What is meant by the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full?

Genesis 15:14-16 (KJV)

13 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; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites [is] not yet full.

  • 3
    At first glance it seems to suggest Abraham's descendants can't move into 'the promised land' until its inhabitants have 'filled up' their sins to warrant being displaced.
    – user2910
    Dec 21, 2015 at 5:28

4 Answers 4


This site explains it with more biblical context for support. Namely:

  • Abram/Abraham was currently allies with an Amorite Gen 14:14. "not yet full"
  • Amorites increased in Idolatry = "iniquity"
  • Amorites increased in Immorality = "iniquity"
  • "Complete" when Israel displaces Canaan/Amorite under Joshua.

The entire context of Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 20 describe in detail what the inhabitants of the land were doing prior to God "vomiting them out of the land" and Israel, under Joshua, taking over.

  • Uncovering the nakedness of mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, uncle etc.
  • Offering children to god Molech. ( i.e. burn kids - type of ancient abortion deemed necessary with unwanted kids created by the behaviours listed in these chapters. )
  • Not lie with a male as with a woman.
  • Not mate with an animal.
  • Turn to mediums and familiar spirits.
  • Cursing father or mother.
  • Commit adultery with neighbour's wife.
  • Lies with fathers wife.
  • Lies with daughter in law.
  • Man lies with man.
  • Marry mom and daughter.
  • Lies with sister.
  • Lies with woman when she has a flow of blood.
  • Taking brothers wife.
  • "The land(of Canaan/Amorite) is defiled... all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land(Canaan/Amorite) is defiled"
  • "You shall not walk in the statues of the nation(Canaan/Amorite) which I am casting out from before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them."

Again read Leviticus 18 and Leviticus 20

Most modern countries fully embrace, teach, and are entertained with all forms of Canaanite/Amorite behaviour. A majority of movies, TV-shows, and Internet-shows contain forms of Amorite behaviour.

Revelation 21:8;22:14-15

  • 1
    Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics SE, thanks for contributing! Be sure to take our site tour to learn more about us. We're a little different from other SEs. Our community looks for answers to reflect a good degree of research and references, and this is a fantastic example of that, which is rare for a first time poster. You have done an excellent job of not just telling what you know, but also how you know it. Good work! I look forward to more of your answers. Jun 30, 2016 at 19:17
  • Don't forget about the occult practices, including self-harming, and the Nephilim. Apr 15, 2019 at 11:06

The text at hand is as follows:

Genesis 15:16 from Biblehub.com

The transliterated phrase is literally "for not-salem (שָׁלֵ֛ם) avon (עֲוֹ֥ן) the Amorites yet is here", and so the meaning really hinges on those words salem and awon.

Salem / שָׁלֵ֛ם / 8003

This is essentially an adjective form of 'shalom', applying a concept of wholeness, fullness or completeness to its paired noun.

Avon / עֲוֹ֥ן / 5771

This does mean 'iniquity', but is somewhat stronger than the English word - closer to 'iniquity/guilt which must be punished'; in some cases (Gen 19:15, Lev 5:17) it's used so strongly that in itself it's akin to 'punishment'.


Combined, the sentence becomes something closer to: 'for not whole/complete is the punishable guilt of the Amorites yet'. In essence, the Amorite people are presently heaping guilt upon themselves which must be punished, but to the Lord it has yet to reach its full measure, and it is said this shall happen in the fourth 'period', which I would relate back to the 'four hundred years' of v13, or else given the ages which Jacob etc lived to, could also be literal generations.

Will not the judge of all the earth do right?

In context, the message to Abram is that the Amorites who currently inhabit his 'promised land' are filling the land with sin, but not yet to such a degree to warrant their total destruction. He will remove Abram's family from the region so that as their sin grows, it will not entice the people of Abram (converse of Ex 34:15-16), and then he will be able to remove it completely. This links well with another conversation between Abram and the Lord which occurs shortly afterwards:

What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing--to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" - Genesis 18:24-25

In chapter 18, God speaks to Abram, declaring he will destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but in Genesis 19 sends his angels in to bring out the only righteous man of Sodom ahead of its destruction. And again, here he is talking about destroying the Amorites, but does not want to do so until their evil has fully overtaken the people. This is the same principle we see enacted in the Exile, when God takes the best of the people away (Jeremiah 24) ahead of its destruction.

