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Genesis 15

15
1After all these things, this word of God came to Abram in a vision: “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I’m your shield. Your reward will be grand!”
2-3Abram said, “God, Master, what use are your gifts as long as I’m childless and Eliezer of Damascus is going to inherit everything?” Abram continued, “See, you’ve given me no children, and now a mere house servant is going to get it all.”
4Then God’s Message came: “Don’t worry, he won’t be your heir; a son from your body will be your heir.”
5Then he took him outside and said, “Look at the sky. Count the stars. Can you do it? Count your descendants! You’re going to have a big family, Abram!”
6And he believed! Believed God! God declared him “Set-Right-with-God.”
7God continued, “I’m the same God who brought you from Ur of the Chaldees and gave you this land to own.”
8Abram said, “Master God, how am I to know this, that it will all be mine?”
9God said, “Bring me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, and a dove and a young pigeon.”
10-12He brought all these animals to him, split them down the middle, and laid the halves opposite each other. But he didn’t split the birds. Vultures swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram scared them off. As the sun went down a deep sleep overcame Abram and then a sense of dread, dark and heavy.
13-16God said to Abram, “Know this: your descendants will live as outsiders in a land not theirs; they’ll be enslaved and beaten down for 400 years. Then I’ll punish their slave masters; your offspring will march out of there loaded with plunder. But not you; you’ll have a long and full life and die a good and peaceful death. Not until the fourth generation will your descendants return here; sin is still a thriving business among the Amorites.”
17-21When the sun was down and it was dark, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch moved between the split carcasses. That’s when God made a covenant with Abram: “I’m giving this land to your children, from the Nile River in Egypt to the River Euphrates in Assyria—the country of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaim, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
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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.”