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Genesis 15:17 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace, and a flaming torch that passed between these pieces.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, [there appeared] a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And it came to pass, that when the sun had gone down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And it came to pass when the sun had gone down, and it was dark, that behold, there was a smoking furnace, and a flame of fire which passed between those pieces.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— So it came to pass, when, the sun, had gone in, and, a thick darkness, had come on, that lo! there was a smoking hearth and torch of fire, which passed through between these pieces.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And it cometh to pass—the sun hath gone in, and thick darkness hath been—and lo, a furnace of smoke, and a lamp of fire, which hath passed over between those pieces.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And when the sun was set, there arose a dark mist, and there appeared a smoking furnace, and a lamp of fire passing between those divisions.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And it came to passe that when the Sunne went downe, and it was [darke], behold, a smoking furnace, and a burning lampe that passed betweene those pieces.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And when the sun was about to set, there was a flame, and behold a smoking furnace and lamps of fire, which passed between these divided pieces.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— 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.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And it came to pass, x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
that, when the sun 8121
{8121} Prime
שֶׁמֶשׁ
shemesh
{sheh'-mesh}
From an unused root meaning to be brilliant; the sun; by implication the east; figuratively a ray, that is, (architecturally) a notched battlement.
went down, 935
{0935} Prime
בּוֹא
bow'
{bo}
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
and it was x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
dark, 5939
{5939} Prime
עֲלָטָה
`alatah
{al-aw-taw'}
Feminine from an unused root meaning to cover; dusk.
behold x2009
(2009) Complement
הִנֵּה
hinneh
{hin-nay'}
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
a smoking 6227
{6227} Prime
עָשָׁן
`ashan
{aw-shawn'}
From H6225; smoke, literally or figuratively (vapor, dust, anger).
furnace, 8574
{8574} Prime
תַּנּוּר
tannuwr
{tan-noor'}
From H5216; a fire pot.
and a burning 784
{0784} Prime
אֵשׁ
'esh
{aysh}
A primitive word; fire (literally or figuratively).
lamp 3940
{3940} Prime
לַפִּיד
lappiyd
{lap-peed'}
From an unused root probably meaning to shine; a flambeau, lamp or flame.
that x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
passed 5674
{5674} Prime
עָבַר
`abar
{aw-bar'}
A primitive root; to cross over; used very widely of any transition (literally or figuratively; transitively, intransitively, intensively or causatively); specifically to cover (in copulation).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
between 996
{0996} Prime
בַּיִן
beyn
{bane}
(Sometimes in the plural masculine or feminine); properly the constructively contracted form of an otherwise unused noun from H0995; a distinction; but used only as a preposition, between (repeated before each noun, often with other particles); also as a conjugation, either... or.
those x428
(0428) Complement
אֵלֶּה
'el-leh
{ale'-leh}
Prolonged from H0411; these or those.
pieces. 1506
{1506} Prime
גֶּזֶר
gezer
{gheh'-zer}
From H1504; something cut off; a portion.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

See commentary on Genesis 15:9-21.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis 15:17-21

_ _ Here is, I. The covenant ratified (Genesis 15:17); the sign which Abram desired was given, at length, when the sun had gone down, so that it was dark; for that was a dark dispensation.

_ _ 1. The smoking furnace signified the affliction of his seed in Egypt. They were there in the iron furnace (Deuteronomy 4:20), the furnace of affliction (Isaiah 48:10), labouring in the very fire. They were there in the smoke, their eyes darkened, that they could not see to the end of their troubles, and themselves at a loss to conceive what God would do with them. Clouds and darkness were round about them.

_ _ 2. The burning lamp denotes comfort in this affliction; and this God showed to Abram, at the same time that he showed him the smoking furnace. (1.) Light denotes deliverance out of the furnace; their salvation was as a lamp that burneth, Isaiah 62:1. When God came down to deliver them, he appeared in a bush that burned, and was not consumed, Exodus 3:2. (2.) The lamp denotes direction in the smoke. God's word was their lamp: this word to Abram was so, it was a light shining in a dark place. Perhaps this burning lamp prefigured the pillar of cloud and fire, which led them out of Egypt, in which God was. (3.) The burning lamp denotes the destruction of their enemies who kept them so long in the furnace. See Zechariah 12:6. The same cloud that enlightened the Israelites troubled and burned the Egyptians.

