Genesis 15:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 15:9, NIV: "So the LORD said to him, 'Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.'"

Genesis 15:9, ESV: "He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”"

Genesis 15:9, KJV: "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."

Genesis 15:9, NASB: "So He said to him, 'Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.'"

Genesis 15:9, NLT: "The LORD told him, 'Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.'"

Genesis 15:9, CSB: "He said to him, "Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.""

What does Genesis 15:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

As the Lord's conversation with Abram continues, God reminds Abram of His promise to give to him (and his descendants) the land of Canaan. In the previous verse, Abram asked, "How can I know I will possess it?" Abram asks this in a respectful, humble way. He is not challenging God, or accusing Him. Rather, Abram is admitting that he cannot see a path from where he is now, to the promise God has made for him.

In response to the question, God directs Abram through the steps of a very specific ritual, formalizing that covenant promise. The first step, in this verse, is a list of animals Abram was to bring before the Lord: a heifer, goat, and ram, each three years old, along with a turtledove and young pigeon. The processes which follow emphasized the seriousness of this promise, on the part of God. It also includes a surprising prophesy about the future of Abram's large family.