Genesis 15:13
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.

King James Bible
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;

American Standard Version
And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And it was said unto him: Know thou beforehand that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land not their own, and they shall bring them under bondage, and afflict them four hundred years.

English Revised Version
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;

Webster's Bible Translation
And he said to Abram, Know certainly 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;

Genesis 15:13 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Abram's question, "Whereby shall I know that I shall take possession of it (the land)?" was not an expression of doubt, but of desire for the confirmation or sealing of a promise, which transcended human thought and conception. To gratify this desire, God commanded him to make preparation for the conclusion of a covenant. "Take Me, He said, a heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon;" one of every species of the animals suitable for sacrifice. Abram took these, and "divided them in the midst," i.e., in half, "and placed one half of each opposite to the other (בּתרו אישׁ, every one its half, cf. Genesis 42:25; Numbers 16:17); only the birds divided he not," just as in sacrifice the doves were not divided into pieces, but placed upon the fire whole (Leviticus 1:17). The animals chosen, as well as the fact that the doves were left whole, corresponded exactly to the ritual of sacrifice. Yet the transaction itself was not a real sacrifice, since there was neither sprinkling of blood nor offering upon an altar (oblatio), and no mention is made of the pieces being burned. The proceeding corresponded rather to the custom, prevalent in many ancient nations, of slaughtering animals when concluding a covenant, and after dividing them into pieces, of laying the pieces opposite to one another, that the persons making the covenant might pass between them. Thus Ephraem Syrus (1, 161) observes, that God condescended to follow the custom of the Chaldeans, that He might in the most solemn manner confirm His oath to Abram the Chaldean. The wide extension of this custom is evident from the expression used to denote the conclusion of a covenant, בּרית כּרת to hew, or cut a covenant, Aram. קרם גּרז, Greek ὅρκια τέμνειν, faedus ferire, i.e., ferienda hostia facere faedus; cf. Bochart (Hieroz. 1, 332); whilst it is evident from Jeremiah 34:18, that this was still customary among the Israelites of later times. The choice of sacrificial animals for a transaction which was not strictly a sacrifice, was founded upon the symbolical significance of the sacrificial animals, i.e., upon the fact that they represented and took the place of those who offered them. In the case before us, they were meant to typify the promised seed of Abram. This would not hold good, indeed, if the cutting of the animals had been merely intended to signify, that any who broke the covenant would be treated like the animals that were there cut in pieces. But there is no sure ground in Jeremiah 34:18. for thus interpreting the ancient custom. The meaning which the prophet there assigns to the symbolical usage, may be simply a different application of it, which does not preclude an earlier and different intention in the symbol. The division of the animals probably denoted originally the two parties to the covenant, and the passing of the latter through the pieces laid opposite to one another, their formation into one: a signification to which the other might easily have been attached as a further consequence and explanation. And if in such a case the sacrificial animals represented the parties to the covenant, so also even in the present instance the sacrificial animals were fitted for that purpose, since, although originally representing only the owner or offerer of the sacrifice, by their consecration as sacrifices they were also brought into connection with Jehovah. But in the case before us the animals represented Abram and his seed, not in the fact of their being slaughtered, as significant of the slaying of that seed, but only in what happened to and in connection with the slaughtered animals: birds of prey attempted to eat them, and when extreme darkness came on, the glory of God passed through them. As all the seed of Abram was concerned, one of every kind of animal suitable for sacrifice was taken, ut ex toto populo et singulis partibus sacrificium unum fieret (Calvin). The age of the animals, three years old, was supposed by Theodoret to refer to the three generations of Israel which were to remain in Egypt, or the three centuries of captivity in a foreign land; and this is rendered very probable by the fact, that in Judges 6:25 the bullock of seven years old undoubtedly refers to the seven years of Midianitish oppression. On the other hand, we cannot find in the six halves of the three animals and the undivided birds, either 7 things or the sacred number 7, for two undivided birds cannot represent one whole, but two; nor can we attribute to the eight pieces any symbolical meaning, for these numbers necessarily followed from the choice of one specimen of every kind of animal that was fit for sacrifice, and from the division of the larger animals into two.

Genesis 15:13 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

thy.

Genesis 17:8 And I will give to you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan...

Exodus 1:1-2:25 Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob...

Exodus 5:1-23 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus said the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go...

Exodus 22:21 You shall neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9 Also you shall not oppress a stranger: for you know the heart of a stranger, seeing you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Leviticus 19:34 But the stranger that dwells with you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself...

Deuteronomy 10:19 Love you therefore the stranger: for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Psalm 105:11 Saying, To you will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:

Psalm 105:12,23-25 When they were but a few men in number; yes, very few, and strangers in it...

Acts 7:6,7 And God spoke on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage...

Hebrews 11:8-13 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out...

four.

Exodus 12:40,41 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelled in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years...

Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after...

Cross References
Acts 7:6
And God spoke to this effect--that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years.

Acts 7:17
"But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt

Galatians 3:17
This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.

Genesis 15:16
And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."

Genesis 47:4
They said to Pharaoh, "We have come to sojourn in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants' flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. And now, please let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen."

Exodus 1:11
Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses.

Exodus 1:13
So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves

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