Genesis 15


A picture of:

1.   A fuller explanation of the promise to Abram and his seed.

2.   Prophecy of next 430 years of Israel's history.

3.   Rom. 4:3, Gal. 3:6 - Answers the question, "How can a person be justified before God?"  Reveals that people are saved the same in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.

4.   A type of the Great Tribulation (Time of Jacob's Trouble).  The Bible never really says "The Great Tribulation", but "Time of Jacob's Trouble".  Jer. 30:7.)


Verse 1, After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

I.    Vision - This is the fifth appearance of God to Abram.

A.            Previous appearances.

1.      Gen. 11:31 - probably appeared before Abram's dad moved.

2.      Gen. 12:1

3.      Gen. 12:7

4.      Gen. 13:14

5.      Gen. 15:1

B.   This vision continues through this entire chapter (Evidently takes more than one day, compare 15:1 & 15:12)

C.   Just because there are actions that take place doesn't mean that the vision is discounted.


II.   Purpose of the vision - To give Abram comfort and assurance that the promise of God to his seed will come to pass.

A.  Abram and Sarai had waited for a child which would fulfill the promise.

1.      Sarai was about 65 years old when they came into Canaan.

2.      Gen. 16:3 - Sarai was 75 years old when she gave Hagar to Abram to bear a seed.

3.      Sarai was reaching the age past child bearing.

4.      They both knew this and was getting concerned that the promise would not be fulfilled.

5.   We can't condemn Abram and Sarai for their lack of faith when we are guilty of much worse things.

B.   Abram had continually worshipped God at altars.

1.      Gen. 12:7,8  13:4,18 - Everywhere Abram lived he built an altar to the Lord.

2.   I believe that Abram had faithfully continued worshipping God and had asked God about this in his prayers.

C.   Now God is coming to Abram to give him a fuller explanation and greater comfort.

1.      "Fear not" - This is the first words of the vision.

a.   Not talking about fear Abram might have of the four kings of chapter 14.

b.   Don't be afraid of this vision.

c.   The vision is talking about the promised seed - this is what Abram had on his mind.

d.   God will now give the reasons to "fear not".

2.      Shield - Abram's protector of the promise.

a.   The promise doesn't rest in the abilities of men.

b.   Or if they are able to bear children or not.

3.      Exceeding reward - the reward is God.  He is the faithful one who will fulfill the promise in Abram.


III. Immediate blessings do not come.

A.  Abram had, in chapter 14, courageously fought the Lord's battle with no selfish motives.  God still hadn't blessed him with the promised child.

B.   God gave Abram a promise many years ago, but hadn't fulfilled it yet, nor had there been any sign at all given to confirm the promise.

C.   God is able to do this with us too.


Verse 2 and 3, And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? {3} And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

I.    Abram speaks two separate times.

A.      This shows he is anxious about his heir.

1.   He understood the heir would be his, not a servant.

2.   He considers his age and Sarai's age as being almost past child bearing.

B.   He is not doubting the power of God, but is showing the natural misgivings of the limited human understanding.


II.   The heir is Eliezer of Damascus.  Note the status of servants.

A.  Placed above family members that are not present.

B.   Placed after family members that are present.

C.   At any rate, they share in the inheritance.


Verse 4, And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

I.    The heir is not Eliezer.


II.   The heir will come forth from Abram himself.

A.  No mention is made of the woman God will use.

1.      Gen. 16:2 - This is probably the reason Sarai offered the handmaid to Abram.

2.      And the reason Abram accepted.  (Abram could have accepted because this was another woman offered to him by his own wife - {he accepted to fulfill his own lusts}.)

B.   Gen. 17:16 - Later God reveals He will use Sarai, Abram's wife.

C.   There was much trouble caused by the union of Abram and Hagar.

1.   The wars between the two boys (now represented by nations) have continued to this day.

2.      This could have been avoided if Abram and Sarai hadn't taken things into their own hands.

D.  The lesson - If God doesn't tell us what to do, do nothing.  There won't be any trouble.  There will be a lot of trouble if we do something and God hasn't told us to.


