Alliances in the Bible, we find: sometimes between God and men, sometimes between men themselves. In this article, we will discuss the great covenants of the Bible. And speaking of the great covenants of the Bible, we are referring to the covenants between God and men, especially those of universal significance.
We will discuss the eight great covenants of the Bible in chronological order.
1 – The Edenic Alliance – First of Eight Covenants of the Bible
” Then God said, Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let him rule over the fishes of the sea, the birds of the sky, the cattle, all the earth, and all the reptiles that crawl on the ground. God created man in his image, he created him in the image of God, he created man and woman. God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fishes of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every animal that moves on the earth. And God said, Behold, I give to you every herb bearing seed, which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree has in it the fruit of the tree and bearing seed: it shall be your food. ” (Genesis 1: 26-29).
The Edenic Alliance is the one regulating the conditions of life in a state of innocence. It was concluded in Eden, before the entry of sin into humanity. It is God’s first ever covenant with humanity. It applied to the whole human race. This covenant reflected God’s plan for the earth and humanity. The land where men would have lived in harmony, by dominating all creation. In this alliance, women would have given birth freely without pain; humans will not have known to suffer; the creation would have maintained its balance and beauty. In the Edenic Covenant, blessing and bliss were the sharing of humanity.
2 – The Adamic Alliance
By their disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden (Read Genesis 2: 15-17, Genesis 3: 1-7), the Edenic Covenant broke down, and a second covenant will emerge: the Adamic Covenant.
” (Verse 14) The LORD God said to the serpent,” Because you have done this, you will be cursed among all the cattle and animals of the field, and you will walk on your belly, and you will eat dust every day of your life. (Verse 15) I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and her offspring: this one will crush your head, and you will hurt her heel. (Verse 16) He said to the woman, I will increase the suffering of your pregnancies, you will give birth with sorrow, and your desires will be towards your husband, but he will rule over you. (Verse 17) And he said to the man, Since you have heard the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, concerning which I commanded you, You shall not eat of it. The ground will be cursed because of you. It is with difficulty that you will draw food every day of your life, (verse 18) it will produce thorns and brambles, and you will eat the grass of the fields. (Verse 19) By the sweat of your face, you will eat bread, until you return to the earth from which you were taken; for you are dust, and you will return to the dust. ” (Genesis, chapter 3).
It is about the Adamic Alliance conditioning the life of fallen man and promising him a redeemer. In this covenant, we already see the first fruits of the consequences of original sin: pain during birth, suffering, curse …
And we find that the promise of redemption was made for the first time after sin, not only to Adam (directly) but to the rest of humanity (indirectly). With the entrance of sin, a necessity was born: that of redeeming fallen man. And it is indeed within the framework of this covenant that God conceived the plan of the redemption of the human race of which Jesus came to fulfill it by giving his life to the cross, more than 2000 years ago.
The Adamic Alliance to a certain extent comes to restore in Jesus Christ what we lost in Eden with Adam.
3 – The Noahide Alliance or the Rainbow Alliance
After the Adamic Alliance, the years have passed, “the wickedness of men was great on the earth, all the thoughts of their hearts were daily only towards evil. (Genesis 6: 5); Sin had grown so much that God destroyed the earth with a deluge. And there remained only Noah and his family. And God makes an alliance with the earth through Noah (Genesis 9: 1-6): it is this covenant we call the Noahide Covenant – establishing the principle of human government.
This covenant is a disposition on the part of God to the earth without preconditions. It was the first covenant that bore a sign: the rainbow (Genesis 9: 9-17). The Rainbow Covenant applies and continues to apply to every living being.
4 – The Abrahamic Alliance.
” And Jehovah said to Abram, Go out of your land, from your land, and out of your father’s house, into the land which I will show you. I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a source of blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you, and all the families of the earth will be blessed in you. ” (Genesis 12: 1-3). Also, read Genesis 13: 14-17, Genesis 15: 1-7, Genesis 17: 1-8.
This so-called Abrahamic Covenant is the one that created the nation of Israel and confirmed, with certain additions, the Adamic promise of redemption. The sign of the Abrahamic Alliance was circumcision.
In recounting the Abrahamic covenant, we find that Genesis completely changes course in chapter 12; After the story of the lives of many characters, the book of Genesis focuses on a lonely man, who is neither a great king nor a rich landowner, but a childless nomad called Abram [to whom God will later give Abraham’s name in chapter 17 of the book of Genesis].
Shortly after the flood, God chose Abraham to be the father of a new human race. This human race of which God will choose himself – makes of it his people – And through it implement his plan of redemption of the fallen human race.
Abraham’s life began to reveal God’s long-term plans. Two thousand years later, Jesus, a descendant of Abraham (humanly speaking), came to fulfill the promises made to Abraham and his descendants. […]
5 – The Mosaic Alliance.
This covenant includes the Mosaic Law (a list of 613 laws) including judgments (see Exodus 21: 1 to Exodus 24: 1) that were to govern social life in Israel – and ordinances (see Exodus 24:12 at Exodus 31: 18) which regulated the religious life.
Beside the Mosaic law, God addressed the 10 commandments (the moral law) to all humanity. The Ten Commandments mentioned in Exodus 20: 1-11 and Deuteronomy 5 form the very foundation of morality and stand out from the other laws of the day. When we talk about the Mosaic law, we do not include one of the 10 commandments.
This mosaic covenant is what we call the old covenant: it was made with Israel under the condition of obedience. Israel was blessed on the condition of keeping the law given by God to Moses.
6 – The Palestinian Alliance
This covenant is included in the book of Deuteronomy 30: 1-9, establishing the conditions under which Israel came into possession of the land.
7 – The Davidic Alliance
We find this covenant in the book of 2 Samuel 7: 8-17, 1 Chronicle 17: 7-14. The Davidic covenant assured the house of David a perpetual throne. In spite of the punishment which fell on the house of David during the separation of Israel and Judah and the division in two of the kingdom; and then, the captivities (2 Kings 25: 1-7): the divine promise is immutable (Psalms 89: 30-37); and this was renewed to Mary by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1: 32-33, Acts 2: 29-32). This covenant was part of the lineage of the Adamic promise through the Abrahamic to the new covenant in Christ.
8 – The New Alliance
The new covenant is based on the sacrifice of Christ and ensures eternal bliss to all who believe in Him. The book of Hebrews 8: 8-13 tells us of this new covenant in Christ – concluded by God in favor of the house of Israel and that of Judah, for their unconditional blessing. It is in this sense that it differs from that of the old covenant.
But also, this new covenant goes beyond Adam, Abraham, Israel and extends to all men without exception. It is based on the value of the blood of Christ. This new covenant alliance takes into account all the promises of God’s covenants with humanity. That is why it is in Jesus Christ that we have life, redemption, and remission of our sins. We get everything by grace.