Some time later, the word of Yahweh came to Abram in a vision: Do not be afraid, Abram! I am your shield and shall give you a very great reward.
'Lord Yahweh,' Abram replied, 'what use are your gifts, as I am going on my way childless? . . .
Since you have given me no offspring,' Abram continued, 'a member of my household will be my heir.'
Then Yahweh's word came to him in reply, 'Such a one will not be your heir; no, your heir will be the issue of your own body.'
Then taking him outside, he said, 'Look up at the sky and count the stars if you can. Just so will your descendants be,' he told him.
Abram put his faith in Yahweh and this was reckoned to him as uprightness.
He then said to him, 'I am Yahweh who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldaeans to give you this country as your possession.'
'Lord Yahweh,' Abram replied, 'how can I know that I shall possess it?'
He said to him, 'Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon.'
He brought him all these, split the animals down the middle and placed each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not divide.
And whenever birds of prey swooped down on the carcases, Abram drove them off.
Now, as the sun was on the point of setting, a trance fell on Abram, and a deep dark dread descended on him.
Then Yahweh said to Abram, 'Know this for certain, that your descendants will be exiles in a land not their own, and be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years.
But I shall bring judgement on the nation that enslaves them and after this they will leave, with many possessions.
For your part, you will join your ancestors in peace; you will be buried at a happy old age.
In the fourth generation they will come back here, for until then the iniquity of the Amorites will not have reached its full extent.'
When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking firepot and a flaming torch passing between the animals' pieces.
That day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram in these terms: 'To your descendants I give this country, from the River of Egypt to the Great River, the River Euphrates,
the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,
the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,
the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.'