GOD'S COVENANTS WITH ISRAEL
I) ABRAHAMIC COVENANT
A) IN THE PROMISED LAND, THE LORD WILL MAKE ABRAM A GREAT NATION (LONGEVITY AND MANY DESCENDANTS), MAKE ABRAMS NAME GREAT THROUGHOUT THE EARTH FOR ALL HISTORY, AND IN ABRAM WILL ALL MANKIND THROUGHOUT HISTORY BE BLESSED WITH THE OPPORTUNITY FOR ETERNAL LIFE VIA A MESSIAH SAVIOR DESCENDANT
(v. 12:1 NKJV) "Now the LORD had said to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. (v. 12:2 NAS) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you will be a blessing. (v. 12:3 NAS) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. ' "
(Gen 12:1 Interlinear) "wayyO'mer .yehwâ ...'el- 'abrAm lek-lekA ..mE'arsekA
...................................."and He said Yahweh .to Abram ..go to you .from your land
ûmimmôladtekA ...............ûmibbêt .................'AbîkA ........'el-hA'Ares
and from your relatives ....and from house of .your father to the land .
which .I will show you"
(Gen 12:2 Interlinear) "we'e'eskA .................legôy .......gAdôl wa'abArekkA
....................................."and I will make you to nation great ..and I will bless you
wa'agaddelâ ................semekA .....wehyEh .....berAkâ"
and I will make great .your name .so become .blessing" =
By virtue of the imperfect tense Hebrew verb "wayyO'mer" rendered "had said" (NKJV) which tense portrays repeated action in the past, verse 12:1 stipulates that the LORD had repeatedly said from the time when Abram was in Ur that Abram was to go from his native land Ur, (cf. Gen 15:7), to a land He will show Abram; whereupon, beginning in verse 12:2, the LORD promised Abram to make him a great nation. Notice that the phrase is not 'I will make you ruler of a great nation.' but "I [the LORD] will make you a great nation," i.e., Abram himself will become a great nation. Since a nation is an entity of a great number of individuals, and since Abram will become a great nation, then Abram, in spite of being childless for decades, is to have and live to see a great number of physical descendants over whom he will rule. Verse 12:2 goes on to say, "And I [the LORD] will bless you [Abram] and make your name great; And so you will be a blessing." So Abram is to effect a great number of the people of the earth in some great manner, affording to them great blessing over a great length of time, for it takes time for one to live to have a nation of descendants and by that become a great name throughout all the earth for all history.
Verse 12:3 continues the LORDs declarations of Abrams future by stating a number of astounding predictions which indicate that the LORD specifically selected Abram out of the sea of humanity in human history for His special and eternal purpose: "And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." Unlike the word world which might be limited in time and geography in the context of Gen 12:3, the Hebrew word rendered "earth" in the NKJV in the context of Gen 12:3 encompasses the entire globe of the earth for all time. So the phrase "all the families of the earth" encompasses all mankind throughout history from all points of the earth.
A picture is presented of the LORD sovereignly selecting Abram from Ur of the Chaldees out of the sea of humanity to go to the promised land to be His vessel, (cf. 12:1). The LORD to supernaturally enable him, whose wife has been barren and childless for decades, (cf. Gen 11:30), and both of whom are very old and unable to have children to have such a great name, i.e., have a worldwide reputation of doing great and godly things and be such a great nation of many physical descendants that in him will all the families of the earth throughout history be blessed through the seed of Abram. This is evidently a fulfillment of the promise of God to provide for the eternal reconciliation of man to God relative to sin and the restoration of mankind's sovereignty over the earth through the miraculous Seed of the woman - a Messiah-Savior, evidently through the seed of Abram, (cf. Gen 3:14-15). That fact alone - that the Messiah-Savior of the world will be a descendant of Abram, will make Abram a great nation and a great name, for in him through that Messiah-Savior will be an opportunity for eternal life and blessing for all the families of the earth throughout history.
Hence an eternal time frame is in view. All of this is with an emphasis on the LORD's sovereign enablement in moving Abram to a faithful position in the land He will show Abram so as to fulfill His promises unilaterally and supernaturally. This was to begin with Abram getting out of his country, going from his family and his father's house to a land He will show Abram, (v. 12:1).
