What does Genesis 15:15 mean?
ESV: As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age.
NIV: You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age.
NASB: As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age.
CSB: But you will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age.
NLT: (As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.)
KJV: And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
NKJV: Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.
Verse Commentary:
After revealing to Abram, perhaps in a dream, the affliction his future family will face in captivity, serving another nation, God informs Abram he will not live to see any of this. Instead, Abram will "go to his fathers"—a common reference to death—in a time of peace and at a good, old age. Of course, at this point in time, Abram is already somewhere between 75 and 85 years old (Genesis 12:4; Genesis 16:16). God's words about Abram's immediate future are a comfort, but they also let Abram know not to expect to possess the land of Canaan in his own lifetime. Instead, it will one day belong to him through his descendants.

This promise comes along with God's prior reassurance that Abram will, in fact, see a natural-born son (Genesis 15:4). As it turns out, this promise itself will take some time for God to complete (Genesis 17:16–19). In the meantime, Abram will be renamed as Abraham (Genesis 17:5), and will attempt to "help" God fulfill His promises by having children with his servant, Hagar (Genesis 16:16).
Verse Context:
Genesis 15:1–21 falls between Abram's heroic rescue of Lot in Genesis 14 and his less-than-heroic choice to have a child with his wife's servant in chapter 16. Chapter 15 features Abram's hard questions to the Lord about how the lofty promises of uncountable descendants and possession of the land will be kept. God responds, in part, by formalizing His covenant promises to Abram with an elaborate ritual. He also reveals to Abram details about the difficult circumstances his descendants will face before they come back to take possession of the land ''in the fourth generation.''
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 15 consists entirely of a long encounter between the Lord and Abram. When the ''word of the Lord'' comes to Abram in a vision to bring reassurance of God's support for him, Abram takes the opportunity to press God with questions. Abram asks both about his childlessness and how he can know he will one day possess the land of Canaan. God responds, and Abram believes. God's response includes leading Abram through a covenant ritual involving slaughtered animals, as well as a prophecy about the future of Abram's descendants before the time will come to occupy the Promised Land.
Chapter Context:
Where Genesis 14 was an action-packed story of war and rescue, Genesis 15 consists of a single conversational encounter between the Lord and Abram. This concludes with the formalizing of God's covenant promises to Abram in a dramatic covenant ritual. Abram respectfully asks the Lord some hard questions about how the seemingly impossible promises might be kept. God responds and Abram believes. In addition, God reveals to Abram a prophecy about the difficult future his descendants will face as servants in another country before returning to take possession of the land of Canaan.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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