Cutting a Covenant
1After these things the word of Adonai came to Abram in a vision saying, “Do not fear, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
2But Abram said, “My Lord Adonai, what will You give me, since I am living without children, and the heir of my household is Eliezer of Damascus?”
3Then Abram said, “Look! You have given me no seed, so a house-born servant is my heir.”
4Then behold, the word of Adonai came to him saying, “This one will not be your heir, but in fact, one who will come from your own body will be your heir.
5He took him outside and said, “Look up now, at the sky, and count the stars—if you are able to count them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your seed be.”
6Then he believed in Adonai and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
7Then He said to him, “I am Adonai who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans, in order to give you this land to inherit it.”
8So he said, “My Lord Adonai, how will I know that I will inherit it?”
9Then He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old young cow, a three year old she-goat, a three year old ram, a turtle-dove and a young bird.”
10So he brought all these to Him and cut them in half, and put each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds.
11Then birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12When the sun was about to set and a deep sleep fell on Abram, behold, terror of great darkness was falling upon him!
13Then He said to Abram, “Know for certain that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and oppressed 400 years.
14But I am going to judge the nation that they will serve. Afterward they will go out with many possessions.
15But you, you will come to your fathers in peace. You will be buried at a good old age.
16Then in the fourth generation they will return here—for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17When the sun set and it became dark, behold, there was a smoking oven and a fiery torch that passed between these pieces.
18On that day Adonai cut a covenant with Abram, saying, “I give this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River:
19the Kenite, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,
20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Raphaites,
21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
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Abram Promised a Son
1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,
“Do not be afraid, Abram,
I am your shield;
Your reward [for obedience] shall be very great.”
2Abram said, “Lord #Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord.God, what reward will You give me, since I am [leaving this world] childless, and he who will be the owner and heir of my house is this [servant] Eliezer from Damascus?” 3And Abram continued, “Since You have given no child to me, one (a servant) born in my house is my heir.” 4Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man [Eliezer] will not be your heir but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5And the Lord brought Abram outside [his tent into the night] and said, “Look now toward the heavens and count the stars—if you are able to count them.” Then He said to him, “So [numerous] shall your descendants be.” 6Then Abram believed in (affirmed, trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord; and He counted (credited) it to him #This was crucial to God’s plan of salvation, as can be seen in Rom 4. There was simply no way that anyone except Christ could ever be sufficiently righteous to meet God’s standards and avoid condemnation. Having faith in God and placing one’s trust in Him was not in itself something that could be a substitute for perfect righteousness, but God graciously determined to accept faith as an equivalent for that righteousness nonetheless. So in a sense, Abraham—and all believers since him, who are his spiritual descendants—received righteousness on credit, and the bill for that righteousness was paid by the death of Christ on the cross.as righteousness (doing right in regard to God and man). 7And He said to him, “I am the [same] Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land as an inheritance.” 8But Abram said, “Lord #Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord.God, by what [proof] will I know that I will inherit it?” 9So God said to 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 brought all these to Him and #This was preparation for an ancient ceremony that formally bound two parties to an agreement or covenant (v 18). Reference is made to the ceremony in Jer 34:18, but details are not given elsewhere in Scripture.cut them down the middle, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. 11The birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12When the sun was setting, a deep sleep overcame Abram; and a horror (terror, shuddering fear, nightmare) of great darkness overcame him. 13God said to Abram, “Know for sure that your descendants will be strangers [living temporarily] in a land (Egypt) that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. 14But on that nation whom your descendants will serve I will bring judgment, and afterward they will come out [of that land] with great possessions. 15As for you, you shall [die and] go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16Then in the #This prophecy was fulfilled when Moses led the Israelites back to Canaan after their four hundred years in Egypt. He was “in the fourth generation” from Jacob—Levi, Kohath, Amram, Moses.fourth generation your descendants shall return here [to Canaan, the land of promise], for the wickedness and guilt of the #The most important and powerful group of that region. The name “Amorite” later became virtually synonymous with that of the inhabitants of Canaan. They were known for their many superstitious practices (according to the Talmud).Amorites is not yet complete (finished).”
17When the sun had gone down and a [deep] darkness had come, there appeared a smoking #I.e. a large bowl or pan holding burning coals.brazier and a flaming torch which passed between the [divided] pieces [of the animals]. 18On the same day the Lord made a covenant (promise, pledge) with Abram, saying,
“To your descendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates—
19[the land of] the Kenites and the Kenizzites and the Kadmonites 20and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Rephaim, 21the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”
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