1 And so, these things having been transacted, the word of the Lord came to Abram by a vision, saying: "Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your protector, and your reward is exceedingly great."
2 And Abram said: "Lord God, what will you give to me? I may go without children. And the son of the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus."
3 And Abram added: "Yet to me you have not given offspring. And behold, my servant born in my house will be my heir."
4 And immediately the word of the Lord came to him, saying: "This one will not be your heir. But he who will come from your loins, the same will you have for your heir."
5 And he brought him outside, and he said to him, "Take in the heavens, and number the stars, if you can." And he said to him, "So also will your offspring be."
6 Abram believed God, and it was reputed to him unto justice.
7 And he said to him, "I am the Lord who led you away from Ur of the Chaldeans, so as to give you this land, and so that you would possess it."
8 But he said, "Lord God, in what way may I be able to know that I will possess it?"
9 And the Lord responded by saying: "Take for me a cow of three years, and a she-goat of three years, and a ram of three years, also a turtle-dove and a pigeon."
10 Taking all these, he divided them through the middle, and placed both parts opposite one another. But the birds he did not divide.
11 And birds descended upon the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12 And when the sun was setting, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a dread, great and dark, invaded him.
13 And it was said to him: "Know beforehand that your future offspring will be sojourners in a land not their own, and they will subjugate them in servitude and afflict them for four hundred years.
14 Yet truly, I will judge the nation that they will serve, and after this they will depart with great substance.
15 But you will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age.
16 But in the fourth generation, they will return here. For the iniquities of the Amorites are not yet completed, even to this present time."
17 Then, when the sun had set, there came a dark mist, and there appeared a smoking furnace and a lamp of fire passing between those divisions.
18 On that day, God formed a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your offspring I will give this land, from the river of Egypt, even to the great river Euphrates:
19 the land of the Kenites and the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites
20 and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, likewise the Rephaim,
21 and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
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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