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Genesis - Chapter 15

Bible Study Notes

Genesis 15:1 I am your shield (God served Abram as his divine protector) Abraham’s fear was that he would die without having a child and the Lord’s promises would not happen.

Genesis 15:2 To Abram, God’s promise had stalled; so adoption of a servant as the male heir—a well-known contemporary Mesopotamian custom—was the best officially recognizable arrangement to make it come to pass, humanly speaking.

Genesis 15:5 The Lord assures Abraham that his heir to the promises will be a child from his own flesh. The Lord uses counting the stars in the heavens like He did with the dust of the earth to illustrate to Abraham how great his offspring will be.

Genesis 15:6 Abraham believing what the Lord promised (faith) was considered to be righteous in the Lord’s eyes. Faith in God, trusting the truthfulness of God’s word, reliance on God’s promises will lead to obeying God’s commands which leads to righteousness.

Genesis 15:8 Though Abraham believed God, he still wanted to know how he would know that it was going to happen. He wanted a divine pledge from the Lord that it would happen. Abraham wanted assurance from the Lord.

Genesis 15:9-10 cut them in half. The sign of ancient covenants often involved the cutting in half of animals, so that the pledging parties could walk between them, affirming that the same should happen to them if they broke the covenant.

Genesis 15:12 sleep. God put Abraham to sleep, because the covenant did not involve any promise on his part. Abraham would not walk through the pieces as part of the pledge. Only the Lord will walk through the pieces signifying that Abraham didn’t have to do anything but believe that the Lord would keep his promise.

Genesis 15:13 The Lord informed Abraham that his descendants would be enslaved in Egypt. Because Abraham’s offspring would not inherit that land until after the four hundred years of slavery was complete, Abraham would not be alive to see the fulfillment, but will instead die at a ripe old age in peace.

Genesis 15:16 The Lord will use Abraham’s offspring (The Jews, Hebrews, Israelites) to punish the Amorites (the Amorites are included among the descendants of Ham) who now possess the land when the sin of that people has reached its limit with God.

A delay in judgment occasioned the delay in covenant fulfillment. Judgment on Egypt would mark the departure of Abram’s descendants for their land, and judgment on the Amorites would mark their entrance to that land.

Genesis 15:17 The objects passing through the halves of the sacrificed animals represented the Lord Himself. Again,  Abraham was not required to pass through the halves for the Lord put him to sleep and apparently in a vision or a dream would watch the Lord pass through on His own.

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