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The Commandment Of Circumcision And The Election Of Israel (15:25–34)

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Chapter Summary

Israel’s election signifies that the Lord has adopted them for himself. The other nations also belong to God, but they do not have the same direct relationship that Israel has. The Lord “made spirits rule over” the nations and they attempt “to lead them astray from following him.” The biblical story concludes with the circumcision of Ishmael and all the males in Abraham’s house, in accordance with the original divine commandment. The rewriting of Genesis 17 presented in Jubilees. 15:1–24 generally follows the biblical text. However, at the end of the passage there is a significant change concerning Ishmael’s status. The general context of Jub. 15, the covenant of circumcision, led to a misunderstanding of the expression which originally referred to the everlasting status of the law. The main interest of the legal passage is Israel’s special status as compared to the other nations.

Keywords: Abraham; biblical text; divine commandment; Genesis; Ishmael; Israel; Jubilees



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