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.”
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God’s Agreement with Abram
1After these things happened, the Lord spoke his word to Abram in a vision: “Abram, don’t be afraid. I will defend you, and I will give you a great reward.”
2But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me? I have no son, so my slave Eliezer from Damascus will get everything I own after I die.” 3Abram said, “Look, you have given me no son, so a slave born in my house will inherit everything I have.”
4Then the Lord spoke his word to Abram: “He will not be the one to inherit what you have. You will have a son of your own who will inherit what you have.”
5Then God led Abram outside and said, “Look at the sky. There are so many stars you cannot count them. Your descendants also will be too many to count.”
6Abram believed the Lord. And the Lord accepted Abram’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.
7God said to Abram, “I am the Lord who led you out of Ur of Babylonia so that I could give you this land to own.”
8But Abram said, “Lord God, how can I be sure that I will own this land?”
9The Lord said to Abram, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old male sheep, a dove, and a young pigeon.”
10Abram brought them all to God. Then Abram killed the animals and cut each of them into two pieces, laying each half opposite the other half. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11Later, large birds flew down to eat the animals, but Abram chased them away.
12As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep. While he was asleep, a very terrible darkness came. 13Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers and travel in a land they don’t own. The people there will make them slaves and be cruel to them for four hundred years. 14But I will punish the nation where they are slaves. Then your descendants will leave that land, taking great wealth with them. 15And you, Abram, will die in peace and will be buried at an old age. 16After your great-great-grandchildren are born, your people will come to this land again. It will take that long, because I am not yet going to punish the Amorites for their evil behavior.”
17After the sun went down, it was very dark. Suddenly a smoking firepot and a blazing torch passed between the halves of the dead animals. 18So on that day the Lord made an agreement with Abram and said, “I will give to your descendants the land between the river of Egypt and the great river Euphrates. 19This is the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
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