The Book of Genesis
A covenant is an agreement or deal between two parties that binds them to a commitment to each other; it may either be conditional or unconditional. There are seven 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.
The Noahic Covenant
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 flood by means of which 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 men 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. Indeed, 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 Abrahamic Covenant
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 agreement 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 war currently (Harless, 2004).
The Davidic Covenant
This covenant was made between God and David and may be found in the Second book of 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 until now but this kingdom is believed to be led by Jesus Christ, Whom Christians believe to be the Savior. 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 the 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 didn’t need 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 to the words “this cup is the New Covenant in my blood” in 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.
The Adamic Covenant
The Adamic covenant includes the curses, which were pronounced to humankind after Adam and Eve sinned against the will of God. After Eve was deceived by the devil that comes to Adam in the form of a Snake, when Adam and Eve sinned against God they were told to leave the Garden of Eden. The woman was cursed that she will always bear children with pain while men will always labor to get their food, but when they were in the garden they were given food and drinks. Previously God had Edenic covenant according to which they were supposed to be in charge of the garden, all the animals and fruits that were in the garden apart from one tree, which was at the center of the garden and they had been told never to eat it any fruit from it. Once they broke this covenant, God entered into another covenant with them, which is Adamic covenant (Elon, R. (2005). I do criticize this covenant as it was against the initial will of the reason why Adam and Eve were placed in the garden. It seems as if God was tempting them and what was the reason of giving authority over all the other animals and fruits in the garden and prohibiting to eat only that one. It did expose them to temptation and its consequences were extremely harsh.
The Palestinian Covenant
The Palestinian Covenant was made between the Israelites and God right before Moses died and before they entered the Promised Land. The Israelites where in the wilderness for forty years due to the sins of the generation which was saved from Egypt God cursed them that none of them would enter to the promised land. 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 obeyed the Mosaic Law then God would bless the nation abundantly but if they disobeyed the law the nation would be cursed. He further promised them that he would gather all the other Israelites who had dispersed all over the world and would place them into the covenant land (Larondelle, 2005). I want to criticize this covenant because it is much similar to the Mosaic Law which was given to Moses on behalf of the Israelites and which they did not obey. As a punishment, they had to be in the wilderness for forty years. God just reinstated the previous covenant and warned them on what their descendants would face due to their unlawfulness.
The Mosaic Covenant
The Mosaic covenant is a conditional covenant, which brought God’s curse to those, who did not obey the law or blessings to those, who followed the laws given to the nation of Israel. The covenant differs from other covenants due to its conditional nature and dependency on how the Israelites will live. According to it, if they obey God’s covenant they will be blessed and they will punished if they disobey it (Hillers, 1969). The main reason of the covenant’s significance is that God’s promise was to make Israel a holy nation and a kingdom of priests.
Although the convent includes God’s future intention to help the Israelites it cannot be achieved if they do not live in accordance with the law. There are noted weaknesses in 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 that support them or not. Including the prophecy, which God did in relation to the future plans of the community. The second criticism is in relation to the Mosaic covenant and the better covenant which was made by Jesus in Hebrews 8:22 and 7:22 (The Holy Bible, 1999). The third issue is on how the New Testaments Church equates itself to the Israelites.