Genesis 15:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 15:4, NIV: "Then the word of the LORD came to him: 'This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.'"

Genesis 15:4, ESV: "And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.”"

Genesis 15:4, KJV: "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."

Genesis 15:4, NASB: "Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 'This man will not be your heir; but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.'"

Genesis 15:4, NLT: "Then the LORD said to him, 'No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.'"

Genesis 15:4, CSB: "Now the word of the LORD came to him: "This one will not be your heir; instead, one who comes from your own body will be your heir.""

What does Genesis 15:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verses, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision. Abram took the opportunity to ask God—who had promised to make of him a great nation—some hard questions. As things stand now, Abram's questions point out, his heir will be a servant, not a son. If God is not going to give him children, how is God going to fulfill these promises?

First, in this verse, God begins to reassure Abram that He still intends to keep His promises: Abram's heir will be his actual, literal son, his own flesh and blood. The Hebrew phrase used here is aser' yē'sē mi mē'e kā hu yi'ra'se kā. This literally means "one who will come from your own body will be your heir." God is doubling down on iHs promise to provide Abram with a natural-born child. This reply is important for all who trust God to remember. The fact that God has not yet given what He promised does not mean He will not. Time does not empty God's promises of their power, even if waiting challenges our patience and, sometimes, our faith.