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Berĕshith (Genesis) 15

15
1After these events the word of יהוה came to Aḇram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Aḇram. I am your shield, your reward is exceedingly great.”
2And Aḇram said, “Master יהוה, what would You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eli‛ezer of Dammeseq?”
3And Aḇram said, “See, You have given me no seed, and see, one born in my house is my heir!”
4And see, the word of יהוה came to him, saying, “This one is not your heir, but he who comes from your own body is your heir.”
5And He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward the heavens, and count the stars if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So are your seed.”
6And he believed in יהוה, and He reckoned it to him for righteousness.
7And He said to him, “I am יהוה, who brought you out of Ur-kasdim, to give you this land to inherit it.”
8And he said, “Master יהוה, whereby do I know that I possess it?”
9And He said to him, “Bring 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 all these to Him and cut them in the middle, and placed each half opposite the other, but he did not cut the birds.
11And the birds of prey came down on the carcasses, and Aḇram drove them away.
12And it came to be, when the sun was going down, and a deep sleep fell upon Aḇram, that see, a frightening great darkness fell upon him.
13And He said to Aḇram, “Know for certain that your seed are to be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred years.
14“But the nation whom they serve I am going to judge, and afterward let them come out with great possessions.
15“Now as for you, you are to go to your fathers in peace, you are to be buried at a good old age.
16“Then, in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the crookedness of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17And it came to be, when the sun went down and it was dark, that see, a smoking oven and a burning torch passing between those pieces.
18On the same day יהוה made a covenant with Aḇram, saying, “I have given this land to your seed, from the river of Mitsrayim to the great river, the River Euphrates,
19with the Qĕynite, and the Qenizzite, and the Qaḏmonite,
20and the Ḥittite, and the Perizzite, and the Repha’im,
21and the Amorite, and the Kena‛anite, and the Girgashite, and the Yeḇusite.”
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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.”