New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:

The Covenant Of Grace (Genesis 15)

Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:


Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 15 Jan. 8 
Yahweh’s Covenant with Abram
After these things the word of Yahweh came to Abram in a vision, saying, Don’t be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward. 2Abram said, Lord Yahweh, what will you give me, since I go childless, and he who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus? 3Abram said, Behold, to me you have given no seed: and, behold, one born in my house is my heir. 4Behold, the word of Yahweh 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. 5Yahweh brought him outside, and said, Look now toward the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them. He said to Abram, So shall your seed be. 6He believed in Yahweh; and he reckoned it to him for righteousness. 7He said to him, I am Yahweh who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it. 8He said, Lord Yahweh, 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 of 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 seed 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 in 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 Yahweh made a covenant with Abram, saying, To your seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: 19the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.


15:5 According to Jewish midrash, Abram and his father Terah were leading diviners of the stars in Ur. 'Terah' can mean 'brother of the moon', and Ur and Haran were noted centres of moon worship. In this case, the invitation to Abram to count the stars (15:5) and discern there his future seed was a calling to reject his entire former world-view, to admit his helplessness in counting the stars, to throw himself upon God's grace rather than the strength of his own former education, wisdom, and inherited ability to discern the stars.
15:10 The idea of the dead animals in the ceremony of Gen. 15 was to teach that 'So may I be dismembered and die if I fail to keep my promise'. Jer. 34:18 speaks of how Israelites must die, because they passed between the pieces of the dead animal sacrifices in making a covenant. But here in Gen. 15, it is none less than the God who cannot die who is offering to do this, subjecting Himself to this potential curse! And He showed Himself for real in the death of His Son. That was His way of confirming the utter certainty of the promises to Abraham which are the basis of the new covenant which He has cut with us (Rom. 15:8; Gal. 3:17). The “blood of the covenant” doesn't mean that the blood of Jesusis or was the covenant; the covenant is a set of promises to us, namely the promises to Abraham and his seed. The blood of Jesus is the token of that covenant, the sign that this is all so utterly and totally true for each one of us. The Lord died, in the way that He did, to get through to us how true this all is- that God Almighty cut a sober, unilateral covenant with us personally, to give us the Kingdom