What does the Pasuk mean when it writes that Avraham "took" Yishmael and the other men of his household?
Ohr Ha'Chayim: Bearing in mind that Yishmael was already 13, Avraham took him with words - he convinced him (and the other members of his household) verbally 1 that this was the right thing to do, because he wanted them to perform the Mitzvos of HaSh-m willingly, not by force.
What is the significance of the phrase "be'Etzem ha'Yom ha'Zeh" in this verse?
Rashi #1 and Seforno: Avraham performed the Mitzvah immediately, on the same day that he was instructed.
Rashi #2: He was not afraid of those 1 who would try to stop him from fulfilling HaSh-m's command. That is why the Torah adds that he performed the Mitzvah by day, 2 so that nobody would be able to subsequently claim that, had they known about it, they would not have let him do it.
Why does the Torah see fit to add the words, "like HaSh-m spoke to him," which seem to add nothing to the context?
Ohr Ha'Chayim #1: It is telling us that speaking to them softly (refer to 17:23:1:1) was itself by Divine command.
Ohr Ha'Chayim #2: It teaches us that Avraham did not delay carrying out HaSh-m's command, thereby demonstrating his Midas ha'Zerizus (alacrity).
Ohr Ha'Chayim #3: The Pasuk is telling us that Avraham fulfilled the Halachah derived from Pasuk 17:13, that only someone who is himself circumcised may circumcise others. 1