October 21, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

6  The added note that Abraham will be fertile (pārá) recalls the earlier use of this verb with the fish and fowl at creation (1:22), with Adam and Eve (1:28), and with Noah (9:1, 7); and the later use of the verb with Ishmael (17:20) and with Jacob (28:3; 35:11; 48:4). 47:27 records the actualization of that promise to Abraham and Jacob. Of course, Abraham has not been exceedingly fertile up to this point. The ʾaḇ (father) part of his destiny is not yet fulfilled, except for Ishmael.

Three times the pronominal suffix -kā (“you”) is used in this verse—once in each of the three clauses—pointing all the more to Abraham—“I will cause you … make of you nations … from you.” He is indeed the one God has chosen.

Abraham is further informed that part of his issue will be kings—not just gôyim, but melāḵîm. For similar promises of royal prosperity cf. v. 16; 35:11. He who earlier had not hesitated to challenge the powerful melāḵîm of the east (ch. 14) is now himself to become the founder of the royal line.[1]


17:6 kings will come forth from you. This promise highlights the reality of more than one people group, or nation in its own right, coming from Abraham.[2]


17:6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful. This promise echoes the divine blessing given at creation (1:28) and later repeated to Noah after the flood (9:1). kings shall come from you. Fruitfulness is associated with human beings’ exercising dominion over the earth on God’s behalf (1:28; 9:1–7). God’s covenant with Abraham anticipates the reestablishment of the creation mandate (i.e., Abraham is “another Adam,” a covenant representative). Through this covenant the negative effects of the fall will ultimately be reversed.[3]


17:6 kings shall go out from you The reference to fathering kings is not found in the earlier covenant statements of ch. 12 and Gen 15, but it appears again in v. 16 and 35:11. The later covenant with David and his dynasty (2 Sam 7) represents the ot fulfillment of this promise.[4]


Ver. 6.—And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee,—a promise fulfilled in the Ishmaelites, the descendants of Keturah, the Edomites, and the Israelites—and kings (e. g. David and Solomon) shall come out of thee.[5]


[1] Hamilton, V. P. (1990). The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17 (pp. 464–465). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ge 17:6). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (pp. 79–80). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ge 17:6). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Genesis (p. 233). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

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