Verse 5, And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

I.    Further confirmation of the promises.

A.  Took him outside to count the stars.

B.   They can't be counted, as the population of Israel can't be counted.

1.      Scientists previously thought they could count the stars, but they are finding new stars all the time.

2.   The promise was not made to scientists today, but to Abram in days of old - who wouldn't even think of trying to count the stars to find the end of the promises of God.

3.      Abram accepts the promise on faith, not facts.


II.   Some comparisons made in:

A.  Gen. 22:17 - The angel of the Lord talking to Abram.

B.   Gen. 26:4 - God talking to Isaac.

C.   Ex. 32:13 - Moses, reminding God of His promise to Abram, Isaac, and Jacob.


Verse 6, And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

I.    Believe

A.  This is the first time the word is used in the Bible.

B.   An inward believing the promise.

C.   If it is inward, how do we know he believed?

1.   God revealed it to Moses, the writer, by inspiration.

2.      Nobody can know the inward heart of man except God and those whom He reveals these secrets to.

3.      Abram never again doubted that he would have an heir, though he didn't understand who the mother would be.

4.      Gen. 22 - later Abram would have external evidence of his believing in God.

D.  All evidence of a fleshly believing is ruled out.

1.      There is no physical evidence at all.

2.      This believing is totally by grace through faith.

3.   A very clear indication that Abram believed in the same way New Testament people believed.

E.   New Testament and Old Testament people are saved the same.

1.      Gen. 12:3 - a promise of the Savior given to Abram.

2.      Abram is looking for more than many descendants.

3.      Abram is looking for the one and only savior.

4.      Gen. 22 - proven because Abram offers his only son Isaac, expecting the promise to be fulfilled in the resurrection of his son.


II.   Abram believing in the promise of God as well as the God of the promise.

A.  Rom. 4:1-4 - Paul quotes Gen. 15:6 in proving that justification (which happens at salvation) is by faith.  Evidently Paul believed Gen. 15:6 was the time when Abram was justified.

B.   Gal. 3:14-16 - Paul says that part of the promise Abram was believing was about the "seed" which is Christ.

C.   Gen. 15:1 - The reason the vision came to Abram is because he was afraid.

1.      Gen. 15:1 - God said, "Fear not".

2.   I John 4:18 - "He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

3.      Every saved person I've talked to was afraid when they were lost.  Afraid salvation (the promise) would pass them by and go to another.  They didn't mind others being saved, but they wanted salvation to come to them.

4.      Abram was afraid the promise would pass him by and go to another - Eliezer of Damascus.

D.  Gen. 15:6 - Makes a very clear point that Abram believed (was saved).  Who are we to dispute this - even if it does run contrary to our previous thoughts.


III. Objections to Abram being saved at this time.

A.  Abram had followed God's command to leave Ur of the Chaldees and go to Canaan.

1.      Luke 19:4 - Who lead Zacchaeus to climb the Sycamore tree to see Jesus?  God lead this lost man.

2.      Acts 10:4,5 - Cornelius also followed the command of God when he was lost.

3.   The whole point is that God puts His Holy Spirit to work leading the lost person to salvation before He ever saves him.  (This is called - "being willing in the day of salvation")  This is the work of the Lord in the heart of the lost, not the work of the lost upon himself.

