Genesis, CHAPTER 15
The Covenant with Abram.
Some time afterward, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: Do not fear, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great.
But Abram said, “Lord GOD, what can you give me, if I die childless and have only a servant of my household, Eliezer of Damascus?”
Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a servant of my household will be my heir.”
Then the word of the LORD came to him: No, that one will not be your heir; your own offspring will be your heir.
He took him outside and said: Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so, he added, will your descendants be.
Abram put his faith in the LORD, who attributed it to him as an act of righteousness.
He then said to him: I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as a possession.
“Lord GOD,” he asked, “how will I know that I will possess it?”
He answered him: Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.
He brought him all these, split them in two, and placed each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not cut up.
Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses, but Abram scared them away.
As the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a great, dark dread descended upon him.
Then the LORD said to Abram: Know for certain that your descendants will reside as aliens in a land not their own, where they shall be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years.
But I will bring judgment on the nation they must serve, and after this they will go out with great wealth.
You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace; you will be buried at a ripe old age.
In the fourth generation your descendants will return here, for the wickedness of the Amorites is not yet complete.
When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, which passed between those pieces.
On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River, the Euphrates,
the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,
the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,
the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.