God’s covenant with Abram
1After these events, the LORD’s word came to Abram in a vision, “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I am your protector.#15.1 Or shield or benefactor Your reward will be very great.”
2But Abram said, “LORD God, what can you possibly give me, since I still have no children? The head of my household is Eliezer, a man from Damascus.”#15.2 Heb uncertain 3He continued, “Since you haven’t given me any children, the head of my household will be my heir.”
4The LORD’s word came immediately to him, “This man will not be your heir. Your heir will definitely be your very own biological child.” 5Then he brought Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you think you can count them.” He continued, “This is how many children you will have.” 6Abram trusted the LORD, and the LORD recognized Abram’s high moral character.
7He said to Abram, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.”
8But Abram said, “LORD God, how do I know that I will actually possess it?”
9He said, “Bring me a three-year-old female calf, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon.” 10He took all of these animals, split them in half, and laid the halves facing each other, but he didn’t split the birds. 11When vultures swooped down on the carcasses, Abram waved them off. 12After the sun set, Abram slept deeply. A terrifying and deep darkness settled over him.
13Then the LORD said to Abram, “Have no doubt that your descendants will live as immigrants in a land that isn’t their own, where they will be oppressed slaves for four hundred years. 14But after I punish the nation they serve, they will leave it with great wealth. 15As for you, you will join your ancestors in peace and be buried after a good long life. 16The fourth generation will return here since the Amorites’ wrongdoing won’t have reached its peak until then.”
17After the sun had set and darkness had deepened, a smoking vessel with a fiery flame passed between the split-open animals. 18That day the LORD cut a covenant with Abram: “To your descendants I give this land, from Egypt’s river to the great Euphrates, 19together with 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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The Lord’s Covenant Promise to Abram
1Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.”
2But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. 3You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”
4Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” 5Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”
6And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.
7Then the Lord told him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.”
8But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, how can I be sure that I will actually possess it?”
9The Lord told 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 presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not, however, cut the birds in half. 11Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away.
12As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came down over him. 13Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. 14But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth. 15(As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.) 16After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”
17After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses. 18So the Lord made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt#15:18 Hebrew the river of Egypt, referring either to an eastern branch of the Nile River or to the Brook of Egypt in the Sinai (see Num 34:5). to the great Euphrates River— 19the land now occupied by the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
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