The Covenant with Abram. 1Some time after these events, this word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
“Fear not, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great.”
2But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what good will your gifts be, if I keep on being childless and have as my heir the steward of my house, Eliezer?” 3Abram continued, “See, you have given me no offspring, and so one of my servants will be my heir.” 4Then the word of the LORD came to him: “No, that one shall not be your heir; your own issue shall be your heir.” d Gn 17, 16 . 5He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be.” e Gn 22, 17; 28, 14; Ex 32, 13; Dt 1, 10; Sir 44, 21; Rom 4, 18; Heb 11, 12 . 6 f 1 Mc 2, 52; Rom 4, 3. 9. 22; Gal 3, 6f; Jas 2, 23 . Abram put his faith in the LORD, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.*
7He then said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as a possession.” g Gn 11, 31; 12, 1; Ex 32, 13; Neh 9, 7f; Acts 7, 2f . 8“O Lord GOD,” he asked, “how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9He answered him, “Bring me a three‐year‐old heifer, a three‐year‐old she‐goat, a three‐year‐old* ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” h Lv 1, 14 . 10He brought him all these, split them in two, and placed each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not cut up. 11Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram stayed with them. 12As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram, and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.
13Then the LORD said to Abram: “Know for certain that your descendants shall be aliens in a land not their own, where they shall be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. i Ex 12, 40; Nm 20, 15; Jdt 5, 9f; Is 52, 4; Acts 13, 20; Gal 3, 17 . 14But I will bring judgment on the nation they must serve, and in the end they will depart with great wealth. j Ex 3, 8. 21f. 15You, however, shall join your forefathers in peace; you shall be buried at a contented old age. 16In the fourth time‐span* the others shall come back here; the wickedness of the Amorites will not have reached its full measure until then.” k 1 Kgs 21, 26 .
17When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking brazier* and a flaming torch, which passed between those pieces. 18It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant* with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River [the Euphrates], l Ex 32, 13; Neh 9, 8; Ps 105, 11; Sir 44, 21 . 19 m 19f: Dt 7, 1 . the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”