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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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God’s Agreement With Abram
1After all these things happened, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision. God said, “Abram, don’t be afraid. I will defend you and give you a great reward.”
2But Abram said, “Lord GOD, there is nothing you can give me that will make me happy, because I have no son. My slave Eliezer from Damascus will get everything I own after I die.” 3Abram said, “You have given me no son, so a slave born in my house will get everything I have.”
4Then the Lord spoke to Abram and said, “That slave will not be the one to get what you have. You will have a son who will get everything you own.”
5Then God led Abram outside and said, “Look at the sky. See the many stars. There are so many you cannot count them. Your family will be like that.”
6Abram believed the Lord, and because of this faith the Lord accepted him as one who has done what is right. 7He said to Abram, “I am the Lord who led you from Ur of Babylonia.#15:7 Ur of Babylonia Literally, “Ur of the Chaldeans.” A city in southern Babylonia. I did this so that I could give you this land. You will own this land.”
8But Abram said, “Lord GOD, how can I be sure that I will get this land?”
9God said to Abram, “We will make an agreement. Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon.”
10Abram brought all these to God. Abram killed these animals and cut each of them into two pieces. Then he laid each half across from the other half. He did not cut the birds into two pieces. 11Later, large birds flew down to eat the animals, but Abram chased them away.
12The sun began to go down and Abram got very sleepy. While he was asleep, a very terrible darkness came over him. 13Then the Lord said to Abram, “You should know this: Your descendants will live in a country that is not their own. They will be strangers there. The people there will make them slaves and be cruel to them for 400 years. 14But then I will punish the nation that made them slaves. Your people will leave that land, and they will take many good things with them.
15“You yourself will live to be very old. You will die in peace and will be buried with your family. 16After four generations your people will come to this land again and defeat the Amorites. That will happen in the future because the Amorites are not yet guilty enough to lose their land.”
17After the sun went down, it got very dark. The dead animals were still on the ground, each animal cut into two pieces. Then a smoking firepot#15:17 firepot A clay pot in which burning coals were placed to be used for starting new fires. and a flaming torch passed between the halves of the dead animals.#15:17 passed between … animals This showed that God “signed” or “sealed” the agreement he made with Abram. People showed that they were sincere in making an agreement by walking between the parts of animals that had been cut into pieces and saying something like, “May this same thing happen to me if I don’t keep the agreement.”
18So on that day the Lord made a promise and an agreement with Abram. He said, “I will give this land to your descendants. I will give them the land between the River of Egypt#15:18 River of Egypt That is, the stream called “Wadi El-Arish.” and the great river Euphrates. 19This is the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”