Some time later, Abram had a vision. The LORD said to him, "Abram, do not be afraid. I am like a shield to you. I am your very great reward."
But Abram said, "LORD and King, what can you give me? I still don't have any children. My servant Eliezer comes from Damascus. When I die, he will get everything I own."
Abram continued, "You haven't given me any children. So a servant in my house will get everything I own."
Then a message came to Abram from the LORD. He said, "This man will not get what belongs to you. A son will come from your own body. He will get everything you own."
The LORD took Abram outside and said, "Look up at the sky. Count the stars, if you can." Then he said to him, "That is how many children you will have."
Abram believed the Lord. The LORD accepted Abram because he believed. So his faith made him right with the Lord.
He also said to Abram, "I am the Lord. I brought you out of Ur in Babylonia. I wanted to give you this land to take as your very own."
But Abram said, "LORD and King, how can I know I will take this land as my own?"
So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a young cow. Also bring a goat and a ram. All of them must be three years old. Bring a dove and a young pigeon along with them."
Abram brought all of them to the Lord. Abram cut them in two. He placed the halves opposite each other. But he didn't cut the birds in half.
Then large birds came down to eat the dead bodies of the animals and birds. But Abram chased the large birds away.
As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep. A thick and terrible darkness covered him.
Then the LORD said to him, "You can be sure of what I am about to tell you. Your children who live after you will be strangers in a country that does not belong to them. They will become slaves. They will be treated badly for 400 years.
But I will punish the nation that makes them slaves. After that, they will leave with all kinds of valuable things.
"But you will die in peace. You will join the members of your family who have already died. You will be buried when you are very old.
"Your children's grandchildren will come back here. That is because the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached the point where I must judge them."
The sun set and darkness fell. Then a burning torch and a fire pot filled with smoke appeared. They passed between the pieces of the animals.
On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram. He said, "I am giving this land to your children after you. It reaches from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates.
It includes the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,
Hittites, Perizzites and Rephaites.
The Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites also live there."