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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God's Covenant with Abram
1After this, Abram had a vision and heard the LORD say to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I will shield you from danger and give you a great reward.”
2But Abram answered, “Sovereign LORD, what good will your reward do me, since I have no children? My only heir is Eliezer of Damascus.#15.2 My… Damascus; Hebrew unclear. 3You have given me no children, and one of my slaves will inherit my property.”
4Then he heard the LORD speaking to him again: “This slave Eliezer will not inherit your property; your own son will be your heir.” 5#Rom 4.18; Heb 11.12The LORD took him outside and said, “Look at the sky and try to count the stars; you will have as many descendants as that.”
6 # Rom 4.3; Gal 3.6; Jas 2.23 Abram put his trust in the LORD, and because of this the LORD was pleased with him and accepted him.
7Then the LORD said to him, “I am the LORD, who led you out of Ur in Babylonia, to give you this land as your own.”
8But Abram asked, “Sovereign LORD, how can I know that it will be mine?”
9He answered, “Bring me a cow, a goat, and a ram, each of them three years old, and a dove and a pigeon.” 10Abram brought the animals to God, cut them in half, and placed the halves opposite each other in two rows; but he did not cut up the birds. 11Vultures came down on the bodies, but Abram drove them off.
12 # Job 4.13, 14 When the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and fear and terror came over him. 13#Ex 1.1–14; Acts 7.6The LORD said to him, “Your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land; they will be slaves there and will be treated cruelly for 400 years. 14#Ex 12.40–41; Acts 7.7But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and when they leave that foreign land, they will take great wealth with them. 15You yourself will live to a ripe old age, die in peace, and be buried. 16It will be four generations before your descendants come back here, because I will not drive out the Amorites until they become so wicked that they must be punished.”
17When the sun had set and it was dark, a smoking fire-pot and a flaming torch suddenly appeared and passed between the pieces of the animals. 18#Acts 7.5Then and there the LORD made a covenant with Abram. He said, “I promise to give your descendants all this land from the border of Egypt to the River Euphrates, 19including the lands 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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Good News Bible. Scripture taken from the Good News Bible (r) (Today's English Version Second Edition, UK/British Edition). Copyright © 1992 British & Foreign Bible Society. Used by permission.