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

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jesus-seven-candlesticks

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The detailed, central D E F G F’ E’ D’ section of the chiasmus is from this web site.  I’ve expanded it with A B C and C’ B’ A’.  Over all the chiasmus can be summarized as follows:

A    A message to the 7 churches

B    John hears

C    John sees

D E F G F’ E’ D’   The vision of Jesus in detail – with a ~loud ‘voice’ at the center.

C’   John sees

B’   John hears

A’    7 messages to the 7 churches

Perhaps the singular message to the seven churches in A should be kept in mind when reading the 7 separate messages in A’.  A is actually a chiasmus, though I haven’t presented it as such here (next post?).  The center of the A chiasmus emphasizes the church as a kingdom, made up of priests.  It’s very positive and helps to counterbalance some of the criticisms in A’.

I like B C C’ B’ (seeing and hearing).  These are the basic elements in John’s experience of the revelation.  John ‘sees’ and ‘hears’.  This perhaps also explains the match in E/E’: eyes (seeing) and mouth (voice/hearing).

B and B’ both contain quotes.  Included in each quote is the approximate statement, ~’write in a book/write the things you have seen’.  Both quotes end by referencing the seven churches.

I think the center is fitting.  It emphasizes the all-important ‘voice’ John hears – which is “like the sound of many waters” (see 1:10a).  …  A nice center, imo.

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[Me:  Revelation Intro (not part of the chiasmus):]    1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John,  2  who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.  3  Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

A    [Me: A message to the 7 churches:]    4  John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,  and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood –  and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father – to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

B    [Me: John hearing:]    9  I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,  /  saying: Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.

C    [Me: John seeing:]    Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. 

D    14  His headand His hair –  /  were white like white wool, like snow;

E    and His eyes were like a flame of fire. 

F    15  His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace,

G    and His voice was like the sound of many waters

F’   16  In His right hand He held seven stars,

E’   and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword;

D’   and His face  /  was like the sun shining in its strength.

C’   [Me: John seeing:]    17  When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man.

B’   [Me: John hearing:]    And He placed His right hand on me, saying: “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,  18  and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.  19  Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.  20  As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

A’    [Me: 7 separate messages to the 7 churches (2:1-3:22 … excerpts):]    2:1  “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:    …  …  2:8  “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:  …  …  2:12  “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:  …  …  2:18  “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:  …  …  3:1  “To the angel of the church in Sardis write:  …  …  3:7  “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:  …  …  3:14  “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:  … .

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stock-footage-reading-the-book-of-genesis-bible

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There are quite a few chiasmi in Genesis.  I was reading through Genesis 8-10 the other day and noticed the following six:

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8:22

20  Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.  21  The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

A   

22  While the earth remains,

B    [Me:  moving from cooler time of the year to warmer time of the year?  Seedtime to harvest?:]

a    Seedtime

b    and harvest,

C   

c    And cold

d    and heat,

C’  

d’   And summer

c’   and winter,

B’  

b’  (d”)  And day

a’   (c”)  and night

A’   Shall not cease.”

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9:6a:

A    “Whoever sheds

B    the blood

C    of man

C’   by man

B’   his blood

A’   shall be shed …”

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9:9-17:

8  Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, 

A

a    9  “Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you;  

b    10  and with every living creature

c    that is with you,

d    the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth

c’   with you – of all that comes out of the ark,

b’   even every beast of the earth. 

a’   11  I establish My covenant with you;

B    and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” 

C    12  God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations;  13  I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.  14  It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud,  15  and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh;

B’   and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh

A’   16 When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”  17  And God said to Noah, This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

[Me:  There is a match between the center and the end, a common feature in chiasmus: bow in the cloud; remembering.  At the same time, the author is able to match A’ with A via his ending comment, “… the covenant which I established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth”.]

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10:1-24

1 Now these are the records of the generations of

A    Shem,

B    Ham,

C    and Japheth, the sons of Noah; and sons were born to them after the flood. 

