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Genesis 15

15
Yahweh’s Covenant with Abram
1After these things the word of Yahweh came#Literally “was” to Abram in a vision, saying: “Do not be afraid, Abram; I am your shield, and your reward shall be very great.” 2Then#Or “And” Abram said, “O Yahweh, my Lord, what will you give me? I continue to be#Literally “I am going” childless, and my heir#Literally “the son of the inheritance of my house” is Eliezer of Damascus.” 3And Abram said, “Look, you have not given me a descendant, and here, a member of my household#Literally “a son of my house” is my heir.”#Literally “inheriting me” 4And behold, the word of Yahweh came to him saying, “This person will not be your heir,#Literally “inherit you” but your own son will be your heir.”#Literally “he who goes out from your body, he will inherit you” 5And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward the heavens and count the stars if you are able to count them.” And he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6And he believed in Yahweh, and he reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7And he said to him, “I am Yahweh, who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give this land to you, to possess it.” 8And he said, “O Yahweh God, how shall I know that I will possess it?” 9And he said to him, “Take for 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 for him all these and cut them in pieces down the middle. And he put each piece opposite the other,#Literally “its companion” but the birds he did not cut. 11And the birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12And it happened that, as the sun went down,#Literally “to go” then a deep sleep fell upon Abram and, behold, a great terrifying darkness fell upon him. 13And he said to Abram, “You must surely know#Literally “knowing you must know” that your descendants shall be as aliens in a land not their own.#Literally “not to them” And they shall serve them#Some nation hostile to Abram’s descendants (Egypt in later history) and they#Some nation hostile to Abram’s descendants (Egypt in later history) shall oppress them four hundred years. 14And also that the nation which they#That is, Abram’s descendants serve I will judge. Then#Or “And” afterward they shall go out with great possessions. 15And as for you, you shall go to your ancestors#Or “fathers” in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16And the fourth generation shall return here, for the guilt of the Amorites is not yet complete.”#Literally “is not complete up to now” 17And after the sun had gone down and it was dusk, behold, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch passed between those half pieces. 18On that day Yahweh made#Literally “cut” a covenant with Abram saying, “To your offspring I will give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates river, 19the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

Genesis 15

15
The Lord’s Covenant Promise to Abram
1Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.”
2But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. 3You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”
4Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” 5Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”
6And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.
7Then the Lord told him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.”
8But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it?”
9The Lord told 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 presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not, however, cut the birds in half. 11Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away.
12As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came down over him. 13Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. 14But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth. 15(As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.) 16After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”
17After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. 18So the Lord made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt#15:18 Hebrew the river of Egypt, referring either to an eastern branch of the Nile River or to the Brook of Egypt in the Sinai (see Num 34:5). to the great Euphrates River—19the land now occupied by the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”