B) GENESIS CHAPTER 3 DECLARES GOD'S PLAN FOR THE ETERNAL RECONCILIATION OF MAN TO GOD AND THE RESTORATION OF MANKIND'S SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE EARTH THROUGH AN INDIVIDUAL DESCENDANT OF EVE WHICH CHAPTER 12 IMPLIES WILL BE FULFILLED THROUGH THE LORD'S MAKING ABRAM A GREAT NATION AND A GREAT NAME AND IN ABRAM THROUGH HIS SEED WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ETERNAL LIFE AND BLESSING FOR ALL MANKIND THROUGHOUT THE AGES AND ETERNITY
(v. 3:14 NKJV) "So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.' (v. 3:15 NKNV) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel... (v. 12:2 NAS) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you will be a blessing." =
Genesis chapter 3 declares God's plan for the eternal reconciliation of man to God and the restoration of mankind's sovereignty over the earth which chapter 12 implies will be fulfilled through the LORD's making Abram a great nation and a great name and in Abram through his seed will be an opportunity for eternal life and blessing for all mankind throughout the ages and eternity. The context of previous chapters in Genesis has indicated that mankind is sinful and estranged from God for which He has a plan for reconciling mankind to Himself through the Seed of Eve which will evidently be through the seed of Abram wherein all individuals have the opportunity to be blessed throughout history with spiritual reconciliation with God and eternal life with Him resulting in the restoration of mankind's authority over the earth.
1) [GEN 3:14 NKJV]:
(v. 3:14 NKJV) "So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.' "
(Gen 3:14 Interlinear) "wayyO'mer .yehOwâ 'elOhîm 'el-hannAhAs ..kî ..........'AsîtA
......................................."and He said Yahweh .God .......to the serpent .because you did
zO't .'Arûr ..'attâ .mikkAl-habbehEmâ ûmikkOl .hayyat ...............hassAdeh
this ..cursed you ...of all of the animals .and of all living things of .the field
'al-gêhOnêkA tElEk ...............wê'ApAr .tO'kal ..........kAl-yêmê ..hayyeykA"
on your belly ..you will crawl .and dust .you will eat .all days of ..your life."
a) FOR DECEIVING EVE AND CAUSING HER AND ADAM TO SIN, THE LORD GOD CURSED THE SERPENT WHO WAS POSSESSED BY SATAN, GOD'S ADVERSARY, MORE THAN ANY OTHER CREATURE, RELEGATING SERPENTS NOW TO CRAWL ON THEIR BELLIES, EATING DUST AS A SIGN OF JUDGMENT UPON SATAN'S REBELLION
(v. 3:14 NKJV) "So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.' " =
God spoke to the particular serpent in the garden of Eden in a manner consistent with one who had demonstrated highly intelligent, subtle and evil qualities but wholly inconsistent with such an earthly creature as God had created it. For of all the earthly creatures, only man was created to have a soul which reflected the image of God thereby providing such high intelligence and capacity to exercise rulership over all the other created beings on the earth. Hence we may conclude that the serpent in view in Genesis 3 was possessed / influenced by another highly superior created being other than the two humans God had created; which leaves an angelic being. So for deceiving Eve and causing her and Adam to sin, (Gen 3:1-7), the LORD GOD cursed the serpent who was possessed by a rebellious angelic creature named in other passages as Satan, God's adversary. God cursed the serpent more than any other creature, relegating serpents now to crawl on their bellies, eating dust as a sign of judgment upon Satan's rebellion. Previous text in Genesis does not describe such an intelligent and evil being, but other passages in Scripture corroborate this and provide more details:
2) [GEN 3:15]:
(Gen 3:15 NKNV) "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."
(Gen 3:15 Interlinear) "we'êbâ ........'Asît ........bênkA ..........ûbên ..............hA'issâ
......................................."and enmity I will put .between you and between the woman
ûbên ..............zar'akA ...ûbên................za'râ .......hû' yesûpekA ..............rO's ..we'atta
and between .your seed .and between ..her seed .he ..he will crush you ..head and you
you will bruise him .heel"
a) TWO SPIRITUAL (NOT BIOLOGICAL) SEEDS ARE IN VIEW:
i) THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO FOLLOW SATAN IN SPIRITUAL REBELLION ARE DECLARED SEED OF SATAN - ANGELS AND HUMANS ALIKE. THEY ARE FURTHER DECLARED BY GOD TO BE AT ENMITY WITH THE WOMAN, EVE, AND HER SEED:
ii) A SEED, WHICH BIOLOGICALLY COMES FROM THE MALE, IN ORDER TO BE THE SEED OF THE WOMAN, HAD TO BE PRODUCED INTO A FEMALE PHYSICAL DESCENDANT OF THE WOMAN SUPERNATURALLY AND SPIRITUALLY BY GOD TO RESULT IN AN INDIVIDUAL MALE DESCENDANT TO REPRESENT THE HUMAN RACE - A MESSIAH-SAVIOR - IN THE BATTLE WITH SATAN AND HIS SEED TO PROVIDE ETERNAL RECONCILIATION FOR HUMANITY WITH GOD AND REGAIN SOVEREIGNTY OF THE HUMAN RACE OVER THE WORLD
(v. 3:15 NKJV) "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." =
The Hebrew words "zarakhA" and "zarAhh' " rendered "your seed" and "her Seed" respectively in 3:15 in the NKJV usually has a biological connotation; but in Genesis 3:15, the Hebrew words "zarakhA" and "zarAhh' " refer to:
i) Those individuals - angelic and human - who deliberately follow, i.e., are given 'birth' as seed of the Agent (Satan) who possessed the serpent and caused Eve to sin. Note that that Agent is a spiritual being, not a physical one, hence seed has a spiritual connotation, not a physical one. Furthermore, all of the seed of Satan were declared by God to be at enmity with the woman and her Seed.
