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1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. 3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. 9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. 12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. 15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. 17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? 18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! 19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. 22 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. 23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. 24 And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, 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 selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. 27 And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.

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1 Cary W = "This is the birth of the nation of Israel, later to become the Jewish faith and people.  This is also the second major covenant God makes with a group of individuals, the first being with Noah.  This covenant is why the Jewish have such strong faith in their God.  It is also why Jesus made emphasis that all of us gentiles that believe become grafted into this tree, the people, tribes and nations of Israel."
2 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Why specifically does God require the nation of Israel to circumcise their foreskin, wouldn't it have been better to place a "mark" somewhere else on the body so that others can see it? Why was this area specifically chosen?The male sexual desire is a man's strongest drive and like most creatures on earth this instinct is the hardest to control. By circumcising the flesh of the male genitalia, God is reminding us that we are not animals which have a desire they can't control but humans created in the image of God. This is why this covenant is "everlasting" and was never nullified. Just as human nature doesn't change, so too the need to control our impulses doesn't change. God was telling Abraham that by marking the flesh of his foreskin and following his commandments, he and his descendants would be "above" the animalistic nature of other nations which used sex in a depraved manner. By following the Creator's command to "be fruitful and multiply" we turn a selfish act into the ultimate act of love and procreation."
3 Cary W = "God's covenants usually require the shedding of blood, but now requiring such a thing, seems rather severe.  Science today does not  support the veracity of such an action for hygiene, so religious reasons remains the reason it is still carried out.  Paul admonishes the uncircumcised to remain that way, including infants, and that we should rather concentrate on circumcision of the heart."