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God's Covenant with Abram (xiv. 1-20; cf. Gen. xv.).

XIV. 4 After these things, in the fourth year of this week, on the new moon of the third month, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a dream, saying: "Fear not, Abram; I am thy defender, and thy reward will be exceeding great." 2. And he said: "Lord, Lord, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go

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hence childless, and the son of Mâsêq, 1 the son of my handmaid, is the Dammasek Eliezer: he will be my heir, and to me thou hast given no seed." 3. And He said unto him: "This (man) will not be thy heir, but one that will come out of thine own bowels; he will be thine heir." 4. And He brought him forth abroad, and said unto him: "Look toward heaven and number the stars, if thou art able to number them." 5. And he looked toward heaven, and beheld the stars. And He said unto him: "So shall thy seed be." 6. And he believed in the Lord, and it was counted to him for righteousness. 7. And He said unto him: "I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee the land of the Canaanites to possess it for ever; and I shall be God unto thee and to thy seed after thee." 2 8. And he said: "Lord, Lord, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit (it)?" 9. And he said unto him: "Take Me an heifer of three years, and a goat of three years, and a sheep of three years, and a turtle-dove, and a pigeon." 3 10. And he took all these in the middle of the month; and he dwelt at the oak of Mamre, which is near Hebron. 4 11. And he built there an altar, and sacrificed all these; and he poured their blood upon the altar, and divided them in the midst, and laid them over against each other; but the birds divided he not. 12. And birds came down upon the pieces, and Abram drove them away, and did not suffer the birds to touch them. 5 13. And it came to pass, when the sun had set, that an ecstasy fell upon Abram, and lo! an horror of great darkness fell upon him, and it was said unto Abram: "Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land (that is) not theirs, and they will bring them into bondage, and afflict them four

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hundred years. 1 14. And the nation also to whom they will be in bondage shall I judge, and after that they will come forth thence with much substance. 15. And thou wilt go to thy fathers in peace, and be buried in a good old age. 16. But in the fourth generation 2 they will return hither; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." 3 17. And he awoke from his sleep, and he arose, and the sun had set; and there was a flame, and behold! a furnace was smoking, and a flame of fire passed between the pieces. 18. And on that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To thy seed will I give this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates, the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Perizzites, and the Rephaim, the Phakorites, 4 and the Hivites, 5 and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites." 6 19. And the day passed, and Abram offered the pieces, and the birds, and their fruit-offerings, and their drink-offerings, and the fire devoured them. 20. And on that day 7 we made a covenant with Abram, according as we had covenanted with Noah in this month; 8 and Abram renewed the festival and ordinance for himself for ever.


95:4 For 1-6 cf. Gen. xv. 1-6.

96:1 Wrongly taken as a proper name (cf. RX.). So LXX.

96:2 Cf. Gen. xv. 7.

96:3 For 8-9 cf. Gen. xv. 8-9.

96:4 Cf. Gen. xiv. 13.

96:5 For 11-12 cf. Gen. xv. 10-11.

97:1 Cf. Gen. xv. 13, but Exod. xii. 40 gives the number 430. Tradition assumes that the number includes the sojourn of the Patriarchs in Canaan. Our text reckons the period from the birth of Isaac (when Abraham was 100 years old). St. Paul (Gal. iii. 16-17) reckons 430 years from the announcement. According to Targ. Ps.-Jon. on Exod. xii. 40 f., the odd 30 years cover the period between the announcement and Isaac's birth.

97:2 A generation = 100 years. Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old (Gen. xxi. 5).

97:3 For 13-16 cf. Gen. xv. 12-16.

97:4 Absent from NIT (which inserts "Hittite" before "Perizite").

97:5 So LXX and Sam. here (Gen. XV. 20); but MT, Syr. and Vulg. omit.

97:6 For 17-18 cf. Gen. xv. 17-21.

97:7 i. e. the 15th of Sivan.

97:8 Probably, according to our author, on the same day of the month.

Next: The Birth of Ishmael (xiv. 21-24)