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1 After these things, the word of the LORD came vnto Abram in a vision, saying; Feare not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou giue me, seeing I goe childlesse? and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus.

3 And Abram said; Behold, to mee thou hast given no seed: and loe, one borne in my house is mine heire.

4 And behold, the word of the LORD came vnto him, saying; This shall not be thine heire: but he that shall come foorth out of thy owne bowels, shalbe thine heire.

5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Looke now towards heauen, and tell the starres, if thou be able to number them. And hee said vnto him, So shall thy seed be.

6 And he beleeued in the LORD; and hee counted it to him for righteousnesse.

7 And he said vnto him; I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Caldees, to give thee this land, to inherit it.

8 And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shal I know that I shall inherit it?

9 And he said vnto him, Take me an heifer of three yeeres old, and a shee goat of three yeeres old, and a ramme of three yeeres old, and a turtle doue, and a yong pigeon.

10 And he tooke vnto him all these, and diuided them in the midst, and layd each peece one against another: but the birds diuided he not.

11 And when the fowles came downe vpon the carcases, Abram droue them away.

12 And when the Sunne was going downe, a deepe sleepe fell vpon Abram: and loe, an horrour of great darkenesse fell vpon him.

13 And he said vnto Abram, Know of a surety, that thy seed shalbe a stranger, in a land that is not theirs, and shal serue them, and they shall afflict them foure hundred yeeres.

14 And also that nation whom they shall serue, wil I iudge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

15 And thou shalt goe to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither againe: for the iniquitie of the Amorites is not yet full.

17 And it came to passe that when the Sunne went downe, and it was darke, behold, a smoking furnace, and a burning lampe that passed betweene those pieces.

18 In that same day the LORD made a couenant with Abram, saying; Unto thy seed haue I giuen this land from the riuer of Egypt vnto the great riuer, the riuer Euphrates:

19 The Kenites, and the Kenizites, and the Kadmonites:

20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,

21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Iebusites.

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Commentary for Genesis 15

God encourages Abram. (1) The Divine promise, Abraham is justified by faith. (2-6) God promises Canaan to Abraham for an inheritance. (7-11) The promise confirmed in a vision. (12-16) The promise confirmed by a sign. (17-21)1 God assured Abram of safety and happiness; that he should for ever be safe. I am thy shield; or, I am a shield to thee, present with thee, actually caring for thee. The consideration that God himself is, and will be a shield to his people, to secure them from all evils, a shield ready to them, and a shield round about them, should silence all perplexing, tormenting fears.

2-6 Though we must never complain of God, yet we have leave to complain to him; and to state all our grievances. It is ease to a burdened spirit, to open its case to a faithful and compassionate friend. Abram's complaint is, that he had no child; that he was never likely to have any; that the want of a son was so great a trouble to him, that it took away all his comfort. If we suppose that Abram looked no further than outward comfort, this complaint was to be blamed. But if we suppose that Abram herein had reference to the promised Seed, his desire was very commendable. Till we have evidence of our interest in Christ, we should not rest satisfied; what will all avail me, if I go Christless? If we continue instant in prayer, yet pray with humble submission to the Divine will, we shall not seek in vain. God gave Abram an express promise of a son. Christians may believe in God with respect to the common concerns of this life; but the faith by which they are justified, always has respect to the person and work of Christ. Abram believed in God as promising Christ; they believe in him as having raised him from the dead, #Ro 4:24|. Through faith in his blood they obtain forgiveness of sins.

7-11 Assurance was given to Abram of the land of Canaan for an inheritance. God never promises more than he is able to perform, as men often do. Abram did as God commanded him. He divided the beasts in the midst, according to the ceremony used in confirming covenants, #Jer 34:18,19|. Having prepared according to God's appointment, he set himself to wait for the sign God might give him. A watch must be kept upon our spiritual sacrifices. When vain thoughts, like these fowls, come down upon our sacrifices, we must drive them away, and seek to attend on God without distraction.

12-16 A deep sleep fell upon Abram; with this sleep a horror of great darkness fell upon him: a sudden change. The children of light do not always walk in the light. Several things were then foretold. 1. The suffering state of Abram's seed for a long time. They shall be strangers. The heirs of heaven are strangers on earth. They shall be servants; but Canaanites serve under a curse, the Hebrews under a blessing. They shall be suffers. Those that are blessed and beloved of God, are often sorely afflicted by wicked men. 2. The judgment of the enemies of Abram's seed. Though God may allow persecutors and oppressors to trample upon his people a great while, he will certainly reckon with them at last. 3. That great event, the deliverance of Abram's seed out of Egypt, is here foretold. 4. Their happy settlement in Canaan. They shall come hither again. The measure of sin fills gradually. Some people's measure of sin fills slowly. The knowledge of future events would seldom add to our comfort. In the most favoured families, and most happy lives, there are so many afflictions, that it is merciful in God to conceal what will befall us and ours.

17-21 The smoking furnace and the burning lamp, probably represented the Israelites' severe trials and joyful deliverance, with their gracious supports in the mean time. It is probable that this furnace and lamp, which passed between the pieces, burned and consumed them, and so completed the sacrifice, and testified God's acceptance of it. So it intimates that God's covenants with man are made by sacrifice, #Ps 50:5|. And we may know that he accepts our sacrifices, if he kindles in our souls pious and devout affections. The bounds of the land granted are stated. Several nations, or tribes, are spoken of, that must be cast out to make room for the seed of Abram. In this chapter we perceive in Abram faith struggling against, and triumphing over, unbelief. Wonder not, believers, if you meet with seasons of darkness and distress. But it is not the will of God that you should be cast down: fear not; for all that he was to Abram he will be to you.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Genesis 15

  • Cy Jesus Christ David Duane Boyce
    Genesis 15:3, from triangular number 153, 217x9=1953, 17 splits in ancient times to 7
  • Stan jett
    13
    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 years;
    14
    And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
    16
    But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again. 120x3=360 40=400 years. God knows math.
  • Harvey
    15:6 'And he believed in the LORD and He counted it to him for righteousness.' Abraham had faith in the LORD and because of his faith he is justified. Belief is all you require to be saved. By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God. Eph 2:8
    Abraham was saved long before the Law was given to Moses. This is a verse that I hope I always remember.
  • Alex
    When someone brings up the condoning of slavery in the bible, as a reason to discredit God's word, refer them to Gen 15:2
  • Alex
    I love Gen. 15, IN kjv. Abraham was a type of God the Father. Thats what abraham means exaulted FATHER, IN REALITY ITS God the father that wants a posterity,God wants to be the father of many nations. Just as Abraham offered up his only son it was a metaphor for God almighty offering up his only son CHRIST JESUS,In reality its Christ that is gonna be multiplied as the stars of heaven. The Promise.
  • BSP
    Verse 6: Jehovah God viewed Abraham's trust and faith in him as something righteous. We must have a strong faith in God in order to be considered righteous in his eyes.

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