15After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great. 2But Abram said, O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?* 3And Abram said, You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir. 4But the word of the Lord came to him, This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir. 5He brought him outside and said, Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them. Then he said to him, So shall your descendants be. 6And he believed the Lord; and the Lord * reckoned it to him as righteousness.
7 Then he said to him, I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess. 8But he said, O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it? 9He said to him, Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon. 10He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him. 13Then the Lord * said to Abram, Know this for certain, that your offspring shall be aliens in a land that is not theirs, and shall be slaves there, and they shall be oppressed for four hundred years; 14but I will bring judgement on the nation that they serve, and afterwards they shall come out with great possessions. 15As for yourself, you shall go to your ancestors in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.
17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking fire-pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011