It's also interesting that Sodom and Gomorrah were both already in Canaan, and God chose to destroy them there and then in the fullness of their sin rather than to wait the ~600 years which it would take before the other Canaanites (including the Amorites) had the judgement of their sin visited upon them.


Here is a different angle to look at it. It isn’t an accepted mainstream view but it does have explanatory power.

Here is a little background context to the whole premise.

Genesis 6 the elohim have intercourse with human women and the enmity between the seeds spoken about in Genesis 3 between the seed of the “serpent” and the seed of the woman begins.

The seed of the elohim contaminate the human gene pool, except Noah and his wife and three sons. Then Elohim decides that the earth is so corrupted that He wipes out everything. Unfortunately the seed/genetics lingers because the wives the sons of Noah took were contaminated.

We see Noah cursing his grandson Canaan rather than his father Ham possibly because he had traits of the elohim seed that were visible and this caused his father Ham to try and have a child through his mother who he knew did not have corrupted seed, knowing he would have very little chance convincing his brothers to share their wives.

The lineage of Ham is littered with the seed of the elohim. One of the descendants is the Amorites. We have many examples including the giant king Og.

When it says that the iniquity of the Amorites has not reached its fullness, one way of looking at it is that there was still a chance to eliminate the gene pool of the seed of the elohim. However it seems that they preferred to not only maintain the seed but exploit the seed probably because it has some phenotypical manifestation like giants, six digits, oblong heads, abnormal fur growth.

There are some curious verses to consider.

“"Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars and who was as strong as the oaks; I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath.” ‭‭Amos‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Cedar trees are known to grow anywhere from 20’-60’+

Also consider this verse that speaks of Ephron whose name means fawn like or part human part goat.

”And he said to them, "If you are willing that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me and entreat for me Ephron the son of Zohar,” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭23:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

He was a Hittite who is also a descendant of Canaan like the Amorites.

“Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.” ‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭11:22‬ ‭KJV‬‬

That is part lion and part human and in the same verse it also speaks of a human Benaiah and of a lion as distinctions from lionlike men.

Moabites are descendants of Lot but Elohim forbid Israel to intermarry and therefore mix seed with the canaanites, Moab obviously did intermarry (at least in this context).

So when it says that their iniquity has not reached its fullness, like in the time of Noah when the earth was destroyed through a world wide flood, in similar way the Canaanite nations like the Amorites still had a chance of correcting course, genetically speaking.

It is also presumed that the seed of the elohim brings about a complete predisposition to violence and sin

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭6:11-12‬ ‭KJV‬‬

That is why Elohim also ordered the complete annihilation of those Canaanites because their seed or genetics were irredeemable. They past the point of no return. It’s posdible they had created a reversal where the human gene was completely removed and now only elohim genes were being transmitted. Whereas the elohim were not given to marry and have descendants even though they had seed.

Like I said it has a lot of explanatory power. It also have Biblical backing but it’s controversial because most ascribe to the augustinian sons of G-d being the descendants of Seth and not elohim or ‘angelic talking serpentinelike beings’ that took on human form.

  • 1
    I am definitely in tune with this line of thinking regarding to corrupted genealogy of man from the elohim creating the nephilim and I too think that those that were inhabiting caanan were of that corrupt seed - so I think if you join this to the previous answer we're on to something. Jun 30, 2020 at 15:39
  • I personally think your heading towards the right track - but it’s one of those interpretations that can’t be supported. The Amorites originated pre-flood. But, How did they ‘cross’ the flood? To suggest they survived crosses a boundary. ‘Iniquity’ here means punishment not sin. So they had yet to receive their due punishment, which required the Israelites to administer it - but first they had to ‘grow’ in number. (In Egypt)
    – Dave
    Sep 9, 2021 at 3:37

The Amorites hadn't finished evolving (or devolving).

Horror of darkness corresponds to the birth of Jacob (Job).

After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said:

3 “May the day of my birth perish, and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’ 4 That day—may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it. 5 May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm it. 6 That night—may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months.

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