A covenant is an agreement or deal between two parties and it binds them to a commitment to each other; this may either be conditional or unconditional. There are 7 different covenants explained in the bible; the Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Davidic, Mosaic, Palestinian, and the New Covenant. These different covenants that are made in the Bible between God and his servants remain contentious to some scholars (Soulen, 1981). This paper presents a literary criticism regarding all these covenants.
This was a covenant between God and Noah found in the book of Genesis 6: 18; it also extends to Genesis 9:11. The covenant involved Noah and the floods where God wanted to destroy mankind for their sinful ways (Showers, 1973). The rainbow was the sign of this covenant which would mean that God would not destroy man using water again; this would be seen by all successive generations. The provisions in the covenant were unilateral in that Noah had no roles in the covenant and God would carry out his promises. It was everlasting, universal and unconditional. Harless, (2004) criticizes this covenant in that it does not have a sense of confirmation and that the only confirmed covenant in these readings is the Adamic covenant. In deed he also states that since the other covenants were from the hypothetical covenant of creation then this also remains hypothetical. Harless, (2004) sees it as just a bargain between the participants since no obligation is placed on Noah.
The participants were God, Abraham, his descendants and the Israelites. This is found in the book of Genesis 15: 18; 17: 4-8 and 19-21. The sign of the covenant was the circumcision of the people which would act as God’s commitment to his people. There are three promises in this covenant where one was the personal covenant with Abraham, national promises, and universal promises. The promise of the land of Canaan to the Israelites and that Abraham would be a father of a great nation (Showers, 1990). This promise was unconditional and Abraham can be said to be a father of a nation; on the other hand the land of Canaan and the entire Nile region still remain contentious in that there is still war currently (Harless, 2004).
This covenant was made between God and David and is in the book of 2 Samuel 7: 8-19; this is seen as an extension of the Abrahamic covenant since David was a descendant of Abraham. He promised David a great name and protection from his enemies; in addition, his name, kingdom and lineage would last forever and would never be done away with (Kline, 2000). This remains in contention since the kingdom of David is not intact till now but this kingdom is believed to be led by Jesus Christ the savior to the Christians. Even so, there are those who do not believe and follow this religion (Ryrie, 2007).
The New Covenant
This covenant is initially revealed in the book of Jeremiah 31: 31-34; it is believed to be the extension of the Abrahamic covenant which was based on blessing. The participants were God and the people of Israel who were the physical descendants of Abraham. The promises given were regeneration, forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, knowledge and wisdom. This was unconditional as the people of Israel needed not to do anything to get the promises (Blaising, & Bock, 2010). The sign is believed to be the blood of Jesus which he did symbolically during the last supper with his disciples. It indicates “this cup is the New Covenant in my blood” Luke 22:20. It is also eternal as Christians continue taking communion and believe in the forgiveness of sin, the Holy Spirit, a new heart and regeneration.
Adamic covenant includes the curses which were pronounced to human kind after Adam and Eve did against the will of God. After Eve was deceived by the devil that comes to Adam in form of a Snake, when Adam and Eve sinned against God they were told to get out the Garden of Eden. The woman was cursed that she will always bear children with pain while men will always labor to get their foods but when they were in the garden they were being given food and drinks. Previously God had Edenic covenant which they were supposed to be in charge of the garden, all the animals and fruits which were in the garden apart from one tree which was as the center of the garden which they were told never to eat it. Once they broke this covenant then God entered in to another covenant with them which is Ademic covenant (Elon, R. (2005). I do criticize this covenant because it was against the initial will of the reason why Adam and eve ware placed in the garden. It seems as if God was tempting them as what was the reason of being given authority of all the other animals and fruits in the garden and not only to eat that one. It did expose them to temptation and its consequences were really harsh.
Palestinian Covenant was made between the Israelites and God right before Moses died once they entered the Promised Land. When the Israelites where in the wilderness was because of the sins of the generation which was from Egypt God Cursed them that none of them will enter to the promised land and for forty years they were in the wilderness. God made this covenant at Moab when they were about to enter the Promised Land which was to serve the new generation. God told them that if they will obey the Mosaic Law God will bless the nation abundantly but if they disobey the law the nation will be cursed. He further promised them that he will gather all the other Israelites who have dispersed all over the world and place them at the covenant land (Larondelle, 2005). I would criticize this covenant because it’s much similar to the Mosaic Law which was given to Moses on behalf of the Israelites which they did not obey at fast and they had to be in the wilderness for forty years. God would have just reinstated the previous covenant and foreworn them on what their descendants faced due to unlawfulness.
Mosaic covenant is a conditional covenant which brought about God’s cursing if they do not obey the law or even blessings if they follow the laws upon the nation of Israel. The covenant is different other covenants due to its conditional nature that it is dependent on how the Israelites will live if they obey God’s covenant they will be blessed or they will punished if they disobey them (Hillers, 1969). The main reason why the covenant is significant it’s because of how God promise was destined to make Israel a holy nation and a kingdom of priests.
Although the convent has the Gods future intention to the Israelites such would not have been achieved if at all they do not do in accordance with the law. There are noted weaknesses on the convents which are attributed by the theology systems. This is being set in three ways first it requires the covenants to be compared with different scriptures which supports them or not. Including the prophecy which God did in relation to the future plans of the community being told, the second criticism is in relation to the Mosaic covenant and the better convent which was done by Jesus in Hebrews 8:22 and 7:22 (The Holy Bible, 1999). The third issue is on how the New Testaments Church equates the Israelites.