A formal agreement or treaty between two parties in which each assumes some obligation. In the Hebrew Bible, a covenant might be a pact of mutuality between individuals, such as Laban and Jacob (Gen 31:44-54) or David and Jonathan (1Sam 18:3; 1Sam 23:18); states or other political units, such as Abraham and the Amorites (Gen 14:13), Abraham and Abimelech, king of Gerar (Gen 21:22-32), Abner and David (2Sam 3:12-13; 2Sam 3:21), David and the people (2Sam 5:3), Solomon and Hiram (1Kgs 5:2-6), and Asa and Ben-hadad (1Kgs 15:18-19); or husband and wife (Mal 2:14; Ezek 16:8). A covenant also might be imposed by a greater power upon a lesser one. The greater power demands loyalty and obligates itself to the protection of the lesser one, such as Israel and the Gibeonites (Josh 9) and the request by Jabesh-gilead of the king of Ammon (1Sam 11:1-2). The vast majority of the references to covenant in the Bible are to such a treaty—the covenant that God makes with Israel at Sinai (Exod 19-24). The Sinai Covenant is de-picted as conditional; Israel must keep the stipulations (familial, societal, dietary, ritual, agricultural, etc.) or suffer severe punishment. The two other primary divine covenants, those with Abraham (Gen 15) and David (2Sam 7; Ps 89:1-38), were originally perceived as unconditional. (Gen 17:1-14) does demand circumcision of Abraham and his descendants, but this is only a sign of the covenant, and therefore of a loyalty that is to be expected. The Davidic covenant assures David of a permanent dynasty in which the Davidic king is depicted metaphorically as the son of God (2Sam 7:14; Ps 2:7-8; Ps 89:27-28). There is, however, a tendency in the Bible to view the Davidic covenant as dependent upon obedience to the Sinai Covenant (1Kgs 2:4; 1Kgs 8:25; 1Kgs 9:4-9; Ps 132:12). The prophets generally viewed the Sinai Covenant as dominant, and yet they tried to maintain the ultimate validity of the Davidic covenant by recasting its promises in terms of messianic expectation. NT authors saw the beginning of a “new covenant” mentioned in (Jer 31:27-37) as being instituted through the death of Jesus (Mark 14:24; 1Cor 11:25; 2Cor 3:6). The Letter to the Hebrews makes the greatest use of covenant language in the NT (Heb 7:22; Heb 8:8-13; Heb 9:15; Heb 12:24).

Gen 31:44-54

44Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I; and let it be a witness between you and me.”45So Jacob took a stone, and set it up as a pillar.46And Jacob said t ... View more

1Sam 18:3

3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.

1Sam 23:18

18Then the two of them made a covenant before the Lord; David remained at Horesh, and Jonathan went home.

Gen 14:13

13Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner; these were allies of ... View more

Gen 21:22-32

Abraham and Abimelech Make a Covenant
22At that time Abimelech, with Phicol the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do;23no ... View more

2Sam 3:12-13

12Abner sent messengers to David at Hebron, saying, “To whom does the land belong? Make your covenant with me, and I will give you my support to bring all Israe ... View more

2Sam 3:21

21Abner said to David, “Let me go and rally all Israel to my lord the king, in order that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all tha ... View more

2Sam 5:3

3So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over I ... View more

1Kgs 5:2-6

2Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying,3“You know that my father David could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the warfare with which h ... View more

1Kgs 15:18-19

18Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house, and gave them into t ... View more

Mal 2:14

14You ask, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was a witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your compani ... View more

Ezek 16:8

8I passed by you again and looked on you; you were at the age for love. I spread the edge of my cloak over you, and covered your nakedness: I pledged myself to ... View more

Josh 9

The Gibeonites Save Themselves by Trickery
1Now when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan in the hill country and in the lowland all along the coast of the ... View more

1Sam 11:1-2

Saul Defeats the Ammonites
1About a month later, Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh-gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a treat ... View more

Exod 19-24

The Israelites Reach Mount Sinai
1On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day, they came into the wilderness ... View more

Gen 15

God's Covenant with Abram
1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be v ... View more

2Sam 7

God's Covenant with David
1Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him,2the king said to the pro ... View more

Ps 89:1-38

God's Covenant with David
A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.
1I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness ... View more

Gen 17:1-14

The Sign of the Covenant
1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameles ... View more

2Sam 7:14

14I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by hu ... View more

Ps 2:7-8

7I will tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have begotten you.8Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ... View more

Ps 89:27-28

27I will make him the firstborn,
the highest of the kings of the earth.28Forever I will keep my steadfast love for him,
and my covenant with him will stand firm ... View more

1Kgs 2:4

4Then the Lord will establish his word that he spoke concerning me: ‘If your heirs take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their hear ... View more

1Kgs 8:25

25Therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant my father David that which you promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a successor before me ... View more

1Kgs 9:4-9

4As for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, ... View more

Ps 132:12

12If your sons keep my covenant
and my decrees that I shall teach them,
their sons also, forevermore,
shall sit on your throne.”

Jer 31:27-37

Individual Retribution
27The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the s ... View more

Mark 14:24

24He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.

1Cor 11:25

25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me ... View more

2Cor 3:6

6who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Heb 7:22

22accordingly Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.

Heb 8:8-13

8God finds fault with them when he says:
“The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the ... View more

Heb 9:15

15For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred ... View more

Heb 12:24

24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

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