In this installment: Yahweh makes some promises to Abram over bisected animal bodies, an ambiguous antecedent becomes the basis for an entire doctrine, more Chaldeans are mentioned before they exist, Yahweh rounds to the nearest hundred, old age is relative and slave girls learn their place.
Yahweh is about to once again promise stuff to Abram, but this
time he appears to him in a vision rather than as some sort of manifestation at an
altar under a tree.
There are a couple of elements in this passage that are highly
suggestive of literary construction or oral folkloric tradition as opposed to a
historical account. The first is that Abram’s servant and heir, Eliezer of
Damascus who is nowhere else mentioned by name, has a name that means “El gives
help,” which happens to be exactly what this passage is about.