B.   Abram received a vision of the Lord and God was talking to him.

1.      Acts 10:3-5 - Cornelius also received a vision and God talked to him.

2.      Acts 26:19 - Paul received a vision from the Lord concerning his salvation and a lifetime of service.

C.   Abram had built many altars to God and had prayed, giving sacrifice and tithes to Melchizedek.

1.      Acts 10:1,2 - Cornelius had also done these things, but he was lost.

2.      Salvation doesn't come because we "do" things, but because we believe (and that by the grace of God).

D.  I have heard some people say, "God doesn't hear the prayers of the lost except for a request to be saved."

1.      Where does the Bible say that??  We have already given scripture to prove that God hears and answers the prayer of the lost.  (Acts 10:4)

2.   God does hear and accept the prayers and offerings given by lost people.  (Acts 10:4)


IV. Lost people ought to seek the Lord by obeying His commands.

A.  Acts 10 - Cornelius sought the Lord and was saved.

B.   Matt. 19:16-22 - The rich young ruler Christ ordered to keep the law in order to be saved.  Christ knew (and we know) that keeping the law would not save, but working to keep the law would cause great frustration because it could not be kept, eventually causing the person to turn to Christ, and trust Christ to keep the law for him.  He would finally ask for the free gift of salvation, not the keeping of the law at his own hands.


Verse 7, And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

I.    This is the same God that talked to him at the beginning.  Heb. 13:8 - Jesus Christ, the same, yesterday, today and forever.


II.   This is the same promise as at the beginning, just revealed a little more now.


Verse 8, And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

I.    Not asked in doubt or unbelief.


II.   Now that Abram fully believes the promise, he is desiring to know more about the promise and its fulfillment.

A.  This is a true Christian experience.

B.   When we really believe the promises of God, we desire the sincere milk of the Word.  I Peter 2:2.

C.   The mark of an unbeliever is a lack of desire to study and submit to the Word of God.


Verse 9-21 - The establishment of the covenant.  We'll study each verse separately, but remember that these verses contain a prophecy of Israel for the next 430 years.


Verse 9, And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

I.    The condition of the promise.

A.  All of God's promises are by grace through faith.

1.      This doesn't mean we are supposed to sit down and do nothing to obtain the promises.

2.   The person who expects to obtain the promise must be consistent in the ordinances and daily devotions.

a.   Daniel consistently prayed and studied and received great revelations.

b.   Cornelius prayed to God always and was sent a preacher so he could hear and be saved.

B.   Abram is simply doing the necessary things to receive the promise.


II.   The animals.

A.  Three years old - in the best condition at full maturity.

B.   Five animals - a type of grace.


Verse 10, And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. - Abram obeys by dividing the animals.

I.    Either following the commandments that were going to be laid out later in the law.


II.   Or following the order of sacrifice he had always done.


III. Or God gave him special instructions that are not recorded.


Verse 11, And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

I.    Evidently there is a time lapse.

A.  Time for the fowls to get there.

B.   They could have been waiting and watching for the first opportunity to ruin the promise.


II.   The fowl is more than a bird, but is representative of the Devil.

A.  Matt. 13:4,19 - Devil is catching away the sown seed (gospel).

B.   It's our part to fight the destructive force Satan puts on God's promises to us.


Verse 12, And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

I.    When the sun was going down.

A.  Abram had received the promise by looking at the stars the night before.

B.   During the morning hours of the day, he had set up the sacrifices.

C.   then had stayed by them all day, fighting off the physical character of Satan - the fowls.

D.            Sometimes, God makes us wait for the fulfillment of the promises.

1.   To let us learn about ourselves.

2.   To let us learn to trust Him regardless of what happens.

E.   Abram probably didn't know when to expect the "sign" he was looking for, so he just stayed by the sacrifice waiting for God.  This is as we should do.


II.   Deep sleep - Abram is already receiving a vision from the Lord, now he goes into a deep sleep to receive even greater evidence of the presence and promises of God.

A.  The body can only stand so much.

1.      Abram is already tired from his night time and all day vigil.

2.   The blessings are greater than the body can stand, so God has this means of dismissing the body so it will be preserved and the promise shall come.

