Understanding the Scriptures
|Steward (v. 2)||Servant in charge of other servants|
|One born in mine house (v. 3)||Someone born to one of my servants|
|Mine heir (v. 3)||The one who receives my possessions when I die|
|Bowels (v. 4)||Body|
|Abroad (v. 5)||Outside, an open space|
|Whereby (v. 8)||How|
|Heifer (v. 9)||Young cow|
|Divided them in the midst (v. 10)||Cut them in half|
|Carcases (v. 11)||Dead bodies|
|Horror (v. 12)||Feeling|
|Afflict (v. 13)||Trouble|
|Go to thy fathers (v. 15)||Die|
|Hither (v. 16)||Here|
|Iniquity (v. 16)||Sin|
Genesis 15:6—Help from the Joseph Smith Translation
Genesis 15:9–17—What Was Abraham Doing in These Verses?
Genesis 15:9–17 describes an ancient Middle Eastern custom of making or “cutting” a covenant. After the individual making the covenant cut the animal (or animals) in two, he walked between the two pieces as if to say, “If I do not keep my covenant, may I become as this animal.” In this case, the burning lamp represented the Lord’s presence and gave Abraham assurance that the Lord would fulfill His covenant.
Studying the Scriptures
Do activities A and B as you study Genesis 15.
Explain the Symbolism
Highlight the words in Genesis 15:1 that describe what the Lord said he was for Abram. Write about how the Lord is those same things for those who make and keep covenants with him.