The Lord’s Covenant With Abram

15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram(A) in a vision:(B)

“Do not be afraid,(C) Abram.
    I am your shield,[a](D)
    your very great reward.[b](E)

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord,(F) what can you give me since I remain childless(G) and the one who will inherit[c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?(H) And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant(I) in my household(J) will be my heir.”

Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.(K) He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars(L)—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring[d] be.”(M)

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.(N)

He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out(O) of Ur of the Chaldeans(P) to give you this land to take possession of it.”(Q)

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord,(R) how can I know(S) that I will gain possession of it?”(T)

So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer,(U) a goat and a ram, each three years old,(V) along with a dove and a young pigeon.(W)

10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other;(X) the birds, however, he did not cut in half.(Y) 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses,(Z) but Abram drove them away.

12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep,(AA) and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years(AB) your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved(AC) and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out(AD) with great possessions.(AE) 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors(AF) in peace and be buried at a good old age.(AG) 16 In the fourth generation(AH) your descendants will come back here,(AI) for the sin of the Amorites(AJ) has not yet reached its full measure.”

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch(AK) appeared and passed between the pieces.(AL) 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram(AM) and said, “To your descendants I give this land,(AN) from the Wadi[e] of Egypt(AO) to the great river, the Euphrates(AP) 19 the land of the Kenites,(AQ) Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites,(AR) Perizzites,(AS) Rephaites,(AT) 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”(AU)


  1. Genesis 15:1 Or sovereign
  2. Genesis 15:1 Or shield; / your reward will be very great
  3. Genesis 15:2 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  4. Genesis 15:5 Or seed
  5. Genesis 15:18 Or river

Abram Promised a Son

15 After these things (A)the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,

(B)Do not fear, Abram,
I am (C)a shield to you;
[a]Your (D)reward shall be very great.”

But Abram said, “Lord [b]God, what will You give me, since I [c]am childless, and the [d]heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Abram also said, “[e]Since You have given me no [f]son, [g]one who has been (E)born in my house is my heir.” Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; (F)but one who will come from your own [h]body shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens and (G)count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “(H)So shall your [i]descendants be.” (I)Then he believed in the Lord; and He [j]credited it to him as righteousness. And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of (J)Ur of the Chaldeans, to (K)give you this land to [k]possess it.” But he said, “Lord [l]God, (L)how may I know that I will [m]possess it?” So He said to him, “[n]Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 Then he [o]brought all these to Him and (M)cut them [p]in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he (N)did not cut the birds. 11 And birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.

12 Now when the sun was going down, (O)a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, [q]terror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then God said to Abram, “Know for certain that (P)your [r]descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, [s]where (Q)they will be enslaved and oppressed for (R)four hundred years. 14 But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out (S)with [t]many possessions. 15 As for you, (T)you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16 Then in (U)the fourth generation they will return here, for (V)the wrongdoing of the Amorite is not yet complete.”

17 Now it came about, when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, a smoking oven and a flaming torch appeared which (W)passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying,

(X)To your [u]descendants I have given this land,
From (Y)the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:

19 (Z)the land of the Kenite, the Kenizzite, the Kadmonite, 20 the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Girgashite, and the Jebusite.”


  1. Genesis 15:1 Or Your very great reward
  2. Genesis 15:2 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  3. Genesis 15:2 Lit go
  4. Genesis 15:2 Lit son of acquisition
  5. Genesis 15:3 Lit Behold
  6. Genesis 15:3 Lit seed
  7. Genesis 15:3 Lit then behold, a son of my
  8. Genesis 15:4 Lit inward parts
  9. Genesis 15:5 Lit seed
  10. Genesis 15:6 Or imputed
  11. Genesis 15:7 Or inherit
  12. Genesis 15:8 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  13. Genesis 15:8 Or inherit
  14. Genesis 15:9 Lit Take
  15. Genesis 15:10 Lit took
  16. Genesis 15:10 Lit in the midst
  17. Genesis 15:12 Or a terror of great darkness
  18. Genesis 15:13 Lit seed
  19. Genesis 15:13 Lit and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them
  20. Genesis 15:14 Lit great
  21. Genesis 15:18 Lit seed