B.   We can, many times, get closer to God in our sleep than in our waking hours.  Look at our own personal experiences.


III. Horror of great darkness.

A.            Evidently put on him by God, not by Satan.

1.   The vision comes from God, not Satan.

2.      Verse 11 - Abram had already drove the fowls (Satan) away.

B.   This is a very frightening darkness.  The purpose is to reveal the greatness of God.

1.      Matt. 27:45 - Three hours of darkness during the crucifixion.  Reveals:

a.   God refuses to look on the sins of the world.

b.   Man sees in a physical way that Jesus' death is very different.

2.      Rev. 16:10 - Fourth vial poured out on the Anti-Christ kingdom.  The people on the earth say that God is in control, but blaspheme Him instead of worshipping Him.

3.      Matt. 16:28, 17:1-8 - Mt. of Transfiguration.  Here only the greatness of God was revealed and Peter, not having the proper fear of God, desired to build an altar for Moses, Elijah, and Jesus.  It took another bright cloud and the voice out of the cloud to calm him down.  Then he got the right kind of fear and closed his mouth.

4.      Abram sees the greatness of God first, so he has great fear of God's greatness while also possessing a great peace, knowing that God is in total control.


Verse 13, And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

I.    Heb. 11:9 - Stranger in a strange land.  (Talking about the time between the promise given to Abram and Israel possessing the promised land.)

A.  Gen. 23:4 - Abram bought a field to bury in.

1.      Gen. 49:31, 50:13 - Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah, buried there.

2.      Gen. 50:26, Joshua 24:32 - Joseph buried in a purchased land, which became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

B.   Gen. 28:4 - Isaac confessing he and his son, Jacob, are strangers in the promised land.

C.   Gen. 37:1 - Jacob is a stranger in a strange land.

D.  Gen. 37-50 - Joseph was never accepted in the land of Canaan or Egypt (by his brothers).  He was buried in Shechem - a purchased land.

E.   Ex. 6:4 - the land of their pilgrimage (Canaan) where they were strangers.

F.   Ps. 105:11,12 - The writer says Israel was a stranger in the land of Canaan.

G.   I Peter 1:1 - Peter writes to strangers.  These are not people he did not necessarily know,

but people the world didn't know.


II.   Four hundred years of persecution.

A.  Gal. 3:16,17 - It was 430 years from the promise to the giving of the law.  Exodus 12:40,41 can be interpreted two ways:

1.   The children of Israel was in Egypt 430 years.

2.   The children of Israel were sojourning 430 years.

3.      According to the scriptures set forth thus far, and the principle of letting scripture interpret scripture, we believe we must interpret Exodus 12:40,41 as the Israelites were sojourning 430 years.

B.   Gen. 21:9, Gal. 4:29 - Ishmael persecuting Isaac.

1.   The beginning of the mocking.

2.   The seed of the flesh persecuting the seed of the spirit (promise).

C.   Gen. 43:32 - An abomination for the Egyptians to eat with the Hebrews.

1.   A Hebrew had actually saved their lives and their nation.

2.   The Egyptians thought it was okay to eat that which the Hebrews provided, but wouldn't eat with them.

D.  Exodus 1:22 - The order to kill all Hebrew male children as they are born.

E.   Note the progression of the persecution of the Hebrews.  Compare this increasing persecution with the "Time of Jacob's Trouble" (Great Tribulation).


Verse 14, And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

I.    Judging that nation.

A.  That nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge.  Egypt - not Canaan.

1.      They were strangers in the land of Canaan, but they served Egypt.  (Ex. 1:13)

2.   In Canaan, Israel didn't serve those nations, but lived in the land as an equal.

3.      Gen. 14 - Abram, of his own free will, delivered Lot and the five kings.

B.   The ten plagues upon Egypt was a part of this judgment.


II.   Come out with great substance.

A.  Ex. 12:35,36 - The Hebrews spoiled the Egyptians.

B.   Joshua 2:10 - came out with a great reputation for God was with them.


Verse 15, And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. - This shall not come to pass during Abram's life, but he shall have peace, and die in a good old age.


