In Rom 4 and elsewhere, Paul indicates that the Jews had been radically misusing circumcision. According to Paul, circumcision pointed to the covenant righteousness that Yahweh had reckoned to Abraham on account of his faith. Paul says that circumcision was the “seal of righteousness” but Genesis 17 talks about circumcision as the “sign of the covenant,” and Paul’s transformation of the language shows that he understood “righteousness” as a covenantal term. Thus, when Isaac was circumcised his circumcision pointed to the covenant standing that he had through the faith of his father. The sign showed that he was in that covenant, a recipient of the covenant promises that had been given through Abe, that he was the beginning of a new generation of covenant partners with Yahweh. Circumcision was, as NT Wright has put it, a pointer to faith, or more precisely to righteousness through faith.