The Lord's covenant with Abram
1After this, the Lord spoke to Abram in a dream. God said, ‘Do not be afraid Abram. I will keep you safe. I myself will give you many good gifts.’
2But Abram said, ‘Almighty Lord, there is one gift that I want. I still have no children. When I die, Eliezer of Damascus will receive everything that I have. 3Because you have not given me any children, understand this: Everything that I have will one day belong to a servant in my house.’ #15:3 Eliezer of Damascus was Abram's servant. Abram did not have any children. When Abram died, there was no son to continue the family.
4The Lord gave Abram this message: ‘No! Eliezer will not be the one who receives your things. You will have your own son. He will be the one who receives everything that you have.’
5The Lord took Abram outside. He said to Abram, ‘Look up at the sky. Count the stars. They are too many for you to count!’ Then God said, ‘That is how many descendants you will have.’
6Abram believed the Lord. As a result, the Lord accepted Abram as right with him.
7The Lord also said to Abram, ‘I am the Lord. I brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to bring you to this land. I am giving it to you. It will belong to you.’ 8But Abram said, ‘Almighty Lord, how can I be sure that this land will belong to me?’
9The Lord said to Abram, ‘Bring a young cow, a goat and a male sheep to offer them to me. Each animal must be three years old. Also bring a dove and a young pigeon.’
10Abram brought the three animals and the two birds to offer to God. Abram cut each animal in two pieces. He put the halves opposite each other. But he did not cut the birds in two pieces. 11Some birds flew down to eat the animals' dead bodies. But Abram sent them away.
12When the sun was going down, Abram started to sleep. Suddenly he became very afraid because it was dark all around him. 13Then the Lord said to Abram, ‘Be sure of this: Your descendants will live in a foreign country. They will be strangers there. People will do bad things to them and they will become slaves. This will continue for 400 years. 14But I will punish the people of that country who give them trouble. After this, your descendants will leave that country. They will take many valuable things with them. 15But as for you, Abram, you will have a long life. When you die, you will have peace in your mind. 16After four generations, your descendants will come back here to Canaan. At that time, I will punish the Amorites because they do very bad things. But the time has not yet arrived that I will punish them.’ #15:16 The Amorites lived in Canaan. They did not worship the Lord God. They worshipped false gods. They killed children and gave them as sacrifices to these gods. God told Abram that when his descendants returned to Canaan, he would punish the Amorites at that time.
17Then the sun went down and it became dark. Abram saw a pot that had coals in it. The coals were burning and making smoke. There was also a branch that burned with bright fire. These passed between the halves of the animals that Abram had cut in two pieces. #15:17 The fire showed that God was passing between the halves of the animals. This showed that he was making a covenant with Abram.
18On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram. The Lord promised, ‘I give this land to your descendants. The land starts from the river of Egypt and continues as far as the River Euphrates. 19These people live in the land: Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.’ #15:21 These are the people who lived in the land of Canaan that God was giving to Abram and his descendants. Abram's descendants would win against these people. Then they would take the land for themselves to live in, because God had given it to them.
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1After these things hath the word of Jehovah been unto Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Fear not, Abram, I [am] a shield to thee, thy reward [is] exceeding great.’
2And Abram saith, ‘Lord Jehovah, what dost Thou give to me, and I am going childless? and an acquired son in my house is Demmesek Eliezer.’
3And Abram saith, ‘Lo, to me Thou hast not given seed, and lo, a domestic doth heir me.’
4And lo, the word of Jehovah [is] unto him, saying, ‘This [one] doth not heir thee; but he who cometh out from thy bowels, he doth heir thee;’
5and He bringeth him out without, and saith, ‘Look attentively, I pray thee, towards the heavens, and count the stars, if thou art able to count them;’ and He saith to him, ‘Thus is thy seed.’
6And he hath believed in Jehovah, and He reckoneth it to him — righteousness.
7And He saith unto him, ‘I [am] Jehovah who brought thee out from Ur of the Chaldees, to give to thee this land to possess it;’
8and he saith, ‘Lord Jehovah, whereby do I know that I possess it?’
9And He saith unto him, ‘Take for Me a heifer of three years, and a she-goat of three years, and a ram of three years, and a turtle-dove, and a young bird;’
10and he taketh to him all these, and separateth them in the midst, and putteth each piece over against its fellow, but the bird he hath not divided;
11and the ravenous birds come down upon the carcases, and Abram causeth them to turn back.
12And the sun is about to go in, and deep sleep hath fallen upon Abram, and lo, a terror of great darkness is falling upon him;
13and He saith to Abram, ‘knowing — know that thy seed is a sojourner in a land not theirs, and they have served them, and they have afflicted them four hundred years,
14and the nation also whom they serve I judge, and after this they go out with great substance;
15and thou — thou comest in unto thy fathers in peace; thou art buried in a good old age;
16and the fourth generation doth turn back hither, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.’
17And it cometh to pass — the sun hath gone in, and thick darkness hath been — and lo, a furnace of smoke, and a lamp of fire, which hath passed over between those pieces.
18In that day hath Jehovah made with Abram a covenant, saying, ‘To thy seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Phrat,
19with the 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.’
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