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Genesis 15:1

Context
The Cutting of the Covenant

15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram! I am your shield 1  and the one who will reward you in great abundance.” 2 

Genesis 15:12

Context

15:12 When the sun went down, Abram fell sound asleep, 3  and great terror overwhelmed him. 4 

1 sn The noun “shield” recalls the words of Melchizedek in 14:20. If God is the shield, then God will deliver. Abram need not fear reprisals from those he has fought.

2 tn Heb “your reward [in] great abundance.” When the phrase הַרְבּה מְאֹדֵ (harbeh mÿod) follows a noun it invariably modifies the noun and carries the nuance “very great” or “in great abundance.” (See its use in Gen 41:49; Deut 3:5; Josh 22:8; 2 Sam 8:8; 12:2; 1 Kgs 4:29; 10:10-11; 2 Chr 14:13; 32:27; Jer 40:12.) Here the noun “reward” is in apposition to “shield” and refers by metonymy to God as the source of the reward. Some translate here “your reward will be very great” (cf. NASB, NRSV), taking the statement as an independent clause and understanding the Hiphil infinitive absolute as a substitute for a finite verb. However, the construction הַרְבּה מְאֹדֵ is never used this way elsewhere, where it either modifies a noun (see the texts listed above) or serves as an adverb in relation to a finite verb (see Josh 13:1; 1 Sam 26:21; 2 Sam 12:30; 2 Kgs 21:16; 1 Chr 20:2; Neh 2:2).

sn Abram has just rejected all the spoils of war, and the Lord promises to reward him in great abundance. In walking by faith and living with integrity he cannot lose.

3 tn Heb “a deep sleep fell on Abram.”

4 tn Heb “and look, terror, a great darkness was falling on him.”



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