1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
I was wondering when God was going to make an appearances again. and it seems he's turned up to tell Abram that he won his last battle because God was his shield? Basically Abram went to war and the LORD turns up afterwards to claim credit.
2 And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
Abram, not content with God as a reward for his victory (I wouldn't be either) asks the LORD what he will give him and points out that he has no children and that the steward of his houshold is a Syrian servant called Eliezer. Hint, Hint.
3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
The LORD doesn't get the hint so Abram reiterates himself "Look, When I die, I'm going to have to give all of this that I own to this servant from Damascus!!"
4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
Getting the hint, but perhaps not understanding human biology very well The Lord promises Abram a child of his very own, that will be excreted from his bowels. Now come on, he may have made Eve from a rib but is it just me or is a poo-baby ridiculous?
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
Now The lord has already promised Abram that his seed will number as the dust of the earth and now he's telling him his seed will number as the stars in the sky, given how the lord intends to deliver children to Abram, I'd be concerned about the fate of his rectum.
6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Why? Why did he believe the lord? His wife is barren and The LORD has just told him he is going to poop out a baby of his very own. What possible reason could he have for believing him?
7 And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.
Fair enough, he did tell him to leave Ur.
8 And he said, LORD God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?
Abram exhibits some scepticism and asks how he'll know that The LORD is telling the truth.
9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.
Where is this going?
10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.
Ok... so he's cut the animals up, except the birds...
11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
...Who then pecked at the carcasses of the offering so he drove them away. Does this constitute an incomplete offering?
12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.
From some sort of bowel sickness?
13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
Ok. So Abram's seed will be slaves for four hundred years and then The LORD will rescue them. Why have them be slaves at all?
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
Abram will die in a good old age. How old is a good old age? nine hundred? five hundred? it has varied quite a bit so far.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
The offered animals burned? Why does The LORD like burning animals so much?
18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
This is the third time The LORD has promised this land to Abrams seed.
19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,
20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaim,
21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
Is The LORD offering dominion over these peoples to Abram's seed?
What have we learned?
Only two things really.
- The LORD promises to give the land from the Nile to Euphrates to Abram's seed (We already knew this), but only after they have been enslaved for 400 years in a foreign land.
- The LORD Promises Abram a bowel-baby, which is a little odd to say the least.
...Oh and it's worth noting that The LORD seems to like taking credit for other peoples conquests.