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Genesis 15

15
The LORD’s Fourth Promise to Abram
1Later the Lord spoke his word to Abram in a vision. He said,
“Abram, don’t be afraid.
I am your shield.
Your reward will be very great.”  #15:1 Or “I am your shield, your very great reward.”
2Abram asked, “Almighty Lord, what will you give me? Since I’m going to die without children, Eliezer of Damascus will inherit my household. 3You have given me no children, so this member of my household will be my heir.”
4Suddenly, the Lord spoke his word to Abram again. He said, “This man will not be your heir. Your own son will be your heir.” 5He took Abram outside and said, “Now look up at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” He also said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” 6Then Abram believed the Lord, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abram’s approval by the Lord. 7Then the Lord said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land so that you will take possession of it.”
8Abram asked, “Almighty Lord, how can I be certain that I will take possession of it?”
9He answered Abram, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a mourning dove, and a pigeon.” 10So Abram brought all these animals to him. He cut each of them in half and laid each half opposite the other. However, he did not cut the birds in half.
11When birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. 12As the sun was just about to set, a deep sleep—a dreadful, deep darkness—came over Abram.
13God said to Abram, “You can know for sure that your descendants will live in a land that is not their own, where they will be slaves, and they will be oppressed for 400 years. 14But I will punish the nation they serve, and after that they will come out with many possessions. 15But you will die in peace and be buried at a very old age. 16In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, because the sin of the Amorites will not have run its course until then.”
17The sun had gone down, and it was dark. Suddenly a smoking oven and a flaming torch passed between the animal pieces. 18At that time the Lord made a promise  #15:18 Or “covenant.” to Abram. He said, “I will give this land to your descendants. This is the land from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates. 19It is the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
15
God promised to give Abram a son
1Later on, after Abram saved Lot, Abram had a dream, and God talked to him in that dream. God said, “Abram, don’t be frightened, I will always keep you safe, so that nobody can ever hurt you, and I am going to give you lots of good things.”
2-3But Abram said, “Yes, God, you are very powerful. But look, I’ve got no son, so it doesn’t matter what you give me. You haven’t given me the one thing I really want. You haven’t given me any kids. So when I die, one of my work-men will get all my things. His name is Eliyezer. He is from Damascus.”
4Then Abram heard God talk to him again. God said, “I tell you, that work-man will not get all your things after you die. I am going to give you a son, and he will get all your things after you die.”
5Then God took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and try to count all those stars. There are a lot of stars. You can’t count them all. Well, you will have a son, and later on lots of people will be born into his family, and later on they will be a real big family. And just like nobody can count the stars, nobody will be able to count all your family.”#Romans 4:18; Hebrews 11:12
6And Abram believed what God said, so God was really happy with him, and told him, “You believe me, so now I’m saying you are properly good, like you never did anything wrong.”#Romans 4:3, 9, 22; Galatians 3:6; Hebrews 11:11; James 2:23
God did a ceremony to make Abram sure about his promises
7Then God said to Abram, “I am your God. I am the one that brought you out of your home country, from the town called Ur, in Chaldia country. And I am going to give you this country here. It will be yours. You will own all this country.”
8Abram said, “I know you are very powerful, God, but how can I be really sure that I will get all this country?”
9So God said to Abram, “Bring me a cow that hasn’t had a baby, and a female goat, and a male sheep. All those animals have to be 3 years old. And I want you to bring me 2 different sorts of pigeons too.”
10Then Abram did what God told him. He killed those animals and birds, and he cut the animals in half. He put the halves of each animal on the ground in 2 lines facing each other. But he didn’t cut the birds in half. 11Then some hawks flew down and tried to eat the animals, but Abram chased them away.
12While the sun was going down, Abram went to sleep. It was a strong deep sleep. Then Abram had something like a dream. It was really dark for him, and he felt really frightened.#Job 4:13-14 13-15God said to Abram, “I want you to know for sure what will happen after you get really old. You don’t have to worry about anything. You see, you will live to be a very old man, and then, when you are dying, you will feel good inside, and your family will bury you right here, in this country. But I have to tell you something. After you die, your family will leave this country and move to another country that belongs to other people. Your family will live in that country, and later on, the other people in that country will make your family like prisoners, and your family will have to work very hard for them. Those people will do really bad things to your family for 400 years. After that, I will save your family from that hard time, and I will punish those people for doing bad things to your family. Then your family will leave that country, and they will take a lot of animals and things with them. They will be really rich.#Exodus 1:1-14; Acts 7:6 16And I will bring your family back here to this country. You see, the Amor tribe that are here in this country now, they do really bad things, and they are getting worse and worse. But I will not punish them yet. I will punish them later, after your grand-kids grow up and have grand-kids. Then I will do payback to the mob in this country for the bad things that they do. I will take their country from them, and I will give it to your family.” That’s what God told Abram.
17After the sun went down and it was dark, Abram saw a bucket full of fire, with smoke coming out of it, and he saw a burning stick with it. That bucket and stick moved along between the halves of those animals that Abram killed. 18-21That’s how God showed Abram that he was really going to do everything that he promised. God said to him again, “I am going to give your family all this country, from the river in Egypt in the south, right up to the big river called Euphrates in the north.
These are the tribes in this country now,
– the Ken tribe,
– the Keniz tribe,
– the Kadmon tribe,
– the Heth tribe,
– the Periz tribe,
– the Refa tribe,
– the Amor tribe,
– the Canaan tribe,
– the Girgash tribe,
– the Jebus tribe.
I will take this country away from all those tribes, and I will give it to your family.” God promised that to Abram.#Acts 7:5