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Genesis 15 General Notes

Special concepts in this chapter

Inheritance

In the ancient Near East, a person's children inherited the property and land of their parents. Abraham doubted the fulfillment of God's covenant because he did not have any children to whom to give his land. This showed a lack of faith. (See: rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/inherit, rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/fulfill,rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/covenant and rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/faith)

Fulfilling a promise

In the ancient Near East, two people performed a similar sacrifice by dividing animals in half. It was a way to say to the other person, "may this happen to me if I do not fulfill my promise." The event recorded here indicates that God will fulfill his promise and only he is responsible for bringing it about. (See: rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/fulfill and rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/promise)

God's covenant with Abraham

God made a covenant with Abram. This covenant was not conditioned upon anything that Abraham needed to do, but the fulfillment of its promises is conditioned upon the actions of each generation of his descendants. This covenant has not yet been fulfilled in its entirety.

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