ii) The second word rendered seed in Genesis 3:15 which is rendered with a capital "S" in the NKJV, is portrayed as resulting in a male physical descendant of the woman, Eve, in 3:15c: "He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." The word seed when it is used to portray a physical descendant, normally refers to a seed which biologically comes from the male; but in the case of Gen 3:15, the phrase "the seed of the woman" is stipulated as opposed to the normal phrase 'the seed of the man.' Hence the word "Seed" in this case refers to a Seed which must be produced supernaturally and spiritually by God into a female physical descendant of the woman, Eve, in order to result in an individual male descendant of that woman. The Seed of the woman, Eve, is futher portrayed as representing the whole human race - a Messiah-Savior, hence the capital "Seed" - in doing battle with Satan and his seed to regain the lost sovereignty of the human race, usurped by Satan; and to provide an opportunity for every individual human being to be eternally reconciled with God relative to sin.
b) THE SEED OF THE WOMAN PORTRAYS AN INDIVIDUAL OF SUPERNATURAL BIRTH VIA A SPIRITUALLY PROVIDED SEED WHO WILL REPRESENT ALL OF HUMANITY IN BATTLE WITH SATAN AND HIS SEED TO REGAIN THE LOST SOVEREIGNTY OF THE HUMAN RACE OVER THE WORLD AND PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR EVERY INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEING TO BE ETERNALLY RECONCILED WITH GOD RELATIVE TO SIN. THIS MESSIAH-SAVIOR WILL BRUISE SATAN'S HEAD = DELIVER A MORTAL BLOW TO DESTROY HIM, AND SATAN WILL BRUISE HIS HEEL - A NON-MORTAL BLOW
(v. 3:15 NKJV) "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." =
The word "shuph," [Str. # 7779], rendered "shall bruise" twice in 3:15 connotes a striking blow which is purposed to cause destruction.
The LORD GOD spoke to Satan who possessed the serpent in the garden and caused Adam and Eve to sin, usurping their position of authority over the world. He said, "And I [the LORD GOD] will put enmity, [i.e., decree mutual hostility] between you [Satan] and the woman [Eve, who is the mother of all humanity, (cf. 3:20)].
Notice from Gen 3:1 on, it was not Satan's intent to have hostility, but to gain sovereignty over Eve, humanity and the world. He successfully deceived and hence manipulated her and Adam so as to usurp their position and God's authority given to them by God over the earth.
... and [enmity] between your seed and her Seed =
[And there was also decreed by God to be enmity between the seed of Satan, i.e., those who chose to rebel against the LORD GOD, to be spiritually like Satan: unbelieving and rebellious angelic and human beings. They are 'birthed' by Satan in the sense of choosing to rebel against God after Satan's example. Satan evidently makes a constant effort to tempt others to follow him in rebellion against God]
and her Seed =
[= a single individual is portrayed in 3:15b considering the next phrase in 3:15c, ("He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel"), which has a single individual in view. This Individual is stipulated as the Seed of the woman, Eve, portraying a supernatural birth via a spiritually provided Seed to impregnate a female descendant of Eve to give birth to a male descendant Who will represent all of humanity in battle with Satan and his seed to regain the lost sovereignty of the human race over the world and provide an opportunity for every individual human being to be eternally reconciled with God relative to sin.
