Genesis 15:7-9

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Genesis 15:7
  • Genesis 15:8
  • Genesis 15:9

Genesis is a book about many beginnings. The beginnings of the world, the human race, sin and redemption, and the nation of Israel to name a few. In fact, the word Genesis from the Greek means “origin,” and in Hebrew it means “beginning.” The book of Genesis contains the events of the flood, tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the lives of the Patriarchs.

In the beginning, God created everything by simply speaking, “God said…and it was so” (Genesis 1:6-7, 9, 11, 14-15). This is not a scientific technical account of creation, but it shows a loving God creating a universe and mankind to rule it and fellowship with God. Man was formed especially from the ground and given the breath of life from God. The woman was made from the man’s rib (Genesis 2:7).

After man fell into sin, things began to spin out of control quickly. Cain murdered his brother Abel and the human race became so violent that God decided to destroy them all with a flood. God saved one righteous man (Noah) and his family in an ark filled with animals to deliver the human race from extinction. God chose Abraham and blessed a special group of people named “Israel.” God began to unfold a plan of salvation from a coming famine by sending Joseph to rule in Egypt. The failure of man in every circumstance is met by the salvation of God. We fail, but the good news is God saves us.

In Genesis chapter 15, the unconditional Abrahamic covenant is confirmed, and the spiritual seed is promised. Abram was leading a more settled life at Hebron, yet he still had no son of his own. Abram requested surety that the promised land would be given to his descendants. God makes a covenant with Abram, promising him descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, even though Sarai had not birthed children. God also promised that the land would belong to Abram’s offspring. God confirms the covenant with a sacrificial ceremony.  God explains that before Abram’s seed could inherit Canaan, they would spend 400 years in a foreign land (Egypt). From chapter 15 we learn faith is the key that unlocks the door of promises. God counted Abram as righteous just because he believed. And God rewarded Abram because he acted upon his belief.

God begins a covenant with Abram.



Having answered Abram’s question about descendants, the dialogue now turns to the promise of the land. I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it. God declares His authority and confirms the call of Abram with the subsequent redemption of Israel to be possessed by Abraham’s descendants. Neither the departure of Terah’s household from Ur nor the migration of Abrams household to Canaan was accidental. Both were the result of God’s intervention and guidance (Acts 7:2-4). God had brought Abram out of Ur to give the land of Canaan to his descendants in the first place. God was reminding Abram that He was the one in charge and responsible for the promises and covenant. Just as God had faithfully brought Abram to Canaan, He will also satisfy the promise of offspring.


Abram believed God’s promise of a son, but he desired a confirmation of the promise of the land; he asked how may I know that I will possess it?  The New Testament tells us that if we want something to ask for it. James 1:5 encourages us to ask for wisdom, and James 4:2 says we don’t have because we don’t ask. That was not a problem for Abram. Abram believed, but when the opportunity came, he asked. In answer to Abram’s question, God by grace made a binding covenant with Abram that guaranteed the fulfillment of God’s promises to him.


Animals were a very important part of the covenant ceremony. God instructed Abram to bring a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

Biblical Text

7 And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.” 8 He said, “O Lord God, how may I know that I will possess it?” 9 So He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”

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