36-37 : Abrams Vision
AFTER these things the word of God came to Abram in a vision, saying:
"Fear not, Abram, I am your shield and your great reward."
"Lord God," Abram said, "what will you give me since I am without children and my heir is a servant, Eliezer of Damascus?"
Then the word of God came to him,saying: "Not a servant but a child of your own shall be your heir."
He took Abram into the open and said:
"Look now towards heaven. and count the stars if you can do so.
As numerous as the stars shall your children and your children's children be."
And Abram believed in the Lord and the Lord regarded him with favour.
Then God said to him: "I am the Lord that brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees,
to give you this land to inherit."
"Lord God," Abram said, "how shall I know that I shall inherit it?"
"Bring me a heifer three years old," God said to him, "a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtle-dove and a young pigeon."
Abram gathered all these animals as offerings.
He took them to God and divided them into pieces, laying one against another.
But the smallest he did not divide.
When the birds of prey came down upon the remains of the offerings Abram drove them away.
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram and, lo, a great
and fearful darkness fell upon him.
Then God said to him: "Know for certain that your children shall be strangers in a land that is not
theirs. They shall live in bondage and be oppressed for four hundred years.
But the nation that shall oppress them I will judge,
and afterwards they shall emerge with great possessions.
"You yourself shall go to your fathers in peace, and be buried in a good old age.
Your children shall return here in the fourth generation."
When the sun was down and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace and a burning lamp passed between the pieces of the offering.
And on that day God made a covenant with Abram, saying:
"To your children and to all your children's children,
I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the Great River, the river Euphrates.
All the people who dwell within it, I have delivered to you."
ABRAHAM IS NAMED
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said:
"I am the Almighty God. Walk in my ways and be perfect. I will make my
covenant with you, and your people shall increase greatly."
Abram knelt down his face to the ground, and God talked to him, saying:
"My covenant I shall keep with you.
No longer will you be called Abram; from you shall many be descended.
Your name shall be Abraham for I have made you a father of many nations.
I will keep my covenant with you and
my covenant shall be everlasting with your and your descendants through all generations.
Your line shall prosper and from it shall arise nations and kings.
To you and to them I will give the land of Canaan, in which you are a stranger,
as an everlasting possession and I will be their God.
"As for Sarai, your wife, you shall call her no longer Sarai, but her name shall be Sarah.
I will bless her, and from her you shall have a son.
She shall be a mother of nations and of kings."
Abraham bowed down and laughed to himself, saying:
"Can a man a hundred years old have a son? And Sarah, a woman of ninety, can she have a child?"
Then God said: "Sarah, your wife, shall bear a son,
and you will call him by the name Isaac.
With him and with his children after him will I make my everlasting covenant."
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