After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision,
saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless,
and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born
in my house is mine heir.
(15:1-3) When the "word of the Lord" came to Abraham in a vision, Abram said,
"God, what will you give me since I have no children?
Without children, my inheritance will go to my chief slave, Eliezer."
And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be
thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and
tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So
shall thy seed be.
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the
Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.
(15:4- 5) God said to Abraham, "Eleizer won't be your heir. A son will come out of your bowels to be
"Look at the stars, that's how many seeds you're going to have."
And he said, LORD God,
whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?
And he said unto him,
Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and
a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.
And he took unto him
all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against
another: but the birds divided he not.
And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.
God tells Abraham to kill some animals for him: a three-year old heifer, a three-year old female goat,
a three-year old ram, a dove, and a pigeon. So Abraham gathered all these animals
and cut them up into pieces. (Except for the birds, which he didn't chop up.) The dead animals attracted some birds of prey,
which Abraham drove away.
Does God want animal sacrifices?
And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an
horror of great darkness fell upon him.
And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not
theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred
And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward
shall they come out with great substance.
And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good
(15:12-15) Abraham fell asleep again, and
the "horror of great darkness fell upon him." God told him that his seed will be enslaved for 400 years.
How long was the Egyptian captivity?
The Jews were God's chosen people. So why did God have them enslaved for 400 years?
But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the
Amorites is not yet full.
And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold
a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
15:17 An animal sacrifice miracle!
When it was dark, there appeared from out of nowhere a burning lamp between the pieces of dead animals.
In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this
land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,
And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,
And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.