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Bereshis 15

15
1After these things the Devar Hashem came unto Avram in a makhazeh, saying, Fear not, Avram; I am thy mogen, and thy exceeding great sachar (reward).
2And Avram said, Adonoi Hashem, what wilt Thou give me, since I go childless, and the Ben Meshek of my Bais is this Eli'ezer of Damesek (Damascus)?
3And Avram said, See, to me Thou hast given no zera; and, hinei, one born in my bais is my yoresh (heir).
4And, hinei, the Devar Hashem came unto him saying, This shall not be thy yoresh; but he that shall come forth out of thine own body shall be thy yoresh.
5And He brought him forth outside, and said, Look now toward Shomayim, and count the kokhavim, if thou be able to number them; and He said unto him, So shall thy zera be.
6And he believed in Hashem; and He credited [emunah (faith)] to him as tzedakah (righteousness).
7And He said unto him, I am Hashem Who brought thee out of Ur Kasdim, to give thee ha'aretz hazot to be the yoresh of it.
8And he said, Adonoi Hashem, how can I have da'as that I will be its yoresh?
9And He said unto him, Bring Me a heifer meshuleshet, and a she goat meshuleshet, and a ram meshulash, and a dove, and a pigeon.
10And he brought unto Him all these, and divided them in two, and laid each half one opposite another; but the birds divided he not.
11And when the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Avram drove them away.
12And when the shemesh was going down, a tardemah fell upon Avram; and, hinei, a horror of great darkness fell upon him.
13And Hashem said unto Avram, Know of a surety that thy zera shall be a ger in a land not their own, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them arba me'ot shanah;
14And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge; and afterward shall they come out with rechush gadol (great substance).
15And thou shalt go to thy avot in shalom; thou shalt be buried at a good old age.
16But in the fourth generation they shall come back here again; for the avon (iniquity) of the Emori (Amorite) is not yet full.
17And it came to pass, that, when the shemesh went down, and it was dark, hinei a smoking fire-pot, and a blazing torch passed between those pieces.
18On that day Hashem cut a brit (covenant) with Avram, saying, Unto thy zera have I given ha'aretz hazot, from the Wadi of Mitzrayim unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
19[the land of] the Keni, and the Kenizzi, and the Kadmoni,
20And the Chitti, and the Perizzi, and the Repha'im,
21And the Emori, and the Kena'ani, and the Girgashi, and the Yevusi.

Genesis 15

15
The Covenant with Abram.#In the first section (vv. 1–6), Abraham is promised a son and heir, and in the second (vv. 7–21), he is promised a land. The structure is similar in both: each of the two promises is not immediately accepted; the first is met with a complaint (vv. 2–3) and the second with a request for a sign (v. 8). God’s answer differs in each section—a sign in v. 5 and an oath in vv. 9–21. Some scholars believe that the Genesis promises of progeny and land were originally separate and only later combined, but progeny and land are persistent concerns especially of ancient peoples and it is hard to imagine one without the other. 1Some time afterward, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: Do not fear, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great.
2But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me, if I die childless and have only a servant of my household, Eliezer of Damascus?” 3Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a servant of my household will be my heir.” 4Then the word of the Lord came to him: No, that one will not be your heir; your own offspring will be your heir.#Gn 17:16. 5He took him outside and said: Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so, he added, will your descendants be.#Gn 22:17; 28:14; Ex 32:13; Dt 1:10; Sir 44:21; Rom 4:18; Heb 11:12. 6#1 Mc 2:52; Rom 4:3, 9, 22; Gal 3:6–7; Jas 2:23. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who attributed it to him as an act of righteousness.#Abraham’s act of faith in God’s promises was regarded as an act of righteousness, i.e., as fully expressive of his relationship with God. St. Paul (Rom 4:1–25; Gal 3:6–9) makes Abraham’s faith a model for Christians.
7He then said to him: I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as a possession.#Gn 11:31; 12:1; Ex 32:13; Neh 9:7–8; Acts 7:2–3. 8“Lord God,” he asked, “how will I know that I will possess it?” 9#Cutting up animals was a well-attested way of making a treaty in antiquity. Jer 34:17–20 shows the rite is a form of self-imprecation in which violators invoke the fate of the animals upon themselves. The eighth-century B.C. Sefire treaty from Syria reads, “As this calf is cut up, thus Matti’el shall be cut up.” The smoking fire pot and the flaming torch (v. 17), which represent God, pass between the pieces, making God a signatory to the covenant. He answered 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.#Lv 1:14. 10He brought him all these, split them in two, and placed each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not cut up. 11Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram scared them away. 12As the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a great, dark dread descended upon him.
13#The verses clarify the promise of the land by providing a timetable of its possession: after four hundred years of servitude, your descendants will actually possess the land in the fourth generation (a patriarchal generation seems to be one hundred years). The iniquity of the current inhabitants (called here the Amorites) has not yet reached the point where God must intervene in punishment. Another table is given in Ex 12:40, which is not compatible with this one. Then the Lord said to Abram: Know for certain that your descendants will reside as aliens in a land not their own, where they shall be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years.#Ex 12:40; Nm 20:15; Jdt 5:9–10; Is 52:4; Acts 13:20; Gal 3:17. 14But I will bring judgment on the nation they must serve, and after this they will go out with great wealth.#Ex 3:8, 21–22. 15You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace; you will be buried at a ripe old age. 16In the fourth generation#Generation: the Hebrew term dor is commonly rendered as “generation,” but it may signify a period of varying length. A “generation” is the period between the birth of children and the birth of their parents, normally about twenty to twenty-five years. The actual length of a generation can vary, however; in Jb 42:16 it is thirty-five and in Nm 32:13 it is forty. The meaning may be life spans, which in Gn 6:3 is one hundred twenty years and in Is 65:20 is one hundred years. your descendants will return here, for the wickedness of the Amorites is not yet complete.#1 Kgs 21:26.
17When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, which passed between those pieces. 18#The Wadi, i.e., a gully or ravine, of Egypt is the Wadi-el-‘Arish, which is the boundary between the settled land and the Sinai desert. Some scholars suggest that the boundaries are those of a Davidic empire at its greatest extent; others that they are idealized boundaries. Most lists of the ancient inhabitants of the promised land give three, six, or seven peoples, but vv. 19–21 give a grand total of ten. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates,#Ex 32:13; Neh 9:8; Ps 105:11; Sir 44:21. 19#Dt 7:1. the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.