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Genesis 15

15
God Makes a Covenant With Abram
1Some time later, Abram had a vision. The Lord said to him,
“Abram, do not be afraid.
I am like a shield to you.
I am your very great reward.”
2But Abram said, “Lord and King, what can you give me? I still don’t have any children. My servant Eliezer comes from Damascus. When I die, he will get everything I own.” 3Abram continued, “You haven’t given me any children. So this servant of mine will get everything I own.”
4Then a message from the Lord came to Abram. The Lord said, “When you die, what you have will not go to this man. You will have a son of your own. He will get everything you have.” 5The Lord took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky. Count the stars, if you can.” Then he said to him, “That’s how many children will be born into your family.”
6Abram believed the Lord. The Lord was pleased with Abram because he believed. So Abram’s faith made him right with the Lord.
7He also said to Abram, “I am the Lord. I brought you out of Ur in the land of Babylon. I will give you this land to have as your very own.”
8But Abram said, “Lord and King, how can I know I will have this land as my own?”
9So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a young cow, a goat and a ram. Each must be three years old. Bring a dove and a young pigeon along with them.”
10Abram brought all of them to the Lord. Abram cut them in two and placed the halves opposite each other. But he didn’t cut the birds in half. 11Then large birds came down to eat the dead bodies of the animals and birds. But Abram chased the large birds away.
12As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep. A thick and scary darkness covered him. 13Then the Lord said to him, “You can be sure of what I am about to tell you. For 400 years, your family who comes after you will be strangers in another country. They will become slaves there and will be treated badly. 14But I will punish the nation that makes them slaves. After that, they will leave with many possessions. 15But you will die in peace. You will join the members of your family who have already died. And you will be buried when you are very old. 16Your children’s grandchildren will come back here. That’s because the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached the point where I must punish them.”
17The sun set and it became dark. Then a burning torch and a pot filled with smoking coals appeared. They passed between the pieces of the animals that had been cut in two. 18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram. He said, “I am giving this land to your family who comes after you. It reaches from the River of Egypt to the great Euphrates River. 19It includes the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites and Rephaites. 21The Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites also live there.”
15
Abram Promised a Son
1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,
“Do not be afraid, Abram,
I am your shield;
Your reward [for obedience] shall be very great.”
2Abram said, “Lord #Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord.God, what reward will You give me, since I am [leaving this world] childless, and he who will be the owner and heir of my house is this [servant] Eliezer from Damascus?” 3And Abram continued, “Since You have given no child to me, one (a servant) born in my house is my heir.” 4Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man [Eliezer] will not be your heir but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5And the Lord brought Abram outside [his tent into the night] and said, “Look now toward the heavens and count the stars—if you are able to count them.” Then He said to him, “So [numerous] shall your descendants be.” 6Then Abram believed in (affirmed, trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord; and He counted (credited) it to him #This was crucial to God’s plan of salvation, as can be seen in Rom 4. There was simply no way that anyone except Christ could ever be sufficiently righteous to meet God’s standards and avoid condemnation. Having faith in God and placing one’s trust in Him was not in itself something that could be a substitute for perfect righteousness, but God graciously determined to accept faith as an equivalent for that righteousness nonetheless. So in a sense, Abraham—and all believers since him, who are his spiritual descendants—received righteousness on credit, and the bill for that righteousness was paid by the death of Christ on the cross.as righteousness (doing right in regard to God and man). 7And He said to him, “I am the [same] Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land as an inheritance.” 8But Abram said, “Lord #Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord.God, by what [proof] will I know that I will inherit it?” 9So God said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10So Abram brought all these to Him and #This was preparation for an ancient ceremony that formally bound two parties to an agreement or covenant (v 18). Reference is made to the ceremony in Jer 34:18, but details are not given elsewhere in Scripture.cut them down the middle, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. 11The birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12When the sun was setting, a deep sleep overcame Abram; and a horror (terror, shuddering fear, nightmare) of great darkness overcame him. 13God said to Abram, “Know for sure that your descendants will be strangers [living temporarily] in a land (Egypt) that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. 14But on that nation whom your descendants will serve I will bring judgment, and afterward they will come out [of that land] with great possessions. 15As for you, you shall [die and] go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16Then in the #This prophecy was fulfilled when Moses led the Israelites back to Canaan after their four hundred years in Egypt. He was “in the fourth generation” from Jacob—Levi, Kohath, Amram, Moses.fourth generation your descendants shall return here [to Canaan, the land of promise], for the wickedness and guilt of the #The most important and powerful group of that region. The name “Amorite” later became virtually synonymous with that of the inhabitants of Canaan. They were known for their many superstitious practices (according to the Talmud).Amorites is not yet complete (finished).”
17When the sun had gone down and a [deep] darkness had come, there appeared a smoking #I.e. a large bowl or pan holding burning coals.brazier and a flaming torch which passed between the [divided] pieces [of the animals]. 18On the same day the Lord made a covenant (promise, pledge) with Abram, saying,
“To your descendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates—
19[the land of] the Kenites and the Kenizzites and the Kadmonites 20and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Rephaim, 21the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”