The LORD GOD then said, 'He [the single individual Messiah Savior] shall bruise [strike] your head, [ i.e., deliver a mortal blow via an act which destroys Satan and the evil he did and restores humanity to its original sinless state]
and you [Satan] will bruise [strike] his heel, [i.e., deliver a non-mortal blow, i.e., cause him injury but not mortal to His existence and purpose, giving Him the victory over sin for all humanity over Satan and his evil work which caused Adam and Eve to sin, destroy their relationship with God and lose control of their rulership over the world to Satan]
C) IN THE TIME FRAME OF GENESIS 15:4-6, ABRAM BEGAN BELIEVING IN GOD'S PROMISE OF INNUMERABLE DESCENDANTS THROUGH HIS SEED SUPERNATURALLY PROVIDED BY GOD AND RELATIVE TO THE LORD'S PROMISE OF INHERITING THE LAND AT WHICH TIME GOD ACCOUNTED IT TO ABRAM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE
(Gen 15:4 NKJV) "And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 'This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.' (Gen 15:5 NKJV) Then He brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants [lit. seed] be.' (Gen 15:6 NKJV) And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
(Gen 15:6 Interlinear) "wehe'emin ...........bayhwâ .....wayyahsbehA ............lô
...................................."and he believed ...in Yahweh and He considered it to him
The Hebrew word "wehe'emin" rendered "and he [Abram] believed" in verse 15:6 in the NKJV is in the Hiphil stem in the perfect tense portraying a simple completed action by Abram as an immediate response to the LORD's words in the previous verse: "Then He [the LORD] brought him [Abram] outside and said, 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He [the LORD] said to him [Abram], 'So shall your descendants [lit. seed] be."
So when Abram began believing in God's promise of innumerable descendants relative to the promises he had been making to Abram since Ur - it was in the time frame of Gen 15:4-6, whereupon God acounted it at that time to Abraham for righteousness unto eternal life, i.e., the perfect righteousness of God. So Abraham was credited with God's perfect righteousness in conjunction with God's promise to Abraham and innumerable descendants of receiving the promised land forever which God's righteousness is evidently required in order to have eternal life in order to inherit the promised land forever. Note that it was received by a moment of faith alone in the LORD's promise alone. So it cannot be misconstrued that Abraham was expected to do anything in order to be perfectly righteous in his lifestyle in order to receive eternal life from God. There is no stipulation to that effect in the passage.
Gen 15:5-6 is not just a picture of Abram's countless descendants living long after he died with him having gone into the Lake of Fire. There would be no purpose if Abraham would never see them in person, i.e., have eternal life and instead be eternally confined and condemned to the Lake of Fire? This demonstration by the LORD was a picture of His promise to Abraham of eternal life - eternal life with countless descendants over an eternity of time through an individual seed - descendant supernaturally provided for in order to make all of this possible - for Abram was still childless, impotent and Sarai barren.
D) THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT WAS CONFIRMED WITH ISAAC BECAUSE ABRAHAM WALKED BEFORE THE LORD AND THEREBY WAS DECLARED BLAMELESS, I.E., VIEWED AS OBEYING THE LORD'S VOICE AND KEEPING HIS CHARGE, COMMANDS, STATUTES AND LAWS
(Gen 17:1 NKJV) "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I [am] Almighty God; walk before Me and [so shall you] be [declared] blameless." ... (Gen 26:1 NKJV) There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar. (Gen 26:2 NKJV) Then the LORD appeared to him [Isaac] and said: 'Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. (Gen 26:3 NKJV) Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your [Isaac's] descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. (Gen 26:4 NKJV) And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, (Gen 26:5 NKJV) because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.'(Gen 26:6) So Isaac dwelt in Gerar."
In the face of famine, the LORD commands Isaac to remain in the land of Gerar and not go to Egypt - similar to the LORD's repeated command to Abram to leave Ur of the Chaldees and go to the Promised Land and remain there even in the face of famine and not go to Egypt, (cf. Gen 12). He confirms with Isaac the oath, i.e., the covenant He swore to his father Abraham when he went to the Promised Land. He specifically stipulated to Isaac as He did with Abraham that He will make Isaac's descendants, (and therefore Abraham's), as numerous as the stars in the sky, and will give them the Promised Land; and through Isaac's offspring, lit., seed, will all the nations of the earth be blessed which points to a future Messiah-Savior as it did with Abraham . Notice that these blessings of the covenant are as a result of the "requirements, commands, decrees and laws" of the LORD that Abraham declared as obedient to, evidently by walking before the LORD as the LORD commanded Abraham in Gen 17:1-2. For the covenant of the LORD with Abraham was confirmed unilaterally by the LORD - void of any requirements for Abram to fulfill. Furthermore, as an act of grace, the LORD consistently and supernaturally came to the rescue of Abraham and thus enabled Abraham to fulfill the LORD'S requirements, commands, decrees and laws despite Abraham's frequent failures, (cf Gen chapters 12-15, 20; 17:1-2):
1) [Compare Gen 17:1-2]:
(v. 17:1 NKJV) "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I [am] Almighty God; walk before Me and [so shall you] be [declared] blameless.
