1 After these things the Lord’s word came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
2 Abram said, “Lord#15:2 The word translated “Lord” is “Adonai”. GOD, what will you give me, since I go childless, and he who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3Abram said, “Behold, you have given no children to me: and, behold, one born in my house is my heir.”
4 Behold, the Lord’s word came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir, but he who will come out of your own body will be your heir.” 5The LORD brought him outside, and said, “Look now towards the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” He said to Abram, “So your offspring will be.” 6He believed in the LORD, who credited it to him for righteousness. 7He said to Abram, “I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it.”
8 He said, “Lord GOD, how will I know that I will inherit it?”
9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10He brought him all these, and divided them in the middle, and laid each half opposite the other; but he didn’t divide the birds. 11The birds of prey came down on the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12 When the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. Now terror and great darkness fell on him. 13He said to Abram, “Know for sure that your offspring will live as foreigners in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them. They will afflict them four hundred years. 14I will also judge that nation, whom they will serve. Afterward they will come out with great wealth; 15but you will go to your fathers in peace. You will be buried at a good old age. 16In the fourth generation they will come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full.” 17It came to pass that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18In that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “I have given this land to your offspring, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: 19the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the 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.”
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