Genesis 15:16

16 After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”

Genesis 15:16 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 15:16

And in the fourth generation they shall come hither again,
&c.] The seed of Abram were in the land of Canaan before their descent into Egypt; and it is here predicted and promised, that they should come thither again, as they did, in the fourth generation of those that descended thither; for Moses and Aaron were the fourth from Levi, or Eleazar from Kohath, and Caleb from Judah; or rather this was in the fourth age or century from the birth of Isaac, when the four hundred were up before mentioned, men living at that time about an hundred years: Grotius interprets this of the fourth generation of the Amorites, because of what follows:

for the iniquity of the Amorites [is] not yet full;
and therefore as yet would not be turned out of the land, and the seed of Abram could not till then inherit it: wicked people have a measure of iniquity to fill up, which is known of God; some are longer, some are quicker in filling it up, during which time God waits patiently and bears with them; but, when it is completed, he stays no longer, but takes vengeance on them, ( Matthew 23:32 ) . The Amorites were only one of the nations of the Canaanites, but were a very strong and powerful one, and are put for them all, and are the rather mentioned, because Abram at this time dwelt among them; and it seems as if there were some good men among them, such as the confederates of Abram might be, and they were not arrived to that depth of wickedness they afterwards would and did, and which brought on their ruin, and so made way for the posterity of Abram to inherit their land. Ben Melech interprets it of the punishment of the sin of the Amorites, the time for that was not come to dispossess them of their land.

Genesis 15:16 In-Context

14 But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth.
15 (As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.)
16 After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”
17 After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses.
18 So the LORD made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River—