God promised to give Abram a son
1Later on, after Abram saved Lot, Abram had a dream, and God talked to him in that dream. God said, “Abram, don’t be frightened, I will always keep you safe, so that nobody can ever hurt you, and I am going to give you lots of good things.”
2-3But Abram said, “Yes, God, you are very powerful. But look, I’ve got no son, so it doesn’t matter what you give me. You haven’t given me the one thing I really want. You haven’t given me any kids. So when I die, one of my work-men will get all my things. His name is Eliyezer. He is from Damascus.”
4Then Abram heard God talk to him again. God said, “I tell you, that work-man will not get all your things after you die. I am going to give you a son, and he will get all your things after you die.”
5Then God took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and try to count all those stars. There are a lot of stars. You can’t count them all. Well, you will have a son, and later on lots of people will be born into his family, and later on they will be a real big family. And just like nobody can count the stars, nobody will be able to count all your family.”#Romans 4:18; Hebrews 11:12
6And Abram believed what God said, so God was really happy with him, and told him, “You believe me, so now I’m saying you are properly good, like you never did anything wrong.”#Romans 4:3, 9, 22; Galatians 3:6; Hebrews 11:11; James 2:23
God did a ceremony to make Abram sure about his promises
7Then God said to Abram, “I am your God. I am the one that brought you out of your home country, from the town called Ur, in Chaldia country. And I am going to give you this country here. It will be yours. You will own all this country.”
8Abram said, “I know you are very powerful, God, but how can I be really sure that I will get all this country?”
9So God said to Abram, “Bring me a cow that hasn’t had a baby, and a female goat, and a male sheep. All those animals have to be 3 years old. And I want you to bring me 2 different sorts of pigeons too.”
10Then Abram did what God told him. He killed those animals and birds, and he cut the animals in half. He put the halves of each animal on the ground in 2 lines facing each other. But he didn’t cut the birds in half. 11Then some hawks flew down and tried to eat the animals, but Abram chased them away.
12While the sun was going down, Abram went to sleep. It was a strong deep sleep. Then Abram had something like a dream. It was really dark for him, and he felt really frightened.#Job 4:13-14 13-15God said to Abram, “I want you to know for sure what will happen after you get really old. You don’t have to worry about anything. You see, you will live to be a very old man, and then, when you are dying, you will feel good inside, and your family will bury you right here, in this country. But I have to tell you something. After you die, your family will leave this country and move to another country that belongs to other people. Your family will live in that country, and later on, the other people in that country will make your family like prisoners, and your family will have to work very hard for them. Those people will do really bad things to your family for 400 years. After that, I will save your family from that hard time, and I will punish those people for doing bad things to your family. Then your family will leave that country, and they will take a lot of animals and things with them. They will be really rich.#Exodus 1:1-14; Acts 7:6 16And I will bring your family back here to this country. You see, the Amor tribe that are here in this country now, they do really bad things, and they are getting worse and worse. But I will not punish them yet. I will punish them later, after your grand-kids grow up and have grand-kids. Then I will do payback to the mob in this country for the bad things that they do. I will take their country from them, and I will give it to your family.” That’s what God told Abram.
17After the sun went down and it was dark, Abram saw a bucket full of fire, with smoke coming out of it, and he saw a burning stick with it. That bucket and stick moved along between the halves of those animals that Abram killed. 18-21That’s how God showed Abram that he was really going to do everything that he promised. God said to him again, “I am going to give your family all this country, from the river in Egypt in the south, right up to the big river called Euphrates in the north.
These are the tribes in this country now,
– the Ken tribe,
– the Keniz tribe,
– the Kadmon tribe,
– the Heth tribe,
– the Periz tribe,
– the Refa tribe,
– the Amor tribe,
– the Canaan tribe,
– the Girgash tribe,
– the Jebus tribe.
I will take this country away from all those tribes, and I will give it to your family.” God promised that to Abram.#Acts 7:5
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The Lord’s covenant with Abram
1After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
‘Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,#15:1 Or sovereign
your very great reward.#15:1 Or shield; / your reward will be very great’
2But Abram said, ‘Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit#15:2 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain. my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?’ 3And Abram said, ‘You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.’
4Then the word of the Lord came to him: ‘This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.’ 5He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the sky and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring#15:5 Or seed be.’
6Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
7He also said to him, ‘I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.’
8But Abram said, ‘Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I shall gain possession of it?’
9So the Lord said to him, ‘Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.’
10Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13Then the Lord said to him, ‘Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and ill-treated there. 14But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterwards they will come out with great possessions. 15You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.’
17When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking brazier with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi#15:18 Or river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates – 19the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.’
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