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"covenant" in the Old Testament

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Samantha Fain

James Dumke

THS 220

16 September 2013

"Covenant" in the Old Testament

The definition of the word "covenant" in the simplest form is "A solemn agreement between two or more parties made binding by some sort of oath" ("Covenant", Eerdmans). The covenant to Israel was far greater than a simple promise or agreement; it defined their relationship to God. The covenant for Israel united their people and made them a nation under one God. Israel time and time again failed God and didn't commit themselves to their responsibilities under the covenant. The failure of the covenant with Israel was with the people of Israel, God fulfilled his part. God made four covenants throughout the first fives books of the Old Testament which are made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses.

The first covenant of the Old Testament is with Adam and Eve. God gave them them land and the ability to grow food. God also instructed them to multiply and fill the earth. God was generous, but there was one important restriction God commanded. "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, 'You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.'" (Gen. 2:16, 17) Adam and Eve broke their promise and ate from the forbidden tree, which God ultimately punished them among other things with shortened life span and burden of heavy work in the Garden of Eden.

The second covenant is with Noah, who is a loyal and righteous man in the eyes of God. God sees the earth has become full of sin and is no longer faithful, God instructs Noah to build an ark for his family and get two every species of animal into the ark. God flooded the earth putting an end to all people, with the exception of Noah and his family. After the flood, Noah and his family are responsible for repopulating the earth. God made his promise to Noah to never again destroy the earth with a flood. God also made a sign of his Covenant with every living creature. And God said: "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for



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