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Genesis 15

15
1After all this had happened, God spoke to Abram in a vision, telling him, “Don't be afraid, Abram! I am your protector, and your truly great reward!”
2But Abram replied, “Lord God, what good is whatever you give me? I don't have any children, and the heir to all that I have is Eliezer of Damascus.”#15:2. It was the practice of the time for childless couples to appoint their most trusted servant as their heir. 3Abram went on to complain, “Look! You haven't given me any children, so a servant from my household has to be my heir!”
4But then the Lord told him, “This man won't be your heir. Your heir will be your very own son.”
5The Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up at the sky. See if you can count the stars! That's how many descendants you will have!”
6Abram trusted what the Lord said, and so the Lord counted Abram as being in a right relationship with him.
7The Lord also told him, “I am the Lord, who led you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land for you to own.”
8“But Lord God, how can I be certain that I will own it?” Abram asked.
9The Lord told him, “Bring me a cow, a goat, and a ram, all of them three years old, together with a dove and a young pigeon.” 10So Abram took and killed the three animals. Then he cut them in half, and placed each half opposite the other. However, he didn't cut the birds in half. 11When vultures flew down on the carcasses, Abram frightened them off.
12As the sun went down, a deep sleep came over Abram, and at the same time a dense and terrifying darkness fell on him. 13The Lord explained to Abram, “You can be absolutely sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be slaves and mistreated for 400 years. 14However, I will punish the nation that makes them slaves, and later on they will leave, taking many valuable possessions with them. 15But as for you, you will die in peace and be buried, having lived a good long life. 16Four generations later your descendants will come back here to live, because right now the sins of the Amorites have not reached their full extent.”
17After the sun set and it grew dark, suddenly a smoking furnace and a flaming torch appeared and passed between the halves of the animal carcasses. 18This is how the Lord made an agreement with Abram that day and promised him, “I'm giving this land to your descendants. It extends from the Wadi of Egypt#15:18. “Wadi of Egypt”: Not the Nile, but what is known as the Wadi Arish today. See Numbers 34:5; Joshua 15:4, Joshua 15:47. to the great Euphrates River, 19and includes the territory of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
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Chapter 15
The Lord's covenant with Abram
1After this, the Lord spoke to Abram in a dream. God said, ‘Do not be afraid Abram. I will keep you safe. I myself will give you many good gifts.’
2But Abram said, ‘Lord God, there is one gift that I want. I still have no children. When I die, Eliezer of Damascus will receive everything that I have. 3Because you have not given me any children, understand this: Everything that I have will one day belong to a servant in my house.’ #15:3 Eliezer of Damascus was Abram's servant. Abram did not have any children. When Abram died, there was no son to continue the family.
4The Lord gave Abram this message: ‘No! Eliezer will not be the one who receives your things. You will have your own son. He will be the one who receives everything that you have.’
5The Lord took Abram outside. He said to Abram, ‘Look up at the sky. Count the stars. They are too many for you to count!’ Then God said, ‘That is how many descendants you will have.’
6Abram believed the Lord. As a result, the Lord accepted Abram as right with him.
7The Lord also said to Abram, ‘I am the Lord. I brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to bring you to this land. I am giving it to you. It will belong to you.’ 8But Abram said, ‘My Lord God, how can I be sure that this land will belong to me?’
9The Lord said to Abram, ‘Bring a young cow, a goat and a male sheep to offer them to me. Each animal must be 3 years old. Also bring a dove and a young pigeon.’
10Abram brought the 3 animals and the 2 birds to offer to God. Abram cut each animal in 2 pieces. He put the halves opposite each other. But he did not cut the birds in 2 pieces. 11Some birds flew down to eat the animals' dead bodies. But Abram sent them away.
12When the sun was going down, Abram started to sleep. Suddenly he became very afraid because it was dark everywhere. 13Then the Lord said to Abram, ‘Be sure of this: Your descendants will live in a country which is not their own. They will be strangers there. People will do bad things to them and they will become slaves. This will continue for 400 years. 14But I will punish the people of that country who give them trouble. After this, your descendants will leave that country. They will take many valuable things with them. 15But as for you, Abram, you will have a long life. When you die, you will have peace in your mind. 16After 4 generations, your descendants will come back here to Canaan. At that time I will punish the Amorites because they do very bad things. But the time has not yet arrived that I will punish them.’ #15:16 The Amorites lived in Canaan. They did not worship the Lord God. They worshipped false gods. They killed children as sacrifices to these gods. God told Abram that when his descendants returned to Canaan, he would punish the Amorites at that time. Then the land of Canaan would belong to Abram's descendants.
17Then the sun went down and it became dark. Abram saw a pot that had coals in it. The coals were burning and making smoke. There was also a branch that burned with bright fire. These passed between the halves of the animals that Abram had cut in 2 pieces. #15:17 The fire shows that God is passing between the halves of the animals. This shows that he is making a covenant with Abram.
18On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram. The Lord promised, ‘I give this land to your descendants. The land starts from the river of Egypt and continues as far as the River Euphrates. 19These people live in the land: Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.’ #15:21 These are the people who live in the land of Canaan that God is giving to Abram and his descendants. Abram's descendants will come and they will win against these people. Then they will take the land for themselves to live in, because God has given it to them.