Verse 16, But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

I.    Gen. 15:16 - the fourth generation will represent either:

A.  The fourth generation from Abraham which is Judah or Joseph. (1. Abraham, 2. Isaac, 3. Jacob, 4. Judah or Joseph)

B.   Or the fourth generation afflicted by that nation whom they shall serve (verse 14).

C.   The first point must of necessity be incorrect as it was in the time of Judah and Joseph that Israel entered into "that nation" (Egypt).  Joseph died in the land of Egypt and certainly did not deliver the people from Egypt.

D.  The second point must be correct, especially as this agrees with Ex. 6:16-20.


II.   Ex. 6:16-20

A.  The four generations afflicted by that nation are:

1.   Ex. 6:16 - Levi, who lived in Egypt.

2.   Ex. 6:16 - Kohath, the son of Levi, who also lived in Egypt.

3.   Ex. 6:18 - Amram, the son of Kohath, who also lived in Egypt.

4.   Ex. 6:20 - Moses, the son of Amram and Jochebed, who also lived in Egypt.

B.   These generations can also be proved by comparing Ruth 4:18-20 (generations of Christ) with the generations of Levi (Ex. 6:16-20).

1.      Ruth 4:20 - Nahshon, the fourth generation from Pharez (son of Judah by Tamar, Matt. 1:3) is a contemporary with Moses (Num. 1:7, 2:3 7:12-17).

2.      Nahshon was living when Moses lead Israel from Egypt.  He died in the wilderness because of unbelief (Num. 1:7).

C.   For a "bird's eye view" of verses 13-16, refer to the chart included with this chapter.


III. The Amorites - one of the chief nations who possessed the land of Canaan before its conquest by the Israelites.  As dwelling on the elevated portions of the country, they are contrasted with the Canaanites, who were the dwellers of the lowlands; and the two thus formed the main broad divisions of the Holy Land.  Psalms 76:10 - God watches over the evil on this earth, and does not allow it to go on so far that He cannot gain glory from that evil.  The Amorites, although they did not worship God, will give God glory in their false worship and wicked living.  How God works all this out is completely up to Him, but He will cause all events to operate in such a way that He will be the victor.


Verse 17, And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. - The explanation follows in verse 18, God made a covenant with Abram and his seed.

I.    Darkness - contrast "natural darkness" with the blessings of God.


II.   Smoking furnace - represents the afflictions of this world.

A.  Deut. 4:20 - The trials Israel would go through in Egypt.

B.   Is 48:10 - Chosen in the furnace of affliction (Talking about the House of Jacob).


III. The burning lamp represents the blessings God has now and in eternity.

A.  Ex. 3:2-6 - God appeared to Moses in Horeb in a burning bush.

B.   Ex. 19:18 - God appeared on Mt. Sinai as a consuming fire.

C.   Ex. 13:21 - God led Israel in a pillar of fire.

D.  Now we can see that fire represents the presence of God.

1.   I Kings 18:38 - Fire consuming Elijah's sacrifice.

2.      Rev. 1:14 - Christ comes in judgment, His eyes are like fire.


IV. Passing between the pieces.

A.  God is confirming this covenant with Abram.

B.   God doesn't have to make a covenant with Abram.

1.   God makes the covenant with Himself whether man is aware of it or not.

2.   God reveals these things to us in order that we may have confidence in Him during severe trials.

a.   God deals with us like this in salvation.

b.   God deals with us like this in service.

1.      desire to be baptized.

2.      call to preach or be a missionary.

3.      call to be a faithful church member (Use Cecil Alls as an example.  He thought he was called to be a pastor, but God revealed to him that He didn't want him to preach, but rather to be a help to the pastor and other church members.)


