Summary of passage: Again, Abram questions God, asking for reassurances of this promise. God tells Abram to bring him a heifer, goat, ram, dove, and a pigeon. Abram cut these in half (except the birds).
Abram fell asleep and the Lord revealed that Abram’s descendants will be strangers and enslaved for 400 years. But that God would punish this nation and they will emerge with great possessions. Abram will die in peace and at an old age.
Then the Lord appeared (many believe) in the smoke and united the pieces, making a covenant with Abram, giving his descendants this land.
11) God says that Abram’s descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and they will be enslaved and mistreated for 400 years (Exodus 6:1; 12:31-36; 40 and most of Exodus tells of God’s plan to free the Israelites from the Egyptians).
God will punish the nation they serve as slaves and afterward the descendants will come out with great possession. This is shown in Exodus as God punished the Egyptians when Pharaoh refuses to release the Israelites.
In modern history, Egypt as an empire and great civilization no longer exists thanks to Alexander the Great and the Roman Emperor Octavian. Also, the country of Israel exists today.
Abram will go to his fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age (Genesis 25:7-8).
In the fourth generation, your descendants will come back to Canaan to the land God gives them.
12a) God as fire: Genesis 15:17; Exodus 3:2-6 God appearing in burning bush; Exodus 13:21 God leading the Israelites at night as fire; Exodus 19:18 the Lord descending on Mt. Sinai in fire; 1 Kings 18 has Elijah answering the challenge by God coming as fire. This is God as fire.
God used fire as a sign He accepted sacrifices: Judges 6:21; 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chronicles 21:26; Leviticus 9:24
God uses fire as judgment: Genesis 19:24 when He burned Sodom and Gomorrah; Exodus 9:23; Numbers 11:1; Numbers 16:35 where God consumed people in fire.
Fire used to show God’s glory and holiness: Daniel 7:9; Isaiah 33:13-15
God himself is a consuming fire in Deuteronomy 4:24
God the Son as light: 1 John 1:5, John 3:18-20; John 9:5; Romans 13:12
b) Personal Question. My answer: I’m reminded of a Greek myth that tells of how man first received fire. It was given to them as a gift by Prometheus who was punished by Zeus because Zeus did not want man to have fire. Prometheus was chained to a rock and forced to endure an eagle pecking at his liver for the rest of his days.
Fire is essential for living and surviving. We have to cook our food and fire is what has been used for millenia. Light is essential for seeing. Otherwise we are blind.
Basically, God is essential for living since He is fire and light. Without Him we cannot eat. We cannot survive. We cannot see.
Man could not exist without fire. For the Sun itself is a ball of fire from nuclear explosions. Furthermore, fire changes things. Look at wood and metals. Thus, if God is fire and fire changes things, then God changes things, namely us.
13) Because He wants as many as possible to see the “light” and come to Him; to see His kindness and repent before it’s too late.
14a) To the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates. This would be from modern-day Egypt to Iraq, which would include Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, and parts of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The river in Egypt is most likely the Nile River. The Hebrew word for the river used here means “large river” so probably the Nile.
b) Under Solomon (1 Kings 8:65) and possibly under Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:25).
Conclusions: I loved the study of fire in the Bible and I only mentioned a tid-bit of ways fire is used. It also symbolizes evil, the devil, greed, the Holy Spirit, etc. Fire changes and purifies. This I LOVE! Since God is fire God changes and purifies! Awesome!
I was also reminded by this SITE where I learned about fire how Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew are much more expressive languages than English and the way fire is used depends on translations and meanings. These languages have many more meanings for some words than English does.
This is just an interesting ARTICLE on the Promised Land boundaries with maps. However, this article is propounding a world viewpoint.
Maps of Promised Land: This was interesting. I found various maps of the Promised Land the Scriptures used to back up the boundaries. Here is what I found:
http://www.zionismexplained.org/map/thepromisedland.gif This Link specifically uses Genesis 15:18-21
http://www.differentspirit.org/articles/boundaries.php This one shows King Solomon’s boundaries with references.
MAP of Modern Day Israel against Solomon’s Empire in 990 BC.
Another MAP of Modern-Day Israel, showing Gaza, West Bank, and Golan
End Note: I liked this lesson because it prompted me to learn more. I spent two days looking up references and finding all these websites. If I hadn’t of done this, this lesson wouldn’t have had the impact it did on me. Please see HERE for the spiel this one comment inspired.