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Genesis 15

15
Abram Promised a Son
1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,
“Do not fear, Abram,
I am a shield to you;
# Or Your very great reward Your reward shall be very great.”
2But Abram said, “Lord #Heb YHWH, usually rendered LordGod, what will You give me, since I #Lit goam childless, and the #Lit son of acquisitionheir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3Abram also said, “#Lit BeholdSince You have given me no #Lit seedson, #Lit then behold, a son of myone who has been born in my house is my heir.” 4Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come from your own #Lit inward partsbody shall be your heir.” 5And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your #Lit seeddescendants be.” 6Then he believed in the Lord; and He #Or imputedcredited it to him as righteousness. 7And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to #Or inheritpossess it.” 8But he said, “Lord #Heb YHWH, usually rendered LordGod, how may I know that I will #Or inheritpossess it?” 9So He said to him, “#Lit TakeBring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10Then he #Lit tookbrought all these to Him and cut them #Lit in the midstin two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. 11And birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, #Or a terror of great darknessterror and great darkness fell upon him. 13Then God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your #Lit seeddescendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, #Lit and shall serve them; and they shall afflict themwhere they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. 14But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with #Lit greatmany possessions. 15As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the wrongdoing of the Amorite is not yet complete.”
17Now it came about, when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, a smoking oven and a flaming torch appeared which passed between these pieces. 18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying,
“To your #Lit seeddescendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:
19the land of the Kenite, the Kenizzite, the Kadmonite, 20the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Rephaim, 21the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Girgashite, and the Jebusite.”
15
The Lord's promises to Abram
1Later the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision, “Abram, don't be afraid! I will protect you and reward you greatly.”
2But Abram answered, “LORD All-Powerful, you have given me everything I could ask for, except children. And when I die, Eliezer of Damascus will get all I own.#15.2 And…own: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. 3You have not given me any children, and this servant of mine will inherit everything.”
4The LORD replied, “No, he won't! You will have a son of your own, and everything you have will be his.” 5Then the LORD took Abram outside and said, “Look at the sky and see if you can count the stars. That's how many descendants you will have.”#Ro 4.18; He 11.12. 6Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD was pleased with him.#Ro 4.3; Ga 3.6; Jas 2.23.
The LORD makes another promise to Abram
7The LORD said to Abram, “I brought you here from Ur in Chaldea, and I gave you this land.”
8Abram asked, “LORD God, how can I know the land will be mine?”
9Then the LORD told him, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon.”
10Abram obeyed the LORD. Then he cut#15.10 cut: In Hebrew “cut” sounds something like “agreement”. What follows shows that the LORD is making an agreement with Abram. the animals in half and laid the two halves of each animal opposite each other on the ground. But he did not cut the doves and pigeons in half. 11And when birds came down to eat the animals, Abram chased them away.
12As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and everything became dark and frightening.#Job 4.13,14. 13-15Then the LORD said:#Ex 1.1-14; Ac 7.6.#Ex 12.40,41; Ac 7.7.
Abram, you will live to an old age and die in peace.
But I solemnly promise that your descendants will live as foreigners in a land that doesn't belong to them. They will be forced into slavery and abused for four hundred years. But I will terribly punish the nation that enslaves them, and they will leave with many possessions.
16Four generations later,#15.16 Four generations later: This may refer to the “four hundred years” of verses 13-15. your descendants will return here and take this land, because only then will the people who live here#15.16 people who live here: The Hebrew text has “Amorites”, a name sometimes used of the people who lived in Palestine before the Israelites. be so sinful that they deserve to be punished.
17Some time after sunset, when it was very dark, a smoking cooking pot#15.17 smoking cooking pot: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. The smoke and fire represent the presence of the LORD. and a flaming fire went between the two halves of each animal. 18At that time the LORD made an agreement with Abram and told him:#Ac 7.5.
I will give your descendants the land east of the River Shihor#15.18 River Shihor: See Joshua 13.2-7. on the border of Egypt as far as the River Euphrates. 19They will possess the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaites, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.