_ _ 3. The passing of these between the pieces was the confirming of the covenant God now made with him, that he might have strong consolation, being fully persuaded that what God promised he would certainly perform. It is probable that the furnace and lamp, which passed between the pieces, burnt and consumed them, and so completed the sacrifice, and testified God's acceptance of it, as of Gideon's (Judges 6:21), Manoah's (Judges 13:19, Judges 13:20), and Solomon's, 2 Chronicles 7:1. So it intimates, (1.) That God's covenants with man are made by sacrifice (Psalms 50:5), by Christ, the great sacrifice: no agreement without atonement. (2.) God's acceptance of our spiritual sacrifices is a token for good and an earnest of further favours. See Judges 13:23. And by this we may know that he accepts our sacrifices if he kindle in our souls a holy fire of pious and devout affections in them.

_ _ II. The covenant repeated and explained: In that same day, that day never to be forgotten, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, that is, gave a promise to Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, Genesis 15:18. Here is,

_ _ 1. A rehearsal of the grant. He had said before, To thy seed will I give this land, Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:15. But here he says, I have given it; that is, (1.) I have given the promise of it, the charter is sealed and delivered, and cannot be disannulled. Note, God's promises are God's gifts, and are so to be accounted. (2.) The possession is as sure, in due time, as if it were now actually delivered to them. What God has promised is as sure as if it were already done; hence, it is said, He that believes hath everlasting life (John 3:36), for he shall as surely go to heaven as if he were there already.

_ _ 2. A recital of the particulars granted, such as is usual in the grants of lands. He specifies the boundaries of the land intended hereby to be granted, Genesis 15:18. And then, for the greater certainty, as is usual in such cases, he mentions in whose tenure and occupation these lands now were. Ten several nations, or tribes, are here spoken of (Genesis 15:19-21) that must be cast our, to make room for the seed of Abram. They were not possessed of all these countries when God brought them into Canaan. The bounds are fixed much narrower, Numbers 34:2, Numbers 34:3, etc. But, (1.) In David's time, and Solomon's, their jurisdiction extended to the utmost of these limits, 2 Chronicles 9:26. (2.) It was their own fault that they were not sooner and longer in possession of all these territories. They forfeited their right by their sins, and by their own sloth and cowardice kept themselves out of possession. (3.) The land granted is here described in its utmost extent because it was to be a type of the heavenly inheritance, where there is room enough: in our father's house are many mansions. The present occupants are named, because their number, and strength, and long prescription, should be no hindrance to the accomplishment of this promise in its season, and to magnify God's love to Abram and his seed, in giving to that one nation the possessions of many nations, so precious were they in his sight, and so honourable, Isaiah 43:4.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Genesis 15:17

When the sun was gone down the sign was given — The smoaking furnace signified the affliction of his seed in Egypt: they were there in the furnace of affliction, and labouring in the very fire. They were there in the smoke, their eyes darkened that they could not see to the end of their troubles. 2. The burning lamp speaks comfort in this affliction; and this God shewed Abram at the same time with the smoaking furnace. The lamp notes direction in the smoke; God's word was their lamp, a light shining in a dark place. Perhaps too this burning lamp prefigured the pillar of a cloud and fire which led them out of Egypt. 3. The passing of these between the pieces was the confirming of the covenant God now made with him. It is probable this furnace and lamp, which passed between the pieces, burned and consumed them, and so compleated the sacrifice, and testified God's acceptance of it, as of Gideon's, Judges 6:21, Manoah's, Judges 13:19-20, and Solomon's, 2 Chronicles 7:1. So it intimates, That God's covenants with man are made by sacrifice, Psalms 50:5, by Christ, the great sacrifice. God's acceptance of our spiritual sacrifices is a token for good, and an earnest of farther favours.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
smoking:

Exodus 3:2-3 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush [was] not consumed. ... And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
Deuteronomy 4:20 But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, [even] out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as [ye are] this day.
Judges 6:21 Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that [was] in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.
Judges 13:20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on [it], and fell on their faces to the ground.
1 Chronicles 21:26 And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.
Isaiah 62:1 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp [that] burneth.
Jeremiah 11:4 Which I commanded your fathers in the day [that] I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God:

a burning lamp:
Heb. a lamp of fire,
2 Samuel 22:9 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

passed:

Jeremiah 34:18-19 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof, ... The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf;
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Ex 3:2. Dt 4:20. Jg 6:21; 13:20. 2S 22:9. 1Ch 21:26. Is 62:1. Jr 11:4; 34:18.

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