1After these things hath the word of Jehovah been unto Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Fear not, Abram, I [am] a shield to thee, thy reward [is] exceeding great.’
2And Abram saith, ‘Lord Jehovah, what dost Thou give to me, and I am going childless? and an acquired son in my house is Demmesek Eliezer.’
3And Abram saith, ‘Lo, to me Thou hast not given seed, and lo, a domestic doth heir me.’
4And lo, the word of Jehovah [is] unto him, saying, ‘This [one] doth not heir thee; but he who cometh out from thy bowels, he doth heir thee;’
5and He bringeth him out without, and saith, ‘Look attentively, I pray thee, towards the heavens, and count the stars, if thou art able to count them;’ and He saith to him, ‘Thus is thy seed.’
6And he hath believed in Jehovah, and He reckoneth it to him — righteousness.
7And He saith unto him, ‘I [am] Jehovah who brought thee out from Ur of the Chaldees, to give to thee this land to possess it;’
8and he saith, ‘Lord Jehovah, whereby do I know that I possess it?’
9And He saith unto him, ‘Take for Me a heifer of three years, and a she-goat of three years, and a ram of three years, and a turtle-dove, and a young bird;’
10and he taketh to him all these, and separateth them in the midst, and putteth each piece over against its fellow, but the bird he hath not divided;
11and the ravenous birds come down upon the carcases, and Abram causeth them to turn back.
12And the sun is about to go in, and deep sleep hath fallen upon Abram, and lo, a terror of great darkness is falling upon him;
13and He saith to Abram, ‘knowing — know that thy seed is a sojourner in a land not theirs, and they have served them, and they have afflicted them four hundred years,
14and the nation also whom they serve I judge, and after this they go out with great substance;
15and thou — thou comest in unto thy fathers in peace; thou art buried in a good old age;
16and the fourth generation doth turn back hither, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.’
17And it cometh to pass — the sun hath gone in, and thick darkness hath been — and lo, a furnace of smoke, and a lamp of fire, which hath passed over between those pieces.
18In that day hath Jehovah made with Abram a covenant, saying, ‘To thy seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Phrat,
19with the Kenite, and the Kenizzite, and the Kadmonite,
20and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Rephaim,
21and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Girgashite, and the Jebusite.’
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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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