C’   2  The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras.  …  …

B’   6  The sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan.  …  …

A’   21  Also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, and the older brother of Japheth, children were born. 22 The sons of Shem were Elam and Asshur

a    and Arpachshad

b    and Lud and Aram.

b’   23  The sons of Aram were Uz and Hul and Gether and Mash.

a’   24  Arpachshad became the father of Shelah …

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crucifixion

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I think this is a chiasmus.  It requires some commentary, but for now I thought I would just post it.  🙂

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1  (For the choir director. A Psalm of David; for a memorial.)

A    a  O Godb  hasten to deliver me!

B    a  O LORD,  /  b  hasten to my help!

C    2  Let those be ashamed and humiliated

D    Who seek my life;

E    Let those be turned back and dishonored Who delight in my hurt.

E’   3  Let those be turned back because of their shame Who say, “Aha, aha!

D’   4  Let all who seek Thee

C’   rejoice and be glad in Thee – And let those who love Thy salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified.”

B’   5  But I am afflicted and needyb’  Hasten to me,  /  a’  O God!

A’   b’  Thou art my help and my deliverera’  O LORDdo not delay.

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The end of the chiasmus also appears to be a small chiasmus:

a    5b  Hasten to me,

b    O God!

c    Thou art my help and my deliverer;

b’   O LORD,

a’   do not delay.

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Empty Tomb Resurrection

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A   [Me: a positive beginning assertion:]    15:1  Now I make known to you, brethren,

a    the gospel  /  which I preached to you,  /  which also you received,

b    in which also you stand,

b’   2  by which also you are saved,

a’   the word  /  which I preached to you,  /  if you hold fast

B    [Me: a negative alternative:]   unless  [!!!]  in vain  [Me: Greek -‘eikay’]  you believed!

C    3  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

D    4  and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,  5  and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  6  After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;  7  then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;  8  and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.

E

1    9  For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.   10  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain  [Me: Greek = ‘kenos’].

2    But I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.  11  Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

F

a    12  Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead,

b    how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

b’   13  But if there is no resurrection of the dead,

a’   not even Christ has been raised;

E’

14  and if Christ has not been raised,

1′    then vain  [Me: Greek = ‘kenos’]  is    2′    our preaching

1′    and vain  [Me: Greek = ‘kenos’]  is    2′    your faith.

D’

a    15  Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God :

b    that He raised Christ,

c    whom He did not raise,

d    if in fact the dead are not raised.

d’   16  For if the dead are not raised,

c’   not even Christ has been raised;

b’   17  and if Christ has not been raised,

a’    your faith is worthless;

C’   [Me: D’ a’ continued:]  you are still in your sins.

B’   [Me: a negative possibility:]  18  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  19  If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

A’   [Me: a positive ending assertion:]  20  But  [!!!]  now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep !!!

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 marc-chagall-abraham-and-sarah-bible

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This chiasmus is fairly straight forward.

I like the double center.  It demonstrates that there are two ‘balanced’ parts to the covenant.  God plays a part (land and ‘being their God’), and Abraham and his descendants play a part (circumcision).

I also rather like the progressive build-up at the end of A, B, and C.  It goes from A, “I will multiply you exceedingly”, to B, “… you will be the father of a multitude of nations, to C, “… and kings shall come forth from you.”

I also like that C/C’ seems to bring out an equality between Abraham and Sarah.  They both have their names changed, and they both are given the same promise.  …  It’s a partnership.  Nice.

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A    17:1  Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.  2  “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly.”

B    3  And Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying,  4  “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.

1    5  “No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham;

2    For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations.  6  “And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you.

D    [Me:  God’s part:]

1

7  “And I will establish My covenant  /  between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.

2    8  “And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession – and I will be their God.”

D’   [Me:  Abraham’s part:]

1    9  God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant,  /  you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.

2    10  “This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you:  every male among you shall be circumcised.  11  “And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.  12  “And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants.  13  “A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.  14  “But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

C’

1    15  Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.

2    16  “And I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations;  /  kings of peoples shall come from her.”

B    17  Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed,

A    and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

 

[Me:  A question concerning Ishmael (fatherly concern):]    18  And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee!”  19  But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.  20  “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.  21  “But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.”  22  And when He finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.

[Me:  Abraham obeys his God:]    23  Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all the servants who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the very same day, as God had said to him.  24  Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.  25  And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.  26  In the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son.  27  And all the men of his household, who were born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

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