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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
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.