Verse 18-21, In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: {19} The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, {20} And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, {21} And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

I.    These verses are not the entirety of the covenant.

A.  This is a summary of verse 4 and 7.

B.            Includes:

1.   The promised son of his old age.

2.   The promised Messiah, Savior of the lost.

3.   A temporal kingdom for the Jews.

4.   A spiritual kingdom for the Jews.


II.   "Have I given this land"

A.  As far as God is concerned, Israel is already in the land.

1.   All of God's promises are like this.

2.      Salvation and service, for example.

B.   How wicked our unbelief must appear to God because He already sees the deed accomplished!!


III. The measurements of the land.

A.  Num. 34:1-12 - The border of the land at the first.

B.   II Chron. 9:26 - The border during the reign of Solomon.

C.   Even as they dwelt in the land, they allowed some of the "foreigners" to stay in the land.

D.  The measurements are given in the greatest degree because the land is available if Israel would have taken it.

1.   We have many great promises if we would take them all.

2.   We, like Israel, miss many blessings in this life, and in the life to come will stay in a "lower" position because we didn't take the grace God gave us and believed the promises He gave us.


IV. The borders Israel is given.  (This is a quote from the BAPTIST CHALLENGE, Vol. XXXI, Number 3, March 1991, Whole No. 355, "Desert Storm" and the Bible, by M. L. Moser, Jr., Editor.)

A.  Page 11, "Now this includes what is referred to as "the river of Egypt" which is the Nile River.  And then it says "the great river Euphrates," and as you and I have been noticing on television and in news reports this last couple of months, the great river Euphrates is the most important river of all western Asia and it flows through Iraq and Baghdad."

B.   On page 12, column 1, Brother Moser explains that Israel never occupied this land, but verse 18 reveals that the land is given to the seed of Abraham, not to Abraham himself.  This scripture is talking, not about a time when Israel will rule in their own strength, but about a time when Israel will rule the world through the strength of Jesus Christ, who will reign from Jerusalem.


V.  The occupants of the land.

A.  They are named because God knows them, not in salvation, but in reality.  He wants Israel to know that He knows who they will be fighting.

B.   There are 10 nations - God is able to give them all to Israel.

C.   Deut. 7:1 - Seven nations greater and mightier than thou.  Deut. 7:7,8 - Israel wasn't chosen because they are greater, but because God loved them.



Genesis Genealogy of Christ


Age When

Age At

Years From



Son Born


Creation of Earth




0- 930



























Enoch (didn't die)



















5:32, 9:29





11:10, 11





11:12, 13





11:14, 15





11:16, 17





11:18, 19





11:20, 21





11:22, 23





11:24, 25


130 @








21:5, 25:7





25:26, 35:28












@Abraham is born when Terah is 130 years old


            If Abraham is born when Terah is 130 years old, does this make the birth of Isaac when Abraham is 100 years old, a natural act and not a fulfillment of God's promise?


            We must understand that the promise of the Redeemer comes through the woman, not the man!  This fact does not discount the man's role, but reinforces another Biblical fact: God uses both the man and the woman in the marriage relationship to fulfill His plan.


I.    Genesis 3:15, The promise of the coming Savior.

1.   The fact is that God gave the promise of the coming Messiah and Savior to Satan, represented by the serpent, not to the man or the woman.

2.   The promise stated that the seed of the woman, not the seed of the man, would bruise the head of Satan.

3.   It was naturally assumed that God would fulfill His promises through the man.

4.   God doesn't use a man at all in the birth of Jesus Christ.  God is the Father.


II.   The promise given to Abraham and Sarah.

A.  Gen. 12:2,3; 15:1-4, The birth of Isaac is according to the promises of God, not the strength of the flesh.

B.   There was a misunderstanding between Abraham and Sarah that still exists today among students of the Bible.

1.      They thought that the promised child must come from Abraham, but they didn't believe the promised child must come through Sarah.

2.      They thought the man was the most important person in the marriage relationship, because the genealogy was always traced through the man.

3.   It was naturally assumed that God would fulfill His promises through the man.

4.      This point has often been overlooked by Bible scholars, but the following scriptures will reveal that the miracle birth of Isaac was not so much through Abraham as it was through Sarah.

