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Genesis 15: 13 - 15 > God's promise to Abram
 God's promise to Abram
  Genesis  15: 13 - 16          ( King James Version ) 
    And He said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 
Verse 14 >   And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 
Verse 15 >   And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 
Verse 16 >    But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites [is] not yet full. 
  Stephen quotes this to Sanhedrin    
   Acts 7: 5 - 6  ( 
New International Version )
  He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child.
v. 6  >  God spoke to him in this way: 'For four hundred years your descendants will be stranters in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves' God said, 'and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.
Text  Quoted  in  Spirit of Prophecy
The assurance, "Fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation," was significant. The promise had been given to Abraham of a posterity numberless as the stars, but as yet the chosen people had increased but slowly. And the land of Canaan now offered no field for the development of such a nation as had been foretold. It was in the possession of powerful heathen tribes, that were not to be dispossessed until "the fourth generation." If the descendants of Israel were here to become a numerous people, they must either drive out the inhabitants of the land or disperse themselves among them. The former, according to the divine arrangement, they could not do; and should they mingle with the Canaanites, they would be in danger of being seduced into idolatry. Egypt, however, offered the conditions necessary to the fulfillment of the divine purpose. A section of country well-watered and fertile was open to them there, affording every advantage for their speedy increase. And the antipathy they must encounter in Egypt on account of their occupation -- for every shepherd was "an abomination unto the Egyptians" -- would enable them to remain a distinct and separate people and would thus serve to shut them out from participation in the idolatry of Egypt. Patriarchs and Prophets, page 232.3
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