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Genesis 15:1–18

The Lord’s Covenant With Abram

15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abramp in a vision:q

“Do not be afraid,r Abram.

I am your shield,a s

your very great reward.b t

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord,u what can you give me since I remain childlessv and the one who will inheritc my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?wAnd Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servantx in my householdy will be my heir.”

Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.zHe took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the starsa—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspringd be.”b

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.c

He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you outd of Ur of the Chaldeanse to give you this land to take possession of it.”f

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord,g how can I knowh that I will gain possession of it?”i

So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer,j a goat and a ram, each three years old,k along with a dove and a young pigeon.l

10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other;m the birds, however, he did not cut in half.n 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses,o but Abram drove them away.

12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep,p and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred yearsq your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslavedr and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come outs with great possessions.t 15 You, however, will go to your ancestorsu in peace and be buried at a good old age.v 16 In the fourth generationw your descendants will come back here,x for the sin of the Amoritesy has not yet reached its full measure.”

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torchz appeared and passed between the pieces.a 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abramb and said, “To your descendants I give this land,c from the Wadie of Egyptd to the great river, the Euphratese

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Or sovereign

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Or shield; / your reward will be very great

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The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.

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Or seed

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Or river

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