After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram1 in a vision:2 "Do not be afraid,3 Abram. I am your shield,a4 your very great reward.b5"
But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD,6 what can you give me since I remain childless7 and the one who will inheritc my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?8"
And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant9 in my household10 will be my heir."
Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.11"
He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars12--if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."136
Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.147
He also said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out15 of Ur of the Chaldeans16 to give you this land to take possession of it."178
But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD,18 how can I know19 that I will gain possession of it?"209
So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a heifer,21 a goat and a ram, each three years old,22 along with a dove and a young pigeon.23"
Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other;24 the birds, however, he did not cut in half.2511
Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses,26 but Abram drove them away.
As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep,27 and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.
Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved28 and mistreated four hundred years.2914
But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out30 with great possessions.3115
You, however, will go to your fathers32 in peace and be buried at a good old age.3316
In the fourth generation34 your descendants will come back here,35 for the sin of the Amorites36 has not yet reached its full measure."
When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch37 appeared and passed between the pieces.3818
On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram39 and said, "To your descendants I give this land,40 from the riverd of Egypt41 to the great river, the Euphrates42--
the land of the Kenites,43 Kenizzites, Kadmonites,
Hittites,44 Perizzites,45 Rephaites,4621
Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."47