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Genesis 15

15
God’s Agreement with Abram
1After these things happened, the Lord spoke his word to Abram in a vision. God said, “Abram, don’t be afraid. I will defend you. And I will give you a great reward.”
2But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me? I have no son. So my slave Eliezer from Damascus will get everything I own after I die.” 3Abram said, “Look, you have given me no son. So a slave born in my house will inherit everything I have.”
4Then the Lord spoke his word to Abram. He said, “That slave will not be the one to inherit what you have. You will have a son of your own. And your son will inherit what you have.”
5Then God led Abram outside. God said, “Look at the sky. There are so many stars you cannot count them. And your descendants will be too many to count.”
6Abram believed the Lord. And the Lord accepted Abram’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.
7God said to Abram, “I am the Lord who led you out of Ur of Babylonia. I did that so I could give you this land to own.”
8But Abram said, “Lord God, how can I be sure that I will own this land?”
9The Lord said to Abram, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old goat and a three-year-old male sheep. Also bring me a dove and a young pigeon.”
10Abram brought them all to God. Then Abram killed the animals and cut each of them into two pieces. He laid each half opposite the other half. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11Later, large birds flew down to eat the animals. But Abram chased them away.
12As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep. While he was asleep, a very terrible darkness came. 13Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers and travel in a land they don’t own. The people there will make them slaves. And they will do cruel things to them for 400 years. 14But I will punish the nation where they are slaves. Then your descendants will leave that land, taking great wealth with them. 15Abram, you will live to be very old. You will die in peace and will be buried. 16After your great-great-grandchildren are born, your people will come to this land again. It will take that long, because the Amorites are not yet evil enough to punish.”
17The sun went down, and it was very dark. Suddenly a smoking firepot and a blazing torch passed between the halves of the dead animals.# This showed that God sealed the agreement between himself and Abram. 18So on that day the Lord made an agreement with Abram. The Lord said, “I will give this land to your descendants. I will give them the land between the river of Egypt and the great river Euphrates. 19This is the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”
15
The LORD’s Fourth Promise to Abram
1Later the Lord spoke his word to Abram in a vision. He said,
“Abram, don’t be afraid.
I am your shield.
Your reward will be very great.”  #15:1 Or “I am your shield, your very great reward.”
2Abram asked, “Almighty Lord, what will you give me? Since I’m going to die without children, Eliezer of Damascus will inherit my household. 3You have given me no children, so this member of my household will be my heir.”
4Suddenly, the Lord spoke his word to Abram again. He said, “This man will not be your heir. Your own son will be your heir.” 5He took Abram outside and said, “Now look up at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” He also said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” 6Then Abram believed the Lord, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abram’s approval by the Lord. 7Then the Lord said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land so that you will take possession of it.”
8Abram asked, “Almighty Lord, how can I be certain that I will take possession of it?”
9He answered Abram, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a mourning dove, and a pigeon.” 10So Abram brought all these animals to him. He cut each of them in half and laid each half opposite the other. However, he did not cut the birds in half.
11When birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. 12As the sun was just about to set, a deep sleep—a dreadful, deep darkness—came over Abram.
13God said to Abram, “You can know for sure that your descendants will live in a land that is not their own, where they will be slaves, and they will be oppressed for 400 years. 14But I will punish the nation they serve, and after that they will come out with many possessions. 15But you will die in peace and be buried at a very old age. 16In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, because the sin of the Amorites will not have run its course until then.”
17The sun had gone down, and it was dark. Suddenly a smoking oven and a flaming torch passed between the animal pieces. 18At that time the Lord made a promise  #15:18 Or “covenant.” to Abram. He said, “I will give this land to your descendants. This is the land from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates. 19It is the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”