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Genesis 15

15
God’s Covenant with Abram
1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram #Gen. 15:4; 46:2; 1 Sam. 15:10; Dan. 10:1in a vision, saying, #Gen. 21:17; 26:24; Is. 41:10; Dan. 10:12“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your #Deut. 33:29; Ps. 3:3; 84:11; 91:4shield, your exceedingly #Num. 18:20; Ps. 58:11; Prov. 11:18great reward.”
2#Gen. 17:18But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, #Acts 7:5seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed #Gen. 14:14one born in my house is my heir!”
4And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who #2 Sam. 7:12; Gal. 4:28will come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and #Gen. 22:17; 26:4; Deut. 1:10; Ps. 147:4count the #Jer. 33:22stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, #Ex. 32:13; Rom. 4:18; Heb. 11:12“So shall your #Gen. 17:19descendants be.”
6And he #Gen. 21:1; Rom. 4:3, 9, 22; Gal. 3:6; James 2:23believed in the Lord, and He #Ps. 32:2; 106:31accounted it to him for righteousness.
7Then He said to him, “I am the Lord, who #Gen. 12:1brought you out of #Gen. 11:28, 31Ur of the Chaldeans, #Gen. 13:15, 17; Ps. 105:42, 44to give you this land to inherit it.”
8And he said, “Lord God, #Gen. 24:13, 14; Judg. 6:36–40; 1 Sam. 14:9, 10; Luke 1:18how shall I know that I will inherit it?”
9So He 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.” 10Then he brought all these to Him and #Gen. 15:17; Jer. 34:18cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut #Lev. 1:17the birds in two. 11And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12Now when the sun was going down, #Gen. 2:21; 28:11; Job 33:15a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. 13Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly #Ex. 1:11; Acts 7:6that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and #Ex. 12:40they will afflict them four hundred years. 14And also the nation whom they serve #Ex. 6:6I will judge; afterward #Ex. 12:36they shall come out with great possessions. 15Now as for you, #Job 5:26you shall go #Gen. 25:8; 47:30to your fathers in peace; #Gen. 25:8you shall be buried at a good old age. 16But #Gen. 15:13; Ex. 12:41in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity #Gen. 48:22; Lev. 18:24–28; 1 Kin. 21:26of the Amorites #1 Kin. 11:12; Matt. 23:32is not yet complete.”
17And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that #Jer. 34:18, 19passed between those pieces. 18On the same day the Lord #Gen. 24:7made a covenant with Abram, saying:
#Gen. 12:7; 17:8; Ex. 23:31; Num. 34:3; Deut. 11:24; Josh. 1:4; 21:43; Acts 7:5“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— 19the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
15
The Lord's Promise to Abram
1Later the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision, “Abram, don't be afraid! I will protect you and reward you greatly.”
2But Abram answered, “Lord All-Powerful, you have given me everything I could ask for, except children. And when I die, Eliezer of Damascus will get all I own.#15.2 And … own: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. 3You have not given me any children, and this servant of mine will inherit everything.”
4The Lord replied, “No, he won't! You will have a son of your own, and everything you have will be his.” 5#Ro 4.18; He 11.12. Then the Lord took Abram outside and said, “Look at the sky and see if you can count the stars. That's how many descendants you will have.” 6#1 Macc 2.52; Ro 4.3; Ga 3.6; Jas 2.23. Abram believed the Lord, so the Lord was pleased with him and accepted him.
The Lord Makes Another Promise to Abram
7The Lord said to Abram, “I brought you here from Ur in Chaldea, and I gave you this land.”
8Abram asked, “Lord God, how can I know the land will be mine?”
9Then the Lord told him, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon.”
10Abram obeyed the Lord. Then he cut#15.10 cut: In Hebrew “cut” sounds something like “agreement.” What follows shows that the Lord is making an agreement with Abram. the animals in half and laid the two halves of each animal opposite each other on the ground. But he did not cut the doves and pigeons in half. 11And when birds came down to eat the animals, Abram chased them away.
12 # Job 4.13,14. As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and everything became dark and frightening. 13-15#Ex 1.1-14; Ac 7.6; Ex 12.40,41; Ac 7.7. Then the Lord said:
Abram, you will live to an old age and die in peace.
But I solemnly promise that your descendants will live as foreigners in a land that doesn't belong to them. They will be forced into slavery and abused for 400 years. But I will terribly punish the nation that enslaves them, and they will leave with many possessions.
16Four generations later,#15.16 Four generations later: This may refer to the “400 years” of verses 13-15. your descendants will return here and take this land, because only then will the people who live here#15.16 people who live here: The Hebrew text has “Amorites,” a name sometimes used of the people who lived in Palestine before the Israelites. be so sinful that they deserve to be punished.
17Sometime after sunset, when it was very dark, a smoking cooking pot#15.17 smoking cooking pot: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. The smoke and fire represent the presence of the Lord. and a flaming fire passed between the two halves of each animal. 18#Ac 7.5. At that time the Lord made an agreement with Abram and told him:
I will give your descendants the land east of the Shihor River#15.18 Shihor River: See Joshua 13.2-7. on the border of Egypt as far as the Euphrates River. 19They will possess the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaites, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.