Lord’s Library editors assembled this resource highlighting all the Covenants in the Bible in order with meanings and key verses for new Christians.
The concept of covenants is a central theme throughout the Bible, serving as a foundation for understanding the relationship between God and humanity. Covenants are essentially binding agreements between God and his people, outlining the terms of their relationship and establishing mutual obligations. There are several major covenants in the Bible, each with their own distinct characteristics and significance.
The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines covenant as “A mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing; a contract; stipulation. A covenant is created by deed in writing, sealed and executed; or it may be implied in the contract.”
There’s the Noahic Covenant in Genesis 9:8-17, the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 15:1-21, and Genesis 17:1-27, the Mosaic Covenant in Exodus 19-24, and the New Covenant in several places in the New Testament, including Luke 22:20, 1 Corinthians 11:25, and Hebrews 8:6-13.
This resource will explore the major covenants in the Bible, their significance and implications for the understanding of God’s plan of salvation, and their relevance to contemporary Christian life and theology. Through an examination of these covenants, we will gain a deeper understanding of God’s love and faithfulness towards his people, and the responsibilities and blessings that come with being in covenant with him.
Note: Each of the covenants in the Bible listed below includes a brief commentary, key Bible verses to explore, and a summary of the key promise of each.
Covenants in the Bible
The Noahic Covenant is between God and Noah, and described in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament. It is one of five main covenants made by God with humanity, and it is significant for its role in establishing God’s relationship with all living things and setting forth a promise for the future of the earth. The Noahic Covenant is described in Genesis 9:8-17:
- Genesis 9:8-17: “And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”
Here one can see that God establishes a covenant with Noah and all men, promising never again to destroy all life with a flood. The sign of this covenant is the rainbow, which appears in the clouds as a reminder of God’s promise. This covenant is significant because it establishes God’s commitment to the preservation of life on earth and sets forth a promise for the future.
There are several key elements of the Noahic Covenant that are worth exploring in greater detail. First is the promise never to destroy all life with a flood again. This promise is significant because it establishes God’s commitment to the preservation of life on earth. God recognizes the value of all living things and promises to protect them from destruction. This promise is a reminder of God’s love for all of creation and his desire to see it flourish.
The Noahic Covenant is also significant because it sets forth a promise for the future. By promising never to destroy all life with a flood again, God established a sense of stability and predictability for the future. This promise provides reassurance that the world will not be destroyed again and that God has a plan for the future.
The sign of the covenant, the rainbow, is a powerful symbol of God’s promise. The rainbow is a beautiful and awe-inspiring sight, and it serves as a reminder of God’s love and commitment to all living things. Every time we see a rainbow, we are reminded of God’s promise to preserve life on earth, and we can take comfort in that promise.
The Noahic Covenant is a significant covenant in the Bible, establishing God’s commitment to the preservation of life on earth and setting forth a promise for the future. It is a reminder of God’s love for all of creation and his desire to see it flourish. The sign of the covenant, the rainbow, is a powerful symbol of God’s promise, reminding us of his love and commitment to all living things.
As we reflect on the Noahiv Covenant, we are reminded by the Scriptures that while God will never flood the earth again, He will judge it according to His Word.
The Promise: God establishes a covenant with Noah and all men, promising never again to destroy all life with a flood. The sign of this covenant is the rainbow, which appears in the clouds as a reminder of God’s promise.
The Abrahamic Covenant is a promise made by God to Abraham and his descendants, establishing a special relationship between God and the Jewish people. The covenant is a cornerstone of the Jewish faith and has had a profound impact on the development of Judaism and Christianity. It can be found in several places in the Bible, including Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 15, Genesis 17:1-14, and Genesis 22:15-18.
- Genesis 12:1-3: “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
- Genesis 15
- Genesis 17:1-14: “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.”
- Genesis 22:15-18: “And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”
The first mention of the Abrahamic Covenant is in Genesis 12:1-3, where God calls Abraham and promises to bless him and his descendants. This promise to make Abraham into a great nation and to bless him and his descendants is the foundation of the Abrahamic Covenant. The promise includes a commitment to protect Abraham and his descendants, to give them a land of their own, and to make their name great.
In Genesis 15, God reaffirms the covenant and promises that Abraham will have a son, even though he and his wife Sarah are both elderly and childless. God tells Abraham to look at the stars in the sky, promising that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars. This reaffirmation of the covenant strengthens Abraham’s faith in God’s promise and underscores the importance of trust and obedience in the covenant relationship.
In Genesis 17, God establishes the sign of the covenant, which is circumcision. All male descendants of Abraham are to be circumcised on the eighth day of their lives as a symbol of their commitment to the covenant. God also changes Abraham’s name from Abram to Abraham, which means “father of many nations,” emphasizing the promise that Abraham’s descendants will be numerous and powerful.
In Genesis 22, God tests Abraham’s faith by commanding him to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham obeys God’s command, but at the last moment, God provides a ram for the sacrifice instead of Isaac. This test of faith reinforces the importance of trust and obedience in the covenant relationship.
The Abrahamic Covenant is significant for several reasons. First, it establishes a special relationship between God and the Jewish people. The covenant promises that God will protect and bless Abraham and his descendants and that they will be a great nation with a land of their own. This promise has been a source of comfort and hope for the Jewish people throughout their history.
The covenant also establishes a framework for the relationship between God and humanity. The covenant is based on trust and obedience, and it emphasizes the importance of faith in God’s promises. This framework has had an incalculable impact on the development of both Judaism and Christianity.
The Abrahamic Covenant is a reminder of the importance of faith and obedience in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Like Abraham, we are called to trust in God’s promises and obey his commands.
The Promise: A promise made by God to Abraham and his descendants, establishing a special relationship between God and the Jewish people. The covenant is a cornerstone of the Jewish faith and has had a profound impact on the development of Judaism and Christianity.
