15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram! I am your shield and the one who will reward you in great abundance.”
15:2 But Abram said, “O sovereign LORD, what will you give me since I continue to be childless, and my heir is Eliezer of Damascus?” 15:3 Abram added, “Since you have not given me a descendant, then look, one born in my house will be my heir!”
15:4 But look, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but instead a son who comes from your own body will be your heir.” 15:5 The LORD took him outside and said, “Gaze into the sky and count the stars – if you are able to count them!” Then he said to him, “So will your descendants be.”
15:6 Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD considered his response of faith as proof of genuine loyalty.
15:7 The LORD said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” 15:8 But Abram said, “O sovereign LORD, by what can I know that I am to possess it?”
15:9 The LORD said to him, “Take for me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” 15:10 So Abram took all these for him and then cut them in two and placed each half opposite the other, but he did not cut the birds in half. 15:11 When birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
15:12 When the sun went down, Abram fell sound asleep, and great terror overwhelmed him. 15:13 Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign country. They will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. 15:14 But I will execute judgment on the nation that they will serve. Afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15:15 But as for you, you will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 15:16 In the fourth generation your descendants will return here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its limit.”
15:17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking firepot with a flaming torch passed between the animal parts. 15:18 That day the LORD made a covenant with Abram: “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River – 15:19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 15:20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 15:21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”