Genesis 15

1After all these things happened, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision. God said, “Abram, don’t be afraid. I will defend you. And I will give you a great reward.” 2But Abram said, “Lord God, there is nothing you can give me that will make me happy. Why? Because I have no son. So my slave Eliezer from Damascus will get all the things I own after I die.” 3Abram said, “You have given me no son. So a slave born in my house will get everything I have.” 4Then the Lord spoke to Abram. God said, “That slave will not be the one to get the things you have. You will have a son. And your son will get the things you have.” 5Then God led Abram outside. God said, “Look at the sky. See the many stars. There are so many you can’t count them. In the future, your family will be like that.” 6Abram believed God. And God decided Abram’s faith was the same as living right and doing a good work. 7God said to Abram, “I am the Lord who led you from Ur of Babylonia. I did this so I could give you this land—you will own this land.” 8But Abram said, “Lord, my Master, how can I be sure that I will get this land?” 9God said to Abram, “We will make an agreement. Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old goat, and a three-year-old ram. Also, bring me a dove and a young pigeon.” 10Abram brought all these things to God. Abram killed these animals and cut each of them into two pieces. Then Abram laid each half across from the other half. Abram did not cut the birds into two pieces. 11Later, large birds flew down to eat the animals. But Abram chased them away. 12Later in the day, the sun was going down. Abram became very sleepy and fell asleep. While he was asleep a very terrible darkness came. 13Then the Lord said to Abram, “You should know these things: Your descendants will live in a country that is not their own. They will be strangers there. And the people there will make them slaves and do bad things to them for 400 years. 14But then I will punish the nation that made them slaves. Your people will leave that land, and they will take many good things with them. 15“You yourself will live to be very old. You will die in peace. And you will be buried with your family. 16After four generations your people will come to this land again. At that time, your people will defeat the Amorite people. I will use your people to punish the Amorites living here. This will be in the future, because the Amorite people are not yet evil enough to punish.” 17After the sun went down, it became very dark. The dead animals still lay on the ground—each animal cut in two pieces. At that time, a column of smoke and fire passed between the halves of the dead animals. 18So on that day, the Lord made a promise and 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. 19This is the land of the Kenite people, the Kenizzite people, the Kadmonite people, 20the Hittite people, the Perizzite people, the Rephaim people, 21the Amorite people, the Canaanite people, the Girgashite people, and the Jebusite people.”

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