Genesis 15:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
He took him outside and said, "Look up at the sky and count the stars--if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."

New Living Translation
Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, "Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That's how many descendants you will have!"

English Standard Version
And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

New American Standard Bible
And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be."

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He took him outside and said, "Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them." Then He said to him, "Your offspring will be that numerous."

International Standard Version
Then the LORD took him outside. "Look up at the sky and count the stars—if you can!" he said. "Your descendants will be that numerous."

NET Bible
The LORD took him outside and said, "Gaze into the sky and count the stars--if you are able to count them!" Then he said to him, "So will your descendants be."

New Heart English Bible
He brought him outside, and said, "Look now toward the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." He said to him, "So shall your descendants be."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He took Abram outside and said, "Now look up at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them." He also said to him, "That's how many descendants you will have!"

JPS Tanakh 1917
And He brought him forth abroad, and said: 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if thou be able to count them'; and He said unto him: 'So shall thy seed be.'

New American Standard 1977
And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he brought him forth abroad and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars, if thou art able to number them. And he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

King James 2000 Bible
And he brought him forth outside, and said, Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if you be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall your descendants be.

American King James Version
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if you be able to number them: and he said to him, So shall your seed be.

American Standard Version
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and number the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he thought him forth abroad, and said to him: Look up to heaven and number the stars, if thou canst. And he said to him: So shall thy seed be.

Darby Bible Translation
And he led him out, and said, Look now toward the heavens, and number the stars, if thou be able to number them. And he said to him, So shall thy seed be!

English Revised Version
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to tell them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now towards heaven, and tell the stars, if thou art able to number them: and he said to him, So shall thy seed be.

World English Bible
Yahweh brought him outside, and said, "Look now toward the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." He said to Abram, "So shall your seed be."

Young's Literal Translation
and He bringeth him out without, and saith, 'Look attentively, I pray thee, towards the heavens, and count the stars, if thou art able to count them;' and He saith to him, 'Thus is thy seed.'
Study Bible
God's Covenant with Abram
4Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir." 5And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." 6Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.…
Cross References
Romans 4:18
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as he had been told, "So shall your offspring be."

Hebrews 11:12
And so from one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

Genesis 17:2
"I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly."

Genesis 22:17
indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.

Genesis 26:4
"I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;

Exodus 32:13
"Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, 'I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.'"

Deuteronomy 1:10
'The LORD your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are this day like the stars of heaven in number.

Deuteronomy 10:22
"Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.

Joshua 24:3
'Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him through all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac.

1 Kings 3:8
"Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted.
Treasury of Scripture

And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if you be able to number them: and he said to him, So shall your seed be.

tell.

Deuteronomy 1:10 The LORD your God has multiplied you, and, behold, you are this day …

Psalm 147:4 He tells the number of the stars; he calls them all by their names.

Jeremiah 33:22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the …

Romans 9:7,8 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: …

So.

Genesis 12:2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and …

Genesis 13:16 And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a …

Genesis 16:10 And the angel of the LORD said to her, I will multiply your seed …

Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply …

Genesis 28:14 And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread …

Exodus 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore …

Deuteronomy 1:10 The LORD your God has multiplied you, and, behold, you are this day …

Deuteronomy 10:22 Your fathers went down into Egypt with three score and ten persons…

1 Chronicles 27:23 But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under…

Romans 4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father …

Hebrews 11:12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many …

(5) He brought him forth.--There is no reason for regarding this as a poetical description of a merely mental emotion. With his senses dormant, but alive to every spiritual impression, Abram feels himself led forth from the tent into the open space around, and is there commanded to count the stars. As a matter of fact, the stars visible to the naked eye are not very numerous, but they have ever been a received metaphor for an infinite multitude, probably because, as men gaze, they perpetually see the faint radiance of more and more distant constellations. Thus they cannot be counted, and Abram's seed was to be countless, because of the vastness of its number.

Verse 5. - And he (Jehovah, or "the Word of the Lord") brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them (a proof that Abram's vision was not a dream): and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. Hence it has been inferred that Abram's vision was miraculously quickened to penetrate the depths of space and gaze upon the vastness of the stellar world, since the stars visible to the naked eye would not represent an innumerable multitude (Candlish). And he brought him forth abroad,.... Out of his tent into the open air, which was done through his call, and at his direction; or by an impulse upon his mind; or this might not be real and local, only vision:

and said, look now towards heaven; either with his bodily eyes, or with the eyes of his mind:

and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them; this looks as if it were in a vision that this was said to him, and what follows done in the day, since it was in the daytime, before the sun was set, Genesis 15:12, when the stars could not be seen; and therefore were represented to his mind, and he was directed to consider them in it, whether they could be numbered by him or not: but this might be in the preceding night, or early in the morning, before the sun arose, that Abram was directed to go out of his tent, and view the heavens, and the multitude of stars in them, and try if he could number them; and he might be employed all the day following till sunset, in preparing the creatures for the sacrifice, in cutting them asunder, laying their pieces in order, and watching them, and driving the fowls from them. The multitude of his seed is before signified by the dust of the earth, which cannot be numbered, Genesis 13:16, and here by the stars of the sky innumerable; as they are to man, though not to God: some have pretended to number them, as Aratus, Eudoxus, and Hipparchus, among the ancients, and also modern astronomers; but then they are such only that are visible to the eye, and in one hemisphere, and their accounts are very various; whereas there are multitudes to be discerned by glasses, and some not to be distinguished, as in the galaxy, or milky way, and others in the other hemisphere. Now Abram here is bid to try what he could do, and this was in his own way; for he is said by many Heathen writers (h) to be famous for arithmetic and astrology, or astronomy; but as great a master as he was in these sciences, be was not able to number the stars, which is here plainly intimated, since it follows:

and he said, so shall thy seed be: as innumerable as the stars, as they were, even his natural seed, Hebrews 11:12; and especially his spiritual seed, who have the same kind of faith he had, and as they will be in the latter day particularly, Hosea 1:10.

(h) Apud Euseb. ut supra, (Evangel. Praepar.) l. 9. c. 16, 17. Orpheus apud Clement. Stromat. l. 5. p. 607. 15:2-6 Though we must never complain of God, yet we have leave to complain to him; and to state all our grievances. It is ease to a burdened spirit, to open its case to a faithful and compassionate friend. Abram's complaint is, that he had no child; that he was never likely to have any; that the want of a son was so great a trouble to him, that it took away all his comfort. If we suppose that Abram looked no further than outward comfort, this complaint was to be blamed. But if we suppose that Abram herein had reference to the promised Seed, his desire was very commendable. Till we have evidence of our interest in Christ, we should not rest satisfied; what will all avail me, if I go Christless? If we continue instant in prayer, yet pray with humble submission to the Divine will, we shall not seek in vain. God gave Abram an express promise of a son. Christians may believe in God with respect to the common concerns of this life; but the faith by which they are justified, always has respect to the person and work of Christ. Abram believed in God as promising Christ; they believe in him as having raised him from the dead, Ro 4:24. Through faith in his blood they obtain forgiveness of sins.
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