C.   Genesis 11:30, the second time Sarah is mentioned in the Bible, it is stated that she was barren.  Such a truth was never stated about Abraham.

D.  Genesis 15:1-4, God assures Abraham that the promised seed shall come forth from his own bowels, and shall not be the son of another.

1.      Abraham is included because Sarah is an honorable woman.

2.   God will not use sin (Sarah being with a man other than Abraham) to bring forth the promised son.

a.   If there is sin involved in the birth of any of the promised seed (as in the case of Judah and Tamar), there must be a cleansing period as stated in the Bible.

b.   The descendants of Judah and Tamar were not permitted in the Tabernacle for 10 generations, Deut. 23:2.

c.   David, King of Israel was the tenth generation.

d.   This is why Saul was anointed King of Israel, and ruled until David was born and became eligible to the throne.

E.   Genesis 16:1,2 - Sarah and Abraham, convinced that God will not use Sarah in the promise, consider it God's will for Hagar to bear a child for Sarah.  As we now understand, this was not God's will at all.

F.   Genesis 18:9-15 - God revealed to Abraham and Sarah that she will bear the promised seed, even though she will be 90 years old when the child is born.

G.   Genesis 21:1-8 - Sarah bore the promised seed when Abraham was 100 years old.  This makes her 90 years old.


III. The promise given to Isaac and Rebekah.

A.  Genesis 25:19-26 - Isaac and Rebekah were married 20 years before they had any children.

1.      Isaac married at age 40, but Rebekah was barren.

2.   It is very strange that Sarah and Rebekah are both barren when they are not closely related.

3.      There is no mention that any other barren women in their family.

4.      There is no mention that Isaac is incapable of producing children.

B.   It was only because Isaac prayed for the promise that they received the promise.

1.      This tells us something about promises doesn't it?

2.   We ought to pray that God will fulfill the promises He gives to us.


IV. Jacob leaves home at age 71, marries and 75, and has 12 children in the next 15 years.


V.  The genealogy of Mary is given in the Bible.

A.            Matthew 1:1-17 gives the genealogy of Joseph.

1.      Matthew 1:16 is worded very carefully so it will be understood that Joseph is the husband of Mary, but not the father of Jesus.

2.      "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."

B.   Luke 3:23-38 gives the genealogy of Mary.

1.   It is as important to understand the genealogy of Mary as it is to understand the genealogy of Joseph.

2.      Luke 3:23 is worded very carefully, including Joseph in the genealogy, but explaining that he is not the father of Jesus Christ.

C.   The genealogy of Joseph and Mary are traced to King David.  Mary's genealogy is traced to Nathan, a son of King David by his wife Bathsheba.  Joseph's genealogy is traced to Solomon, a son of King David by his wife Bathsheba.


*Jacob's age at the birth of Joseph can be calculated as follows:

1.   Gen. 47:8,9.  Jacob is 130 years old when he comes to Egypt during       the 2nd year of the famine.

2.   Gen. 41:46.  Joseph was 30 years of age when he stood before       Pharaoh.

3.   Gen. 45:6.  Nine years later, Joseph revealed himself to his       brethren.  Therefore, Joseph was 39 years old when Jacob came into       Egypt.

4.   130-39=91.  Age of Jacob when Joseph was born.  Gen. 37:3, Joseph       is the son of Jacob's old age.


**This genealogy rightly should have gone through Judah, not Joseph.

            I put this genealogy through Joseph because the latter part of Genesis is concerning Joseph and his work in saving Israel from destruction.  The book of Exodus will continue the genealogy through Judah, so when I get to that book, I will pick up on Judah and continue until I finally come to Christ.




1.   There are no dates given for Judah's genealogy.

1.   Genesis 38:1,2 records that Judah married a Canaanite whose name was Hirah, the daughter of Shuah.

2.   Genesis 38:3-5 records that they had three children: (1) Er, (2) Onan and (3) Shelah.

3.   Genesis 38:6-10 records that Judah chose Tamar for Er's wife.

4.   Er was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord killed him.

5.   Judah instructed his second son, Onan, to perform the duty of the kinsman redeemer and raise up children by Tamar for Er.

