Asked in History, Politics & SocietyJudaism
What was the Covenant that God had with the Hebrew people as described in your readings?
June 13, 2015 7:25PM
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).
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.