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that I will bless you, yes, bless you, and I will make your seed many, yes, many, like the stars of the heavens and like the sand that is on the seashore. And your seed will possess the gate of his enemies. Bible

“bless you, yes, bless you.” The Hebrew text has the figure of speech polyptoton, using “bless” twice in the sentence but inflected in different ways. A more literal translation might be, “in blessing I will bless you.” [For more on the figure polyptoton, and the emphasis it brings, as well as the way it is translated in the REV, see commentary on Genesis 3:16].

“make your seed many, yes, many.” The Hebrew text has the figure of speech polyptoton, using the Hebrew word “increase” twice in the sentence but inflected in different ways. A more literal translation might be, “in increasing I will increase your seed.” The double polyptoton in this verse powerfully emphasizes the blessing of God on Abraham and extending to his offspring. This blessing was not due to anything Abraham could have done on his own, but was in the plan and purpose of God to have a family and save that family through the man, Jesus Christ. God promised Abraham that his seed would be a great multitude on a number of different occasions (Gen. 12:2; 13:16; 15:5; 16:10 (via Hagar); Gen. 17:6; 22:17).

[For more on the figure polyptoton, and the emphasis it brings, as well as the way it is translated in the REV, see commentary on Genesis 3:16].


Commentary for: Genesis 22:17