Abraham’s circumcision covenant

The Abrahamic circumcision covenant narrative is found in the P Source, in Genesis 17, and elsewhere in P in Genesis, but it is likely to have been a late element in P.

While circumcision was an important part of actual Jewish religious practices, it only received occasional mentions in the rest of the Pentateuch.

Since the clear purpose of the writers of the P Source was to clearly define Jewish religious practices, this fact represents a strong incentive to include it here, notionally inserting it at the very beginning of the Abrahamic religion.

Yet when dealing with Abraham, there was no need for such a covenant regarding circumcision since it is likely that circumcision was practiced by many who spoke Semitic languages. It was also practised by the Egyptians. For easily accessible references to both of these cases, see Jeremiah 9:25-26.

On this basis, this (new) special covenant with Abraham dealing specifically with circumcision appears to be unnecessary and therefore anachronistic.