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Genesis 15

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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.
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CHAPTER 15
1And so when these things were done, the word of the Lord was made to Abram by a vision, and said, Abram, do not thou dread, I am thy defender, and thy meed is full great.
2And Abram said, Lord God, what shalt thou give to me? I shall go without free children, and this Damascus, son of Eliezer, the procurator of mine house, shall be mine heir.
3And Abram added, Soothly thou hast not given seed to me, and, lo! my born servant shall be mine heir.
4And anon the word of the Lord was made to him, and said, This shall not be thine heir, but thou shalt have him heir, that shall go out of thy womb.
5And the Lord led out Abram, and said to him, Behold thou heaven, and number the stars, if thou mayest. And the Lord said to Abram, So thy seed shall be.
6Abram believed to God, and it was reckoned to him to rightwiseness.
7And God said to him, I am the Lord, that led thee out of Ur of Chaldees, that I should give this land to thee, and thou shouldest have it in possession.
8And Abram said, Lord God, where-by shall I know that I shall wield it?
9And the Lord answered, and said, Take thou to me a cow of three years, and a goat of three years, and a ram of three years, and a turtledove, and a culver.
10Which took all these things, and parted those [or them] by the midst [or the middle], and setted [or put] ever either part each against other; but he parted not the birds.
11And fowls came down on the carrions, and Abram drove them away.
12And when the sun was gone down, dread felled on Abram, and a great hideousness and dark assailed him.
13And it was said to him, Know thou a before-knowing, that thy seed shall be [a] pilgrim four hundred years in a land not his own, and they shall make them subject to servage, and they shall torment them;
14nevertheless I shall deem the folk to whom they shall serve; and after these things they shall go out with great chattel [or substance].
15Forsooth thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace, and shalt be buried in good [eld] age.
16Soothly in the fourth generation they shall turn again hither, for the wickedness of [the] Amorites be not yet [full-]filled, till to present time.
17Therefore when the sun was gone down, a dark mist was made, and a furnace smoking appeared, and a lamp of fire, and passed through those partings.
18In that day the Lord made a covenant of peace with Abram, and said, I shall give to thy seed this land, from the river of Egypt till to the great river Euphrates;
19 the lands of the Kenites, and Kenizzites, and Kadmonites,
20and Hittites, and Perizzites, and Rephaims,
21and Amorites, and Canaanites, and Girgashites, and Jebusites.