We continue our journey through the book of Genesis from chapter 13. We left Abram just as he separated from his nephew Lot.

1After these things the LORD’s word came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
2Abram said, “Lord GOD, what will you give me, since I go childless, and he who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”
3Abram said, “Behold, you have given no children to me: and, behold, one born in my house is my heir.”
4Behold, the LORD’s word came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir, but he who will come out of your own body will be your heir.”
5The LORD brought him outside, and said, “Look now towards the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” He said to Abram, “So your offspring will be.”
6He believed in the LORD, who credited it to him for righteousness.
7He said to Abram, “I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it.”
8He said, “Lord GOD, how will I know that I will inherit it?”
9He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
10He brought him all these, and divided them in the middle, and laid each half opposite the other; but he didn’t divide the birds.
11The birds of prey came down on the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
12When the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. Now terror and great darkness fell on him.
13He said to Abram, “Know for sure that your offspring will live as foreigners in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them. They will afflict them four hundred years.
14I will also judge that nation, whom they will serve. Afterward they will come out with great wealth;
15but you will go to your fathers in peace. You will be buried at a good old age.
16In the fourth generation they will come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full.”
17It came to pass that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.
18In that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “I have given this land to your offspring, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates:
19the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,
20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,
21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”


1. To what did God liken the large number of the offspring he promised Abram?

  v 5 ... “Look now towards the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” He said to Abram, “So your offspring will be.”

2. What was the result of Abram believing God's promise that he would have a child?

v 6 He believed in the LORD, who credited it to him for righteousness. 

3. In verse 18 Abram’s offspring are promised all the land from the Euphrates to the river of Egypt. Looking at the map of Canaanite nations, what countries occupy these lands now?

These lands are currently occupied by Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.

Summary Points

  • v 1 to 5 God tells Abram he will have a child and eventually many offspring
  • v 6 Because Abram believes that God will do what he says despite it sounding unlikely, God regards him as "righteous" (or right in his eyes)
  • v 7 and 8 Abram questions God's assurance that he will inherit the land God has promised
  • v 9 to 12 God tells Abram to bring a heifer (young cow), a goat and a ram (male sheep) together with a turtledove and a young pigeon. Abram kills the animals and divides the carcases. He then goes into a deep sleep
  • v 13 to 16 God promises that Abram's offspring will be slaves in a foreign land and then return
  • v 17 to 21 After dark a smoking furnace and a flaming torch move between the divided carcases (a ritual of the time to make a covenant). God then makes a covenant with Abram that he will give a specified land to his offspring

Timeline to 2000 BC