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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
God’s covenant with Abram
1After these events, the LORD’s word came to Abram in a vision, “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I am your protector.#15.1 Or shield or benefactor Your reward will be very great.”
2But Abram said, “LORD God, what can you possibly give me, since I still have no children? The head of my household is Eliezer, a man from Damascus.”#15.2 Heb uncertain 3He continued, “Since you haven’t given me any children, the head of my household will be my heir.”
4The LORD’s word came immediately to him, “This man will not be your heir. Your heir will definitely be your very own biological child.” 5Then he brought Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you think you can count them.” He continued, “This is how many children you will have.” 6Abram trusted the LORD, and the LORD recognized Abram’s high moral character.
7He said to Abram, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.”
8But Abram said, “LORD God, how do I know that I will actually possess it?”
9He said, “Bring me a three-year-old female calf, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon.” 10He took all of these animals, split them in half, and laid the halves facing each other, but he didn’t split the birds. 11When vultures swooped down on the carcasses, Abram waved them off. 12After the sun set, Abram slept deeply. A terrifying and deep darkness settled over him.
13Then the LORD said to Abram, “Have no doubt that your descendants will live as immigrants in a land that isn’t their own, where they will be oppressed slaves for four hundred years. 14But after I punish the nation they serve, they will leave it with great wealth. 15As for you, you will join your ancestors in peace and be buried after a good long life. 16The fourth generation will return here since the Amorites’ wrongdoing won’t have reached its peak until then.”
17After the sun had set and darkness had deepened, a smoking vessel with a fiery flame passed between the split-open animals. 18That day the LORD cut a covenant with Abram: “To your descendants I give this land, from Egypt’s river to the great Euphrates, 19together with the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”