God Makes a Covenant With Abram
1Some time later, Abram had a vision. The Lord said to him, "Abram, do not be afraid.
I am like a shield to you.
I am your very great reward."
2But Abram said, "Lord and King, what can you give me? I still don't have any children. My servant Eliezer comes from Damascus. When I die, he will get everything I own." 3Abram continued, "You haven't given me any children. So a servant in my house will get everything I own."
4Then a message came to Abram from the Lord. He said, "This man will not get what belongs to you. A son will come from your own body. He will get everything you own."
5The Lord took Abram outside and said, "Look up at the sky. Count the stars, if you can." Then he said to him, "That is how many children you will have."
6Abram believed the Lord. The Lord accepted Abram because he believed. So his faith made him right with the Lord.
7He also said to Abram, "I am the Lord. I brought you out of Ur in Babylonia. I wanted to give you this land to take as your very own."
8But Abram said, "Lord and King, how can I know I will take this land as my own?"
9So the Lord said to him, "Bring me a young cow. Also bring a goat and a ram. All of them must be three years old. Bring a dove and a young pigeon along with them."
10Abram brought all of them to the Lord. Abram cut them in two. He placed the halves opposite each other. But he didn't cut the birds in half. 11Then large birds came down to eat the dead bodies of the animals and birds. But Abram chased the large birds away.
12As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep. A thick and terrible darkness covered him.
13Then the Lord said to him, "You can be sure of what I am about to tell you. Your children who live after you will be strangers in a country that does not belong to them. They will become slaves. They will be treated badly for 400 years. 14But I will punish the nation that makes them slaves. After that, they will leave with all kinds of valuable things.
15"But you will die in peace. You will join the members of your family who have already died. You will be buried when you are very old.
16"Your children's grandchildren will come back here. That is because the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached the point where I must judge them."
17The sun set and darkness fell. Then a burning torch and a fire pot filled with smoke appeared. They passed between the pieces of the animals.
18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram. He said, "I am giving this land to your children after you. It reaches from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates. 19It includes the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites and Rephaites. 21The Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites also live there."
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