Genesis 15Revised Standard Version (RSV)
God’s Covenant with Abram
15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2 But Abram said, “O Lord God, what wilt thou give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Elie′zer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Behold, thou hast given me no offspring; and a slave born in my house will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; your own son shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 And he believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness.
7 And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chalde′ans, to give you this land to possess.” 8 But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9 He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he brought him all these, cut them in two, and laid each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11 And when birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram; and lo, a dread and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know of a surety that your descendants will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and will be slaves there, and they will be oppressed for four hundred years; 14 but I will bring judgment on the nation which they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphra′tes, 19 the land of the Ken′ites, the Ken′izzites, the Kad′monites, 20 the Hittites, the Per′izzites, the Reph′aim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Gir′gashites and the Jeb′usites.”