Chapter 15 of Bereishit records the seminal covenant between God and the patriarch Abraham, when he and his descendants were promised the Land of Israel. This is the covenant that was later repeated to Isaac, Jacob, and much later on to Moses, and it forged the relationship between God and His chosen nation for eternity.
Despite its importance, however, the covenant is framed around a number of puzzling features that demand explanation.
In the final shiur of this 4-part series that delves deeply into the Malbim commentary, Rabbi Dunner focuses on the inclusion of the harsh condition decreeing that Abraham’s descendents endure a period of exile in “a land that isn’t theirs”, before they could return to inherit the Promised Land.
What was the purpose of this exile, and why would the host nation be judged harshly by God if the exile of Abraham’s descendents in their land was an integral part of the original plan?