Genesis 15

1Some time later, the word of Hashem came to Avram in a vision. He said, “Fear not, Avram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.”

אאַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה הָיָה דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֶל־אַבְרָם בַּמַּחֲזֶה לֵאמֹר אַל־תִּירָא אַבְרָם אָנֹכִי מָגֵן לָךְ שְׂכָרְךָ הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד׃

2But Avram said, “O Hashem, what can You give me, seeing that I shall die childless, and the one in charge of my household is Dammesek Eliezer!”

בוַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָם אֲדֹנָי יֱהוִה מַה־תִּתֶּן־לִי וְאָנֹכִי הוֹלֵךְ עֲרִירִי וּבֶן־מֶשֶׁק בֵּיתִי הוּא דַּמֶּשֶׂק אֱלִיעֶזֶר׃

3Avram said further, “Since You have granted me no offspring, my steward will be my heir.”

גוַיֹּאמֶר אַבְרָם הֵן לִי לֹא נָתַתָּה זָרַע וְהִנֵּה בֶן־בֵּיתִי יוֹרֵשׁ אֹתִי׃

4The word of Hashem came to him in reply, “That one shall not be your heir; none but your very own issue shall be your heir.”

דוְהִנֵּה דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר לֹא יִירָשְׁךָ זֶה כִּי־אִם אֲשֶׁר יֵצֵא מִמֵּעֶיךָ הוּא יִירָשֶׁךָ׃

5He took him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He added, “So shall your offspring be.”

הוַיּוֹצֵא אֹתוֹ הַחוּצָה וַיֹּאמֶר הַבֶּט־נָא הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וּסְפֹר הַכּוֹכָבִים אִם־תּוּכַל לִסְפֹּר אֹתָם וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ כֹּה יִהְיֶה זַרְעֶךָ׃

6And because he put his trust in Hashem, He reckoned it to his merit.

ווְהֶאֱמִן בַּיהֹוָה וַיַּחְשְׁבֶהָ לּוֹ צְדָקָה׃

7Then He said to him, “I am Hashem who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to assign this land to you as a possession.”

זוַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאוּר כַּשְׂדִּים לָתֶת לְךָ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת לְרִשְׁתָּהּ׃

8And he said, “O Hashem, how shall I know that I am to possess it?”

חוַיֹּאמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהוִה בַּמָּה אֵדַע כִּי אִירָשֶׁנָּה׃

9He answered, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young bird.”

טוַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו קְחָה לִי עֶגְלָה מְשֻׁלֶּשֶׁת וְעֵז מְשֻׁלֶּשֶׁת וְאַיִל מְשֻׁלָּשׁ וְתֹר וְגוֹזָל׃

10He brought Him all these and cut them in two, placing each half opposite the other; but he did not cut up the bird.

יוַיִּקַּח־לוֹ אֶת־כָּל־אֵלֶּה וַיְבַתֵּר אֹתָם בַּתָּוֶךְ וַיִּתֵּן אִישׁ־בִּתְרוֹ לִקְרַאת רֵעֵהוּ וְאֶת־הַצִפֹּר לֹא בָתָר׃

11Birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Avram drove them away.

יאוַיֵּרֶד הָעַיִט עַל־הַפְּגָרִים וַיַּשֵּׁב אֹתָם אַבְרָם׃

12As the sun was about to set, a deep sleep fell upon Avram, and a great dark dread descended upon him.

יבוַיְהִי הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לָבוֹא וְתַרְדֵּמָה נָפְלָה עַל־אַבְרָם וְהִנֵּה אֵימָה חֲשֵׁכָה גְדֹלָה נֹפֶלֶת עָלָיו׃

13And He said to Avram, “Know well that your offspring shall be strangers in a land not theirs, and they shall be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years;

יגוַיֹּאמֶר לְאַבְרָם יָדֹעַ תֵּדַע כִּי־גֵר יִהְיֶה זַרְעֲךָ בְּאֶרֶץ לֹא לָהֶם וַעֲבָדוּם וְעִנּוּ אֹתָם אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה׃

14but I will execute judgment on the nation they shall serve, and in the end they shall go free with great wealth.

ידוְגַם אֶת־הַגּוֹי אֲשֶׁר יַעֲבֹדוּ דָּן אָנֹכִי וְאַחֲרֵי־כֵן יֵצְאוּ בִּרְכֻשׁ גָּדוֹל׃

15As for you, You shall go to your fathers in peace; You shall be buried at a ripe old age.

טווְאַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֶל־אֲבֹתֶיךָ בְּשָׁלוֹם תִּקָּבֵר בְּשֵׂיבָה טוֹבָה׃

16And they shall return here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

טזוְדוֹר רְבִיעִי יָשׁוּבוּ הֵנָּה כִּי לֹא־שָׁלֵם עֲוׂן הָאֱמֹרִי עַד־הֵנָּה׃

17When the sun set and it was very dark, there appeared a smoking oven, and a flaming torch which passed between those pieces.

יזוַיְהִי הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ בָּאָה וַעֲלָטָה הָיָה וְהִנֵּה תַנּוּר עָשָׁן וְלַפִּיד אֵשׁ אֲשֶׁר עָבַר בֵּין הַגְּזָרִים הָאֵלֶּה׃

18On that day Hashem made a covenant with Avram, saying, “To your offspring I assign this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates:

ba-YOM ha-HU ka-RAT a-do-NAI et av-RAM b'-REET lay-MOR l'-zar-a-KHA na-TA-tee et ha-A-retz ha-ZOT mi-n'-HAR mitz-RA-yim ad ha-na-HAR ha-ga-DOL n'-har p'-RAT

יחבַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כָּרַת יְהֹוָה אֶת־אַבְרָם בְּרִית לֵאמֹר לְזַרְעֲךָ נָתַתִּי אֶת־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת מִנְּהַר מִצְרַיִם עַד־הַנָּהָר הַגָּדֹל נְהַר־פְּרָת׃

 15:18   To your offspring I assign this land

In this monumental covenant between Hashem and Avraham, God states that on this day He has given the Land of Israel to Avraham’s descendants. While Hashem uses the term natatee (נתתי), ‘I have given,’ in the past tense, in reference to generations that have not yet been born, Rashi explains that this is not a grammatical error. Since God’s word is the ultimate truth, it is as if it has already been done. Though it took more than four hundred years until this promise was fulfilled, the children of Avraham waited with faith. This patient waiting served as good practice for the nearly two thousand years of waiting that preceded our present return to Zion. With the birth of the State of Israel, another promise to Avraham has been fulfilled.

19the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,

יטאֶת־הַקֵּינִי וְאֶת־הַקְּנִזִּי וְאֵת הַקַּדְמֹנִי׃

20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,

כוְאֶת־הַחִתִּי וְאֶת־הַפְּרִזִּי וְאֶת־הָרְפָאִים׃

21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

כאוְאֶת־הָאֱמֹרִי וְאֶת־הַכְּנַעֲנִי וְאֶת־הַגִּרְגָּשִׁי וְאֶת־הַיְבוּסִי׃