We were studying Genesis 15 in Bible Class Friday. God had promised that Abram will have as many children as the stars. He would also receive the land he is occupying. Abram has no children and doesn’t own an acre of land. To prove his promise, God tells Abram (the “ham” hasn’t been added yet) to take a female goat, a heifer, a ram cut them in half and lay them out in two rows. He is to add a turtledove and young pigeon, but not to cut them in half. Abram had everything laid out, only to discover that he had created a banquet for vultures. V. 11, “And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.” “Birds of prey” is not a correct translation. So here you an octogenarian running back and forth chasing vultures. Have you ever seen a vulture up close? They are huge.
Then Abram fell into a “deep sleep” a “dreadful and great darkness fell upon him.” Was he having nightmares about vultures?
After the sun went down a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between the pieces of carcasses. Apparently, God is saying, “If I don’t do these things then may it happen to me as it did to those animals you slaughtered, vultures and all.”
It’s all a bit strange; especially in the light of Sarai (not Sarah yet) giving her slave, Hagar to Abram as a wife to have a son for her. What could possibly go wrong?