Bible: Genesis 15

The Cutting of the Covenant

15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram! I am your shield 1  and the one who will reward you in great abundance.” 2 

15:2 But Abram said, “O sovereign Lord, 3  what will you give me since 4  I continue to be 5  childless, and my heir 6  is 7  Eliezer of Damascus? 8  15:3 Abram added, 9 Since 10  you have not given me a descendant, then look, one born in my house will be my heir! 11 

15:4 But look, 12  the word of the Lord came to him: “This man 13  will not be your heir, 14  but instead 15  a son 16  who comes from your own body will be 17  your heir.” 18  15:5 The Lord 19  took him outside and said, “Gaze into the sky and count the stars – if you are able to count them!” Then he said to him, “So will your descendants be.”

15:6 Abram believed 20  the Lord, and the Lord 21  considered his response of faith 22  as proof of genuine loyalty. 23 

15:7 The Lord said 24  to him, “I am the Lord 25  who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans 26  to give you this land to possess.” 15:8 But 27  Abram 28  said, “O sovereign Lord, 29  by what 30  can I know that I am to possess it?

15:9 The Lord 31  said to him, “Take for me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” 15:10 So Abram 32  took all these for him and then cut them in two 33  and placed each half opposite the other, 34  but he did not cut the birds in half. 15:11 When birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

15:12 When the sun went down, Abram fell sound asleep, 35  and great terror overwhelmed him. 36  15:13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain 37  that your descendants will be strangers 38  in a foreign country. 39  They will be enslaved and oppressed 40  for four hundred years. 15:14 But I will execute judgment on the nation that they will serve. 41  Afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15:15 But as for you, 42  you will go to your ancestors 43  in peace and be buried at a good old age. 44  15:16 In the fourth generation 45  your descendants 46  will return here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its limit.” 47 

15:17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking firepot with a flaming torch 48  passed between the animal parts. 49  15:18 That day the Lord made a covenant 50  with Abram: “To your descendants I give 51  this land, from the river of Egypt 52  to the great river, the Euphrates River 15:19 the land 53  of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 15:20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 15:21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.” 54 

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