6.   Er married Tamar, but refused to consummate the marriage, and God killed him.

7.   Genesis 38:11 records that Shelah was too young for marriage, and Judah asked Tamar to wait until Shelah was grown before he performed the duty of the kinsman redeemer.

8.   Genesis 38:12 records that Judah's wife, Hirah died, and after an appropriate time of mourning, Judah returned to work.

9.   Genesis 38:13-30 records that Judah went in unto Tamar, thinking she was a harlot.  Tamar conceived twins by her father in law whom she named Pharez and Zarah.


2.   According to Deuteronomy 23:2, a bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord until the tenth generation.

1.   Pharez and Zarah were bastards, and were not permitted to enter into the congregation of the Lord.

2.   Their descendants were included in the genealogy of Christ, but the dates of their birth, death, and length of life is not given.


3.   King David is the tenth generation from Judah.

1.   He was the first king of Israel from the tribe of Judah.

2.   He is the first king of Israel that is a type of Jesus Christ, the King of the Jews.


4.   The generations can be counted from King David until the end of the kings.




The 430 years of captivity



      2081                                                           2296*                                                2511

       |                                                                    |                                                        |





2006                                2181

|                    2106              |

|___________|_________| Abram (Gen. 25:7)


                     2106                    2286

                              |   2166                 |

                       |___|__________________| Isaac (Gen. 35:28)


                                                  2166                            2313

                                                     |          2257**  2296***|

                                                     |______|___________|____| Jacob (Gen. 47:28)


                                                               2257**                       2367

                                                                  |                                  |




                                                                                                         2431                 2551#

                                                                                             Moses      |____________|


The dates on this chart correspond to the dates on the previous chart.


*    The significance of this 430 years being divided into two equal parts if found in Daniel 9:27.

1.   See Ga. 3:16,17 for proof of the 430 years.

2.   God made a covenant with Israel which He divided equally.

3.   Satan makes a covenant with Israel which he divides equally.

4.   There is very little persecution during the first half of captivity, and severe persecution during the last half.


**   Jacob was 91 years old when Joseph was born.  See the notes on chapter 15, genealogy chart.


*** Gen. 47:9 - Jacob was 130 years old when he appeared before Pharaoh in Egypt.


#    The law was given on Mt. Sinai when Moses was about 80 years old.  Acts 7:23, 30


Subtracting the birth of Moses (2371) , from the death of Joseph (3207), gives us 64 years between the death of Joseph and the birth of Moses.



Four 490 Year Periods of Jewish History


I.    First 490 Year Period.

Birth of Abram.. A.M. 2006

Giving of the Law.. A.M. 2511

TOTAL..... 505

Less: Ishmael as an usurper...... 15

TOTAL..... 490


II... Second 490 Year Period.

Wilderness Wanderings 40

Period of the Judges.... 450

Birth of Samuel to reign of Saul (1155-1096 B. C.). 60

Reign of Saul 40

Reign of David...... 40

Solomon to dedication of Temple (I Kings 6:38) 11

TOTAL..... 641


Wilderness wanderings. 40

Captivity...... 111.... 151

TOTAL..... 490


III. Third 490 Year Period

Dedication of the Temple by Solomon B. C. 1004

20th Year of Artaxerxes  (Neh. 2:1  Ezra 1:2  Dan. 9:25) B. C. 444

TOTAL..... 560

Less: 70 Year Babylonian Captivity.... 70

TOTAL..... 490


IV. Fourth 490 Year Period.

20th Year of Artaxerxes.. B. C. 444

Christ died at age 33.. 33

TOTAL..... 477

Less: 69 Weeks (69 X 7 = 483).... 483

Error in my dates..... 6


69 Weeks.... 483

Tribulation 7