Genesis 17:25
And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
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(25) Ishmael. . . . was thirteen years old.—Hence the Mohammedans defer circumcision to the thirteenth year.

17:23-27 Abraham and all his family were circumcised; so receiving the token of the covenant, and distinguishing themselves from other families that had no part nor lot in the matter. It was an implicit obedience; he did as God said unto him, and did not ask why or wherefore. He did it because God bade him. It was a speedy obedience; in the self-same day. Sincere obedience makes no delay. Not only the doctrines of revelation, but the seals of God's covenant, remind us that we are guilty, polluted sinners. They show us our need of the blood of atonement; they point to the promised Saviour, and teach us to exercise faith in him. They show us that without regeneration, and sanctification by his Spirit, and the mortification of our corrupt and carnal inclinations, we cannot be in covenant with God. But let us remember that the true circumcision is that of the heart, by the Spirit, Ro 2:28,29. Both under the old and new dispensation, many have had the outward profession, and the outward seal, who were never sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.In the self-same day. - In this passage we have the prompt and punctual fulfillment of the command concerning circumcision detailed with all the minuteness due to its importance. Ishmael was thirteen years of age when he was circumcised. Josephus relates that the Arabs accordingly delay circumcision until the thirteenth year (Ant. I. 12. 2).

- The Visit of the Lord to Abraham

2. השׂתחיה vayı̂śtachû "bow," or bend the body in token of respect to God or man. The attitude varies from a slight inclination of the body to entire prostration with the forehead touching the ground.

6. סאה se'ah a "seah," about an English peck, the third part of an ephah. The ephah contained ten omers. The omer held about five pints.

This chapter describes Abraham's fellowship with God. On the gracious assurance of the Redeemer and Vindicator, "Fear not, I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward," he ceased to fear, and believed. On the solemn announcement of the Conqueror of evil and the Quickener of the dead, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be perfect," he began anew to walk with God in holiness and truth. The next step is, that God enters into communion with him as a man with his friend Isaiah 41:8; John 14:23. Hitherto he has appeared to him as God offering grace and inclining the will to receive it. Now, as God who has bestowed grace, he appears to him who has accepted it and is admitted into a covenant of peace. He visits him for the twofold purpose of drawing out and completing the faith of Sarah, and of communing with Abraham concerning the destruction of Sodom.

19, 20. The blessings of the covenant are reserved for Isaac, but common blessings were abundantly promised to Ishmael; and though the visible Church did not descend from his family, yet personally he might, and it is to be hoped did, enjoy its benefits. No text from Poole on this verse.

And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. Hence the Arabians, as Josephus (w) relates, circumcise their children when at thirteen years of age, because Ishmael, the founder of their nation, was circumcised at that age; and Origen (x) asserts the same; and with which agrees what an Arabic writer says (y) of the Arabians before Mahomet, that they used to circumcise at a certain age, between the tenth and fifteenth years of their age. So Rauwolff says (z), there are some, chiefly among the Arabians, that imitate their patriarch Ishmael. As for the Mahometans, though they circumcise, they do not always do it in the thirteenth year, as some write; for it is performed by them sometimes in the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, or sixteenth, and sometimes in the sixth or seventh year (a). The Egyptians, according to Ambrose (b), circumcised their children at fourteen years of age, which comes pretty near to the time of the Ishmaelites or Arabs, from whom they might receive circumcision, if not of the Israelites, as before observed. A certain traveller says (c), the modern Egyptians, as the rest of the Mahometans, are not circumcised until the thirteenth year. The Africans circumcise on the seventh day, which comes nearer to the Jews (d).

(w) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 12. sect. 2.((x) Philocalia, c. 23. p. 77. (y) Ebnol Athir apud Pocock. Specimen Arab. Hist. p. 319. (z) Travels, part 1. ch. 7. p. 59. by Ray. (a) Vid. Reland. de Relig. Mohammed. p. 75. (b) De Abraham, l. 2. c. 11. p. 266. (c) Baumgarten. Peregrin. l. 1. c. 16. (d) Leo. African. Descriptio Africae, l. 3. p. 33.

And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
25. Ishmael … thirteen years old] The mention of Ishmael and of his age, is of interest; for it implies (1) the fact that the Ishmaelite people practised circumcision; (2) the possible reminiscence of a variant custom by which it was performed at the age of thirteen years, instead of eight days; as in Israel, cf. Genesis 17:12. The modern Arabian use is said to be much later in life than that of the Jews, and in some cases corresponds with the age of Ishmael. A boy at 13 was regarded as on the threshold of manhood. Origen (Euseb. Praep. Evang. vi. 11) and Ambrose (de Abrah. ii. 348) mention fourteen as the age for the practice of the rite among the Egyptians.

Verse 25. - And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old (the same form of expression as above), when he was circumcised. Hence among the Arabs the ceremony is usually delayed till the thirteenth year (cf. Josephus, 'Ant.,' 1:13). Genesis 17:25When God had finished His address and ascended again, Abraham immediately fulfilled the covenant duty enjoined upon him, by circumcision himself on that very day, along with all the male members of his house. Because Ishmael was 13 years old when he was circumcised, the Arabs even now defer circumcision to a much later period than the Jews, generally till between the ages of 5 and 13, and frequently even till the 13th year.
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