Genesis Chapter 15
1 After these things the LORD's word came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Don't be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward."
2 Abram said, "Lord GOD, what will you give me, since I go childless, and he who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?"
3 Abram said, "Behold, you have given no children to me: and, behold, one born in my house is my heir."
4 Behold, the LORD's word came to him, saying, "This man will not be your heir, but he who will come out of your own body will be your heir."
5 The LORD brought him outside, and said, "Look now towards the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." He said to Abram, "So your offspring will be."
6 He believed in the LORD, who credited it to him for righteousness.
7 He said to Abram, "I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it."
8 He said, "Lord GOD, how will I know that I will inherit it?"
9 He said to him, "Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon."
10 He brought him all these, and divided them in the middle, and laid each half opposite the other; but he didn't divide the birds.
11 The birds of prey came down on the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12 When the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. Now terror and great darkness fell on him.
13 He said to Abram, "Know for sure that your offspring will live as foreigners in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them. They will afflict them four hundred years.
14 I will also judge that nation, whom they will serve. Afterward they will come out with great wealth;
15 but you will go to your fathers in peace. You will be buried at a good old age.
16 In the fourth generation they will come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full."
17 It came to pass that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.
18 In that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "I have given this land to your offspring, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates:
19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,
20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,
21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
- Verse 2 (Lord)
- The word translated "Lord" is "Adonai".
Version: World English Bible
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Genesis Chapter 15 Guide
This is the account of the fourth direct appearance of Jehovah to Abram and evidently it had direct connection with what had immediately preceded. Abram had passed through two conflicts, the first with kings, the second with the suggestion of enrichment from the treasury of Sodom. In both he had been victorious. Now the divine voice declared, first, "I am thy shield," reminding him of how his victory over the kings had been obtained; while the second word, "I am ... thy exceeding great reward" reminded him that he had lost nothing in refusing the reward offered by the king of Sodom.
In response to this word of God Abram's faith moved to a higher level. He was able to speak to God of the temptation to doubt which was in his heart. He was at once answered with the divine promise of an heir and was commanded to look at the stars to find the measure of the issue, "if thou be able to number them." Abram could not, but God could. So was his seed to be. Looking at the stars, he would know there was order where he could not discover it, number where he could not follow it; purpose where he could not trace it. He believed very literally; he built on God and God counted it to him for righteousness.
Jehovah now repeated the promise that he should inherit the land and in response to Abram's request gave him a sign. It was given in connection with sacrifice. In a horror of great darkness Abram received the revelation of trouble that lay ahead of his people and of an issue out of it. This, by the significant vision of a smoking furnace and a lamp. Abram's request for a sign was the request of faith. Therefore it was granted. When unbelief requests a sign, it is refused.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.