The Mosaic Covenant was established between God and the Israelites through the prophet Moses. It is named after Moses, who played a central role in delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and leading them to the promised land of Canaan. The Mosaic Covenant is one of the most detailed and complex covenants in the Bible, and it can be found in several places, including Exodus 19-24, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
The Mosaic Covenant is seen in Exodus 19-24, where God reveals himself to Moses on Mount Sinai and gives him the Ten Commandments. This event marks the beginning of a series of laws and regulations that God gives to the Israelites through Moses. These laws cover a wide range of topics, including worship, sacrifice, hygiene, and dietary restrictions.
The Mosaic Covenant is significant for several reasons. First, it establishes a code of conduct for the Israelites, outlining what is expected of them in their relationship with God and with each other. This code of conduct serves as a framework for the Israelites’ religious and social life, providing guidelines for worship, sacrifice, and more
The Mosaic Covenant also established the priesthood, with Aaron and his descendants serving as priests to the Israelites. The priests are responsible for conducting the sacrifices and other rituals required by the covenant, and they serve as intermediaries between God and the people.
The covenant establishes the Tabernacle of Moses, a portable sanctuary that serves as a central place of worship for the Israelites. The Tabernacle contains the Ark of the Covenant, which is a symbol of God’s presence among the Israelites.
Most notably, the Mosaic Covenant establishes the concept of atonement for sin, which is achieved through the sacrifices and offerings required by the covenant. The sacrifices and offerings serve as a way for the Israelites to seek forgiveness for their sins and to maintain their relationship with God in those times.
The Mosaic Covenant is a significant covenant in the Bible, establishing a code of conduct for the Israelites and providing guidelines for worship, sacrifice, and more. The covenant also establishes the priesthood, the Tabernacle, and the concept of atonement for sin. The laws and regulations established by the covenant continue to influence Jewish and Christian thought and practice today, serving as a reminder of the importance of ethical behavior and moral conduct in our relationship with God and with each other.
The Promise: The Mosaic Covenant was established between God and the Israelites through the prophet Moses. It is named after Moses, who played a central role in delivering the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and leading them to the promised land of Canaan.
The Davidic Covenant established a promise that God made with King David of Israel. The covenant promises that David’s descendants would continue to rule over Israel and that one of his descendants would be the long-awaited Messiah, who would establish a kingdom that would endure forever. The Davidic Covenan t can be found in several places in the Bible, including 2 Samuel 7 and Psalm 89.
The Davidic Covenant is established in 2 Samuel 7, where David expresses a desire to build a temple for the Lord. God responds by making a promise to David, saying in verses 12-14: “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:”
God promises that one of David’s descendants will be king and that his kingdom will endure forever. The promise of the Davidic Covenant is further emphasized in Psalms 89, where the psalmist declares in verses 1-4: “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.”
The psalmist praises God’s faithfulness to the Davidic Covenant and proclaims that God’s promise to David will endure forever. The Davidic Covenant is significant for several reasons. First, it establishes the concept of the Messiah, the anointed one who would come to save God’s people and establish a new kingdom. This promise provides hope and comfort to the Israelites, who were often oppressed and subjugated by foreign powers throughout their history.
The Davidic Covenant establishes the monarchy in Israel, with David and his descendants ruling over the kingdom. The monarchy provided a stable and centralized government, which was essential for the survival and prosperity of the Israelites.
The Davidic Covenant also settled the concept of the “throne of David” as well, which became a symbol of God’s rule and authority over Israel. This concept is imperative because it emphasizes God’s sovereignty over his people and his commitment to their welfare.
The promise of the Messiah has been a central belief in both religions, with Jesus of Nazareth being regarded as the long-awaited Messiah. The Davidic Covenant provides a link between the Old Testament and the New Testament, connecting the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament with the fulfillment of those promises in the New Testament.
The Promise: The covenant promises that David’s descendants would continue to rule over Israel and that one of his descendants would be the long-awaited Messiah, who would establish a kingdom that would endure forever.
The New Covenant is a significant concept in Christianity, referring to a new relationship between God and humanity that was established through Jesus Christ. The New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies, including the promises of a Messiah and a new era of salvation. The concept of the New Covenant can be found in several places in the Bible, including Jeremiah 31:31-34, Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:19-20, and 2 Corinthians 3:6.
- Jeremiah 31:31-34: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
- Matthew 26:26-28: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
- Mark 14:22-24: “And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.”
- Luke 22:19-20: “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”
- 2 Corinthians 3:6: “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”
In Jeremiah 31:31-34, God promises to establish a new covenant that is different from the old covenant that he made with the Israelites. The new covenant will be based on a personal relationship between God and his people, and it will be written on their hearts. This new covenant promises forgiveness of sins and an intimate relationship with God.
The New Covenant is also mentioned in the New Testament, where Jesus establishes the new relationship between God and humanity. In Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, and Luke 22:19-20, Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper, a symbolic representation of the New Covenant. During the Last Supper, Jesus takes bread and wine, gives thanks, and then shares them with his disciples, saying, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Through his death and resurrection, Jesus fulfills the prophecies of the Old Testament and establishes the New Covenant. In 2 Corinthians 3:6, the apostle Paul explains the significance of the New Covenant, saying, “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
The New Covenant is significant for several reasons. First, it establishes a personal relationship between God and his people, emphasizing forgiveness of sins and an intimate knowledge of God. Second, the New Covenant is universal, extending beyond the Jewish people to include all people who believe in Jesus Christ. Third, the New Covenant is based on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who gave his life to atone for the sins of humanity.
The Promise: The New Covenant is a significant concept in Christianity, referring to a new relationship between God and humanity that was established through Jesus Christ.
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