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Genesis 15

15
The Lord's Promise 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.” 5#Ro 4.18; He 11.12. Then 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.” 6#1 Macc 2.52; Ro 4.3; Ga 3.6; Jas 2.23. Abram believed the Lord, so the Lord was pleased with him and accepted him.
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.
12 # Job 4.13,14. As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and everything became dark and frightening. 13-15#Ex 1.1-14; Ac 7.6; Ex 12.40,41; Ac 7.7. Then the Lord said:
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 400 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 “400 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.
17Sometime 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 passed between the two halves of each animal. 18#Ac 7.5. At that time the Lord made an agreement with Abram and told him:
I will give your descendants the land east of the Shihor River#15.18 Shihor River: See Joshua 13.2-7. on the border of Egypt as far as the Euphrates River. 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.
15
Yahweh’s Covenant with Abram
1After these things the word of Yahweh came#Literally “was” to Abram in a vision, saying: “Do not be afraid, Abram; I am your shield, and your reward shall be very great.” 2Then#Or “And” Abram said, “O Yahweh, my Lord, what will you give me? I continue to be#Literally “I am going” childless, and my heir#Literally “the son of the inheritance of my house” is Eliezer of Damascus.” 3And Abram said, “Look, you have not given me a descendant, and here, a member of my household#Literally “a son of my house” is my heir.”#Literally “inheriting me” 4And behold, the word of Yahweh came to him saying, “This person will not be your heir,#Literally “inherit you” but your own son will be your heir.”#Literally “he who goes out from your body, he will inherit you” 5And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward the heavens and count the stars if you are able to count them.” And he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6And he believed in Yahweh, and he reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7And he said to him, “I am Yahweh, who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give this land to you, to possess it.” 8And he said, “O Yahweh God, how shall I know that I will possess it?” 9And he said to him, “Take for me a three-year-old heifer, and a three-year-old female goat, and a three-year-old ram, and a turtledove and a young pigeon.” 10And he took for him all these and cut them in pieces down the middle. And he put each piece opposite the other,#Literally “its companion” but the birds he did not cut. 11And the birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12And it happened that, as the sun went down,#Literally “to go” then a deep sleep fell upon Abram and, behold, a great terrifying darkness fell upon him. 13And he said to Abram, “You must surely know#Literally “knowing you must know” that your descendants shall be as aliens in a land not their own.#Literally “not to them” And they shall serve them#Some nation hostile to Abram’s descendants (Egypt in later history) and they#Some nation hostile to Abram’s descendants (Egypt in later history) shall oppress them four hundred years. 14And also that the nation which they#That is, Abram’s descendants serve I will judge. Then#Or “And” afterward they shall go out with great possessions. 15And as for you, you shall go to your ancestors#Or “fathers” in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16And the fourth generation shall return here, for the guilt of the Amorites is not yet complete.”#Literally “is not complete up to now” 17And after the sun had gone down and it was dusk, behold, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch passed between those half pieces. 18On that day Yahweh made#Literally “cut” a covenant with Abram saying, “To your offspring I will give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates river, 19the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”