God comes to Abram, tells him to change his name to Abraham and to change his wife’s name to Sarah and that if he circumcises all the men in his house, he will bring great wealth to his family. Ishmael shall have 12 princes as sons and Abraham’s wife shall finally bear him a son who shall be named Isaac and God plans to continue his covenant with Isaac. So, Abram (now Abraham) circumcises himself, Ishmael and everyone other male in the household.
In other words:
God tells Abram to change his name to Abraham and that if he will circumcise all the men in his house, he will be blessed.
What I think really happened:
Abram/Abraham seems to be schizophrenic and hearing voices and seeing people. because the nature of his interactions with “God” are really weird. Seriously, what kind of God requires the cutting of thousands of penises in order to make a deal. It seems more like a joke than a real deal. (Genesis 17:10)
On the other hand:
Everything we are told that God will do does indeed happen and Abraham and his family and his offspring thrive for quite a while. (Next few chapters)
I think it is really funny that that is the price of the covenant, circumcision. Again, seems so random and bizarre. (Genesis 17:10)
Most interesting bit:
God is very specific about his relationships. It’s not with everyone, just certain people who are descendant from his original two playthings Adam and Eve. Everyone else, he’s not that interested in and even then, only certain people in the lineage are considered interesting enough for him to bother with.
Moral Lesson Learned:
Crazy people are capable of doing some really strange things (Genesis 17:24-27)