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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
Abram Promised a Son
1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,
“Do not be afraid, Abram,
I am your shield;
Your reward [for obedience] shall be very great.”
2Abram said, “Lord #Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord.God, what reward will You give me, since I am [leaving this world] childless, and he who will be the owner and heir of my house is this [servant] Eliezer from Damascus?” 3And Abram continued, “Since You have given no child to me, one (a servant) born in my house is my heir.” 4Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man [Eliezer] will not be your heir but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5And the Lord brought Abram outside [his tent into the night] and said, “Look now toward the heavens and count the stars—if you are able to count them.” Then He said to him, “So [numerous] shall your descendants be.” 6Then Abram believed in (affirmed, trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord; and He counted (credited) it to him #This was crucial to God’s plan of salvation, as can be seen in Rom 4. There was simply no way that anyone except Christ could ever be sufficiently righteous to meet God’s standards and avoid condemnation. Having faith in God and placing one’s trust in Him was not in itself something that could be a substitute for perfect righteousness, but God graciously determined to accept faith as an equivalent for that righteousness nonetheless. So in a sense, Abraham—and all believers since him, who are his spiritual descendants—received righteousness on credit, and the bill for that righteousness was paid by the death of Christ on the cross.as righteousness (doing right in regard to God and man). 7And He said to him, “I am the [same] Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land as an inheritance.” 8But Abram said, “Lord #Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord.God, by what [proof] will I know that I will inherit it?” 9So God said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10So Abram brought all these to Him and #This was preparation for an ancient ceremony that formally bound two parties to an agreement or covenant (v 18). Reference is made to the ceremony in Jer 34:18, but details are not given elsewhere in Scripture.cut them down the middle, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. 11The birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12When the sun was setting, a deep sleep overcame Abram; and a horror (terror, shuddering fear, nightmare) of great darkness overcame him. 13God said to Abram, “Know for sure that your descendants will be strangers [living temporarily] in a land (Egypt) that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. 14But on that nation whom your descendants will serve I will bring judgment, and afterward they will come out [of that land] with great possessions. 15As for you, you shall [die and] go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16Then in the #This prophecy was fulfilled when Moses led the Israelites back to Canaan after their four hundred years in Egypt. He was “in the fourth generation” from Jacob—Levi, Kohath, Amram, Moses.fourth generation your descendants shall return here [to Canaan, the land of promise], for the wickedness and guilt of the #The most important and powerful group of that region. The name “Amorite” later became virtually synonymous with that of the inhabitants of Canaan. They were known for their many superstitious practices (according to the Talmud).Amorites is not yet complete (finished).”
17When the sun had gone down and a [deep] darkness had come, there appeared a smoking #I.e. a large bowl or pan holding burning coals.brazier and a flaming torch which passed between the [divided] pieces [of the animals]. 18On the same day the Lord made a covenant (promise, pledge) with Abram, saying,
“To your descendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates—
19[the land of] the Kenites and the Kenizzites and the Kadmonites 20and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Rephaim, 21the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”