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Genesis 15

15
God’s Covenant with Abram
(Romans 4:1–12; Hebrews 11:8–19)
1After these events, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”
2But Abram replied, “O Lord GOD, what can You give me, since I remain childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3Abram continued, “Behold, You have given me no offspring, so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4Then the word of the Lord came to Abram, saying, “This one will not be your heir, but one who comes from your own body will be your heir.” 5And the Lord took him outside and said, “Now look to the heavens and count the stars, if you are able.” Then He told him, “So shall your offspring be.”#15:5 Cited in Romans 4:18
6Abram believed the Lord, and it was credited to him as righteousness.#15:6 Cited in Romans 4:3, Romans 4:22, Galatians 3:6, and James 2:23
7The Lord also told him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”
God Confirms His Promise
(Numbers 34:1–15; Romans 4:13–25)
8But Abram replied, “Lord GOD, how can I know that I will possess it?”
9And the Lord said to him, “Bring Me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, along with a turtledove and a young pigeon.”
10So Abram brought all these to Him, split each of them down the middle, and laid the halves opposite each other. The birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11And the birds of prey descended on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and suddenly great terror and darkness overwhelmed him.
13Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14But I will judge the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will depart with many possessions.#15:14 Cited in Acts 7:6–7 15You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a ripe old age. 16In the fourth generation your descendants will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, behold, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch appeared and passed between the halves of the carcasses. 18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land—from the river of Egypt to the great River Euphrates— 19the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”

Genesis 15

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.