1After these things the word of Jehovah came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. 2And Abram said, O Lord Jehovah, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and he that shall be possessor of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? 3And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4And, behold, the word of Jehovah came unto him, saying, This man shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and number the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6And he believed in Jehovah; and he reckoned it to him for righteousness. 7And he said unto him, I am Jehovah that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 8And he said, O Lord Jehovah, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? 9And he said unto him, Take me a heifer three years old, and a she-goat three years old, and a ram three years old, and a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon. 10And he took him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each half over against the other: but the birds divided he not. 11And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15But thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16And in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full. 17And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace, and a flaming torch that passed between these pieces. 18In that day Jehovah made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: 19the Kenite, and the Kenizzite, and the Kadmonite, 20and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Rephaim, 21and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Girgashite, and the Jebusite.
The Lord's Promise to Abram
1Later the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision, “Abram, don't be afraid! I will protect you and reward you greatly.”
2But Abram answered, “Lord All-Powerful, you have given me everything I could ask for, except children. And when I die, Eliezer of Damascus will get all I own.#15.2 And … own: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. 3You have not given me any children, and this servant of mine will inherit everything.”
4The Lord replied, “No, he won't! You will have a son of your own, and everything you have will be his.” 5#Ro 4.18; He 11.12. Then the Lord took Abram outside and said, “Look at the sky and see if you can count the stars. That's how many descendants you will have.” 6#1 Macc 2.52; Ro 4.3; Ga 3.6; Jas 2.23. Abram believed the Lord, so the Lord was pleased with him and accepted him.
The Lord Makes Another Promise to Abram
7The Lord said to Abram, “I brought you here from Ur in Chaldea, and I gave you this land.”
8Abram asked, “Lord God, how can I know the land will be mine?”
9Then the Lord told him, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon.”
10Abram obeyed the Lord. Then he cut#15.10 cut: In Hebrew “cut” sounds something like “agreement.” What follows shows that the Lord is making an agreement with Abram. the animals in half and laid the two halves of each animal opposite each other on the ground. But he did not cut the doves and pigeons in half. 11And when birds came down to eat the animals, Abram chased them away.
12 # Job 4.13,14. As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and everything became dark and frightening. 13-15#Ex 1.1-14; Ac 7.6; Ex 12.40,41; Ac 7.7. Then the Lord said:
Abram, you will live to an old age and die in peace.
But I solemnly promise that your descendants will live as foreigners in a land that doesn't belong to them. They will be forced into slavery and abused for 400 years. But I will terribly punish the nation that enslaves them, and they will leave with many possessions.
16Four generations later,#15.16 Four generations later: This may refer to the “400 years” of verses 13-15. your descendants will return here and take this land, because only then will the people who live here#15.16 people who live here: The Hebrew text has “Amorites,” a name sometimes used of the people who lived in Palestine before the Israelites. be so sinful that they deserve to be punished.
17Sometime after sunset, when it was very dark, a smoking cooking pot#15.17 smoking cooking pot: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. The smoke and fire represent the presence of the Lord. and a flaming fire passed between the two halves of each animal. 18#Ac 7.5. At that time the Lord made an agreement with Abram and told him:
I will give your descendants the land east of the Shihor River#15.18 Shihor River: See Joshua 13.2-7. on the border of Egypt as far as the Euphrates River. 19They will possess the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaites, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
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