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Genesis 15

15
The Abrahamic Covenant
1#Ge 26:24; Ps 3:3After this the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,
“Do not fear, Abram.
I am your shield,
your exceedingly great reward.#Or your reward will be great.
2#Ac 7:5But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I am childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3#Ge 14:14Abram said, “Since You have not given me any children, my heir is a servant born in my house.”
4#Ge 17:16Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir, but a son that is from your own body will be your heir.” 5#Dt 1:10; Ge 22:17; Ex 32:13He brought him outside and said, “Look up toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So will your descendants be.”
6#Jas 2:23; Ps 106:31Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.
7#Ge 12:1; Ne 9:7–8He also said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess#Or inherit. it.”
8#Lk 1:18; Jdg 6:36–40But Abram said, “Lord God, how may I know that I will possess 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.”
10#Lev 1:17; Jer 34:18–19Then Abram brought all of these to Him and cut them in two and laid each piece opposite the other, but he did not cut the birds in half. 11When the birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12#Ge 2:21; Job 33:15As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram, and terror and a great darkness fell on him. 13#Gal 3:17; Ex 1:11Then He said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will live as strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years. 14But I will judge the nation that they serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15#Job 5:26As for you, you will go to your fathers in peace and you will be buried at a good old age. 16#1Ki 21:26; Da 8:23In the fourth generation, your descendants will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17#Jer 34:18–19When the sun went down and it was dark, a smoking fire pot with a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18#Ge 12:7; Nu 34:5On that same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great Euphrates River— 19the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaites, 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.