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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 15

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1 AFTER this the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision. He said, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram; I am your shield. Your reward will be very great.’ 2Abram replied, ‘Lord GOD, what can you give me, seeing that I am childless? The heir to my household is Eliezer of Damascus. 3You have given me no children, and so my heir must be a slave born in my house.’ 4The word of the LORD came to him: ‘This man will not be your heir; your heir will be a child of your own body.’ 5He brought Abram outside and said, ‘Look up at the sky, and count the stars, if you can. So many will your descendants be.’

6Abram put his faith in the LORD, who reckoned it to him as righteousness, 7and said, ‘I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldees to give you this land as your possession.’ 8Abram asked, ‘Lord GOD, how can I be sure that I shall occupy it?’ 9The LORD answered, ‘Bring me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon.’ 10Abram brought him all these, cut the animals in two, and set the pieces opposite each other, but he did not cut the birds in half. 11Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but he scared them away. 12As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a trance and great and fearful darkness came over him. 13The LORD said to Abram, ‘Know this for certain: your descendants will be aliens living in a land that is not their own; they will be enslaved and held in oppression for four hundred years. 14But I shall punish the nation whose slaves they are, and afterwards they will depart with great possessions. 15You yourself will join your forefathers in peace and be buried at a ripe old age. 16But it will be the fourth generation who will return here, for till then the Amorites will not be ripe for punishment.’ 17The sun went down and it was dusk, and there appeared a smoking brazier and a flaming torch which passed between the divided pieces. 18That day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, and said, ‘I give to your descendants this land from the river of Egypt to the Great River, the river Euphrates, 19the territory of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaim, 21Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.’

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