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God’s Agreement with Abram

15 After these things happened, the Lord spoke his word to Abram in a vision. God said, “Abram, don’t be afraid. I will defend you. And I will give you a great reward.”

But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me? I have no son. So my slave Eliezer from Damascus will get everything I own after I die.” Abram said, “Look, you have given me no son. So a slave born in my house will inherit everything I have.”

Then the Lord spoke his word to Abram. He said, “That slave will not be the one to inherit what you have. You will have a son of your own. And your son will inherit what you have.”

Then God led Abram outside. God said, “Look at the sky. There are so many stars you cannot count them. And your descendants will be too many to count.”

Abram believed the Lord. And the Lord accepted Abram’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.

God said to Abram, “I am the Lord who led you out of Ur of Babylonia. I did that so I could give you this land to own.”

But Abram said, “Lord God, how can I be sure that I will own this land?”

The Lord said to Abram, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old goat and a three-year-old male sheep. Also bring me a dove and a young pigeon.”

10 Abram brought them all to God. Then Abram killed the animals and cut each of them into two pieces. He laid each half opposite the other half. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11 Later, large birds flew down to eat the animals. But Abram chased them away.

12 As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep. While he was asleep, a very terrible darkness came. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers and travel in a land they don’t own. The people there will make them slaves. And they will do cruel things to them for 400 years. 14 But I will punish the nation where they are slaves. Then your descendants will leave that land, taking great wealth with them. 15 Abram, you will live to be very old. You will die in peace and will be buried. 16 After your great-great-grandchildren are born, your people will come to this land again. It will take that long, because the Amorites are not yet evil enough to punish.”

17 The sun went down, and it was very dark. Suddenly a smoking firepot and a blazing torch passed between the halves of the dead animals.[a] 18 So on that day the Lord made an agreement with Abram. The Lord said, “I will give this land to your descendants. I will give them the land between the river of Egypt and the great river Euphrates. 19 This is the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

Footnotes

  1. 15:17 passed . . . animals This showed that God sealed the agreement between himself and Abram.

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