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What is the Jewish covenant?


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September 24, 2017 7:51AM

The Jewish covenant is a sacred agreement between the Israelites and God. The first covenant was made by God with Abraham, then renewed with his son Isaac and Isaac's son Jacob. This covenant was symbolized by circumcision. God was to make the Jewish nation great (Genesis ch.17) and give them the Holy Land (Genesis ch.15).

The covenant of the Ten Commandments was that the Jewish people would possess the Holy Land and have good, long lives - so long as they followed God's commandments.

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May 26, 2015 7:38PM

There are three covenants. Two which God made with Abraham (Genesis ch.15 and Genesis ch.17), and one with Abraham's Israelite descendants in the time of Moses after the Exodus.

  • 1) In Genesis ch.15, the Covenant Between the Parts:
a) God informs Abraham of future events (the Egyptian exile)
b) God promises the land of Canaan (Israel) to Abraham's descendants
c) The covenant is finalized through a demonstration of God's presence (see Genesis 15:7-9 and 15:17).

Link: More about Abraham

  • 2) In Genesis ch.17, the covenant of circumcision:
a) The promises of many descendants (17:2,3) and of inheriting the land of Canaan are repeated (17:8), but the main thing in this covenant is the promise that God will be the God of Abraham (17:7, 17:8).
b) God promises that Abraham and Sarah will have a son (17:15-16), whom they will name Isaac (17:19) and who will be the continuation of God's covenant with Abraham (17:21).
c) The covenant itself is manifested through circumcision, for Abraham and his descendants (17:10).

  • 3) The covenant between God and the Israelite nation (see Exodus ch.19 and ch.24), was made in the time of Moses, with Moses serving as the messenger.
This covenant is one of obedience, to listen to God's voice (Exodus 19:5), which will include the entire Torah (24:12). God, for His part, promised to treasure the Israelites (Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 26:16-19). The covenant was manifested through God's giving the Ten Commandments (Exodus ch.19-20), and was finalized (on our part) through the offerings described in Exodus ch.24.

See also the other Related Links.

Link: The Ten Commandments

Link: What did God promise to the Israelites?

Link: What was the outward sign of the Israelite covenant?