Genesis 15–17: On The Lord’s Covenant Ceremony, Sarah’s Covenant Scheme, and Abraham’s Covenant Sign (Bible Talk, Ep. 5)

In this episode of Bible Talk, Alex Duke chats with Jim Hamilton and Sam Emadi about the Lord’s covenant ceremony (Gen. 15), Sarah’s covenant scheme (Gen. 16), and Abraham’s covenant sign (Gen. 17).


3:00 / What’s the “state of play” by the time we get to Genesis 15? Is Abraham’s faith wavering?

6:20 / Does Genesis 15 present Abraham as a prophet-priest-king?

8:25 / The LORD treats Abraham like Rafiki in The Lion King, and then Moses summarizes it with an important verse: Genesis 15:6. Sam helps us understand it without just jumping to the New Testament.

12:20 / In the latter half of Genesis 15, things started to get a little bit weird. Jim and Sam reveal they’ve never seen Fantasia, and then they help us understand what’s going on in this strange covenant ceremony.

15:46 / Okay, just so we understand, the smoking fire pot and flaming torch are signifying what?

18:30 / Why does Abraham drive away the birds in Genesis 15:11? Does he suffer from ornithophobia?

20:58 / How does the covenant ceremony of Genesis 15 lead to the cross of Christ?

22:55 / Jim explains Sarah’s covenant scheme.

25:45 / What do we learn about the nature of sin from this Sarah and Hagar episode?

27:29 / How does Genesis 16 evoke Adam and Eve in Genesis 3?

30:10 / Does the LORD make a covenant with Hagar and Ishmael?

33:15 / Who is this “angel of the Lord” in Genesis 16? Is it an appearance of the pre-incarnate Son? (Sam kinda says yes; Jim says definitely no.)

37:00 / We arrive at Genesis 17. How is this chapter different than what’s come before? Is God just repeating himself here?

39:22 / Okay, now we can talk about how Paul in Romans 4 understands these chapters in Genesis.

43:25 / What’s the “core” of God’s covenant relationship with Abraham?

43:55 / Why circumcision?


46:02 / Are Old Testament saints like Abraham saved the same way as we are—by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone?

47:55 / James 2 says that Abraham was justified by his works, and it uses Genesis 15:6 to the point! How do we understand this?

49:30 / What is the “iniquity of the Amorites” (Gen. 15:16)?

51:47 / In Galatians 4, Paul says this story between Abram, Sarai, and Hagar is an “allegory.” What does this mean?

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Image: Hagar in the Wilderness, Camille Corot (1835)

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