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Genesis

God's covenant with Abraham.  Gn.15.1-21

1AFTER THIS the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision. He said, 'Do not be afraid, Abram, I am giving you a very great reward? ' Or I am your shield, your very great reward 2Abram replied, 'Lord GOD, what canst thou give me? I have no standing among men, for the heir to my household is Eliezer of Damascus.' 3Abram continued, 'Thou hast given me no children, and so my heir must be a slave born in my house.' 4Then came the word of the LORD to him: 'This man shall not be your heir; your heir shall be a child of your own body.' 5He took Abram outside and said, 'Look up into the sky, and count the stars if you can. So many', he said, 'shall your descendants be.'

6Abram put his faith in the LORD, and the LORD counted that faith to him as righteousness; 7he said to him, 'I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldees to give you this land to occupy.' 8Abram said, 'O 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 fledgling.' 10He brought him all these, halved the animals down the middle and placed each piece opposite its corresponding piece, but he did not halve the birds. 11When the birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, Abram scared them away. 12Then, as the sun was going down, a trance came over Abram and great fear came upon him. 13The LORD said to Abram, 'Know this for certain, that your descendants will be aliens living in a land that is not theirs; they will be slaves, and will be held in oppression there for four hundred years. 14But I will punish that nation whose slaves they are, and after that they shall come out with great possessions. 15You yourself shall join your fathers in peace and be buried in a good old age; 16and the fourth generation shall return here, for the Amorites will not be ripe for punishment till then.' 17The sun went down and it was dusk, and there appeared a smoking brazier and a flaming torch passing between the divided pieces. 18That very day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, and he said, 'To your descendants I give 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, Hivites, and Jebusites.'


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