1 AFTER THESE things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I am your Shield, your abundant compensation, and your reward shall be exceedingly great.
2 And Abram said, Lord God, what can You give me, since I am going on [from this world] childless and he who shall be the owner and heir of my house is this [steward] Eliezer of Damascus?
3 And Abram continued, Look, You have given me no child; and [a servant] born in my house is my heir.
4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, This man shall not be your heir, but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir.
5 And He brought him outside [his tent into the starlight] and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars–if you are able to number them. Then He said to him, So shall your descendants be. [Heb. 11:12.]
6 And he [Abram] believed in (trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness (right standing with God). [Rom. 4:3, 18-22; Gal. 3:6; James 2:23.]
7 And He said to him, I am the [same] Lord, Who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees to give you this land as an inheritance.
8 But he [Abram] said, Lord God, by what shall I know that I shall inherit it?
9 And He said to him, Bring to Me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.
10 And he brought Him all these and cut them down the middle [into halves] and laid each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not divide.
11 And when the birds of prey swooped down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 When the sun was setting, a deep sleep overcame Abram, and a horror (a terror, a shuddering fear) of great darkness assailed and oppressed him.
13 And [God] said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs [Egypt], and they will be slaves there and will be afflicted and oppressed for 400 years. [Fulfilled in Exod. 12:40.]
14 But I will bring judgment on that nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. [Acts 7:6, 7.]
15 And you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old (hoary) age.
16 And in the fourth generation they [your descendants] shall come back here [to Canaan] again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete. [Josh. 24:15.]
17 When the sun had gone down and a [thick] darkness had come on, behold, a smoking oven and a flaming torch passed between those pieces.
18 On 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–the land of
19 The Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,
20 The Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,
21 The Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
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The Lord's covenant with Abram
1After this, the Lord spoke to Abram in a dream. God said, ‘Do not be afraid Abram. I will keep you safe. I myself will give you many good gifts.’
2But Abram said, ‘Almighty Lord, there is one gift that I want. I still have no children. When I die, Eliezer of Damascus will receive everything that I have. 3Because you have not given me any children, understand this: Everything that I have will one day belong to a servant in my house.’ #15:3 Eliezer of Damascus was Abram's servant. Abram did not have any children. When Abram died, there was no son to continue the family.
4The Lord gave Abram this message: ‘No! Eliezer will not be the one who receives your things. You will have your own son. He will be the one who receives everything that you have.’
5The Lord took Abram outside. He said to Abram, ‘Look up at the sky. Count the stars. They are too many for you to count!’ Then God said, ‘That is how many descendants you will have.’
6Abram believed the Lord. As a result, the Lord accepted Abram as right with him.
7The Lord also said to Abram, ‘I am the Lord. I brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to bring you to this land. I am giving it to you. It will belong to you.’ 8But Abram said, ‘Almighty Lord, how can I be sure that this land will belong to me?’
9The Lord said to Abram, ‘Bring a young cow, a goat and a male sheep to offer them to me. Each animal must be three years old. Also bring a dove and a young pigeon.’
10Abram brought the three animals and the two birds to offer to God. Abram cut each animal in two pieces. He put the halves opposite each other. But he did not cut the birds in two pieces. 11Some birds flew down to eat the animals' dead bodies. But Abram sent them away.
12When the sun was going down, Abram started to sleep. Suddenly he became very afraid because it was dark all around him. 13Then the Lord said to Abram, ‘Be sure of this: Your descendants will live in a foreign country. They will be strangers there. People will do bad things to them and they will become slaves. This will continue for 400 years. 14But I will punish the people of that country who give them trouble. After this, your descendants will leave that country. They will take many valuable things with them. 15But as for you, Abram, you will have a long life. When you die, you will have peace in your mind. 16After four generations, your descendants will come back here to Canaan. At that time, I will punish the Amorites because they do very bad things. But the time has not yet arrived that I will punish them.’ #15:16 The Amorites lived in Canaan. They did not worship the Lord God. They worshipped false gods. They killed children and gave them as sacrifices to these gods. God told Abram that when his descendants returned to Canaan, he would punish the Amorites at that time.
17Then the sun went down and it became dark. Abram saw a pot that had coals in it. The coals were burning and making smoke. There was also a branch that burned with bright fire. These passed between the halves of the animals that Abram had cut in two pieces. #15:17 The fire showed that God was passing between the halves of the animals. This showed that he was making a covenant with Abram.
18On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram. The Lord promised, ‘I give this land to your descendants. The land starts from the river of Egypt and continues as far as the River Euphrates. 19These people live in the land: Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.’ #15:21 These are the people who lived in the land of Canaan that God was giving to Abram and his descendants. Abram's descendants would win against these people. Then they would take the land for themselves to live in, because God had given it to them.
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