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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
1After all these things, this word of God came to Abram in a vision: “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I’m your shield. Your reward will be grand!”
2-3Abram said, “God, Master, what use are your gifts as long as I’m childless and Eliezer of Damascus is going to inherit everything?” Abram continued, “See, you’ve given me no children, and now a mere house servant is going to get it all.”
4Then God’s Message came: “Don’t worry, he won’t be your heir; a son from your body will be your heir.”
5Then he took him outside and said, “Look at the sky. Count the stars. Can you do it? Count your descendants! You’re going to have a big family, Abram!”
6And he believed! Believed God! God declared him “Set-Right-with-God.”
7God continued, “I’m the same God who brought you from Ur of the Chaldees and gave you this land to own.”
8Abram said, “Master God, how am I to know this, that it will all be mine?”
9God said, “Bring me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, and a dove and a young pigeon.”
10-12He brought all these animals to him, split them down the middle, and laid the halves opposite each other. But he didn’t split the birds. Vultures swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram scared them off. As the sun went down a deep sleep overcame Abram and then a sense of dread, dark and heavy.
13-16God said to Abram, “Know this: your descendants will live as outsiders in a land not theirs; they’ll be enslaved and beaten down for 400 years. Then I’ll punish their slave masters; your offspring will march out of there loaded with plunder. But not you; you’ll have a long and full life and die a good and peaceful death. Not until the fourth generation will your descendants return here; sin is still a thriving business among the Amorites.”
17-21When the sun was down and it was dark, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch moved between the split carcasses. That’s when God made a covenant with Abram: “I’m giving this land to your children, from the Nile River in Egypt to the River Euphrates in Assyria—the country of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaim, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”