God’s Agreement With Abram
1After all these things happened, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision. God said, “Abram, don’t be afraid. I will defend you and give you a great reward.”
2But Abram said, “Lord GOD, there is nothing you can give me that will make me happy, because I have no son. My slave Eliezer from Damascus will get everything I own after I die.” 3Abram said, “You have given me no son, so a slave born in my house will get everything I have.”
4Then the Lord spoke to Abram and said, “That slave will not be the one to get what you have. You will have a son who will get everything you own.”
5Then God led Abram outside and said, “Look at the sky. See the many stars. There are so many you cannot count them. Your family will be like that.”
6Abram believed the Lord, and because of this faith the Lord accepted him as one who has done what is right. 7He said to Abram, “I am the Lord who led you from Ur of Babylonia.#15:7 Ur of Babylonia Literally, “Ur of the Chaldeans.” A city in southern Babylonia. I did this so that I could give you this land. You will own this land.”
8But Abram said, “Lord GOD, how can I be sure that I will get this land?”
9God said to Abram, “We will make an agreement. Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon.”
10Abram brought all these to God. Abram killed these animals and cut each of them into two pieces. Then he laid each half across from the other half. He did not cut the birds into two pieces. 11Later, large birds flew down to eat the animals, but Abram chased them away.
12The sun began to go down and Abram got very sleepy. While he was asleep, a very terrible darkness came over him. 13Then the Lord said to Abram, “You should know this: Your descendants will live in a country that is not their own. They will be strangers there. The people there will make them slaves and be cruel to them for 400 years. 14But then I will punish the nation that made them slaves. Your people will leave that land, and they will take many good things with them.
15“You yourself will live to be very old. You will die in peace and will be buried with your family. 16After four generations your people will come to this land again and defeat the Amorites. That will happen in the future because the Amorites are not yet guilty enough to lose their land.”
17After the sun went down, it got very dark. The dead animals were still on the ground, each animal cut into two pieces. Then a smoking firepot#15:17 firepot A clay pot in which burning coals were placed to be used for starting new fires. and a flaming torch passed between the halves of the dead animals.#15:17 passed between … animals This showed that God “signed” or “sealed” the agreement he made with Abram. People showed that they were sincere in making an agreement by walking between the parts of animals that had been cut into pieces and saying something like, “May this same thing happen to me if I don’t keep the agreement.”
18So on that day the Lord made a promise and an agreement with Abram. He said, “I will give this land to your descendants. I will give them the land between the River of Egypt#15:18 River of Egypt That is, the stream called “Wadi El-Arish.” and the great river Euphrates. 19This is the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
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The Lord's promises to Abram
1Later the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision, “Abram, don't be afraid! I will protect you and reward you greatly.”
2But Abram answered, “LORD All-Powerful, you have given me everything I could ask for, except children. And when I die, Eliezer of Damascus will get all I own.#15.2 And…own: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. 3You have not given me any children, and this servant of mine will inherit everything.”
4The LORD replied, “No, he won't! You will have a son of your own, and everything you have will be his.” 5Then the LORD took Abram outside and said, “Look at the sky and see if you can count the stars. That's how many descendants you will have.”#Ro 4.18; He 11.12. 6Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD was pleased with him.#Ro 4.3; Ga 3.6; Jas 2.23.
The LORD makes another promise to Abram
7The LORD said to Abram, “I brought you here from Ur in Chaldea, and I gave you this land.”
8Abram asked, “LORD God, how can I know the land will be mine?”
9Then the LORD told him, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon.”
10Abram obeyed the LORD. Then he cut#15.10 cut: In Hebrew “cut” sounds something like “agreement”. What follows shows that the LORD is making an agreement with Abram. the animals in half and laid the two halves of each animal opposite each other on the ground. But he did not cut the doves and pigeons in half. 11And when birds came down to eat the animals, Abram chased them away.
12As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and everything became dark and frightening.#Job 4.13,14. 13-15Then the LORD said:#Ex 1.1-14; Ac 7.6.#Ex 12.40,41; Ac 7.7.
Abram, you will live to an old age and die in peace.
But I solemnly promise that your descendants will live as foreigners in a land that doesn't belong to them. They will be forced into slavery and abused for four hundred years. But I will terribly punish the nation that enslaves them, and they will leave with many possessions.
16Four generations later,#15.16 Four generations later: This may refer to the “four hundred years” of verses 13-15. your descendants will return here and take this land, because only then will the people who live here#15.16 people who live here: The Hebrew text has “Amorites”, a name sometimes used of the people who lived in Palestine before the Israelites. be so sinful that they deserve to be punished.
17Some time after sunset, when it was very dark, a smoking cooking pot#15.17 smoking cooking pot: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. The smoke and fire represent the presence of the LORD. and a flaming fire went between the two halves of each animal. 18At that time the LORD made an agreement with Abram and told him:#Ac 7.5.
I will give your descendants the land east of the River Shihor#15.18 River Shihor: See Joshua 13.2-7. on the border of Egypt as far as the River Euphrates. 19They will possess the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaites, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
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