(v. 17:2 NAS) And I will establish [provided fulfillment of] My covenant between Me and you and I will multiply you exceedingly."
a) WHILE ABRAM WALKS BEFORE THE LORD, I.E., ACKNOWLEDGES HIS HOLINESS, SOVEREIGNTY AND ALL SUFFICIENT CAPACITY TO PROVIDE EVERYTHING, ABRAM IS THUS DECLARED BLAMELESS = RIGHTEOUS BY GOD AS AN ACT OF GRACE
(v. 17:1 NKJV) "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I [am] Almighty God; walk before Me and [you will] be [declared] blameless." =
The verb form rendered "walk" in the NKJV is in the imperative tense, a command. The second phrase rendered "and [you shall] be [declared] blameless" in the NKJV is in the imperative tense in a 'waw copulative', i.e., it is dependent upon the previous imperative, "walk before the LORD." It is not commanding Abram to be blameless, which is impossible for any mortal. The second imperative is a declaration by the LORD of Abram being blameless when he walks openly before the LORD. In the same way that a business owner can legitimately say, Be open and honest with me and be working meaning that so long as you are open and honest with him you will have a job, (no stipulation as to performance at particular tasks); so God can legitimately say to Abram Walk openly and honestly before Me and be blameless meaning that during those moments when Abram was open and honest in his life before God, (no stipulation as to being godly), Abram will be blameless.
It is evident that being blameless here is a declaration by the grace of God and not a reflection of actual blameless behavior on the part of Abram, as some contend. This is a grace operation by the LORD as was Abram's declaration of righteousness when he believed in the LORD's plan for his salvation unto eternal life, (cf. Gen 15:6).
E) THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT IS CONFIRMED WITH JACOB
(Gen 28:10 NKJV) "Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. (Gen 28:11 NKJV) So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. (Gen 28:12 NKJV) Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder [was] set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. (Gen 28:13 NKJV) And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: "I [am] the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. (Gen 28:14 NKJV) Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (Gen 28:15 NKJV) Behold, I [am] with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.' "
Note that the promises of the LORD given to Jacob are a reiteration of the promises of the Abrahamic covenant given to Abraham and Isaac.
II) THE COVENANT OF CIRCUMCISION AS A SIGN OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT
A) ABRAHAM AND HIS HOUSEHOLD MUST KEEP A COVENANT OF CIRCUMCISION WITH THE LORD AS A SIGN OF THE ORIGINAL COVENANT NOT AS A PART OF IT
(Gen 13:14 NKJV) "And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: 'Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are - northward, southward, eastward, and westward: (v. 13:15 NKJV) for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendant [lit., seed] forever. (v. 13:16 NKJV) And I will make your descendants [lit., seed] as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. (v. 17:1 NKJV) "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I [am] Almighty God; walk before Me and [so shall you] be [declared] blameless. (v. 17:2 NAS) And I will establish [fulfill] My covenant between Me and you and I will multiply you exceedingly. (v. 17:3 NKJV) Then Abram fell on his face and God talked with him, saying: (v. 17:3 NKJV) Then Abram fell on his face and God talked with him, saying: (v. 17:4 NKJV) As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. (v. 17:5 NKJV) No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. (v. 17:6 NKJV) I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. (v. 17:7 NKJV) And I will establish [fulfill] My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. (v. 17:8 NKJV) Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. (v. 17:9 NKJV) And God said to Abraham, As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. (v. 17:10 NKJV) This [is] My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants [lit., seed] after you: Every male [child] among you shall be circumcised. (v. 17:11 NKJV) And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. =
Having formally and unilaterally ratified His covenant with Abram, more than 13 years ago, the LORD appears once again to Abram at 99 years old, declares Himself to be "El Shadday", (God Almighty), commands Abram to walk before Him and so shall he be declared blameless and the LORD will establish (begin fulfilling in real time), His covenant with a special emphasis on multiplying Abram exceedingly. Furthermore, the LORD reaffirms Abram that His covenant is with Abram and his descendants forever, (cf. 13:14-16); and then He gives Abram the new name of Abraham, declaring that he is a father of many nations which affirms God's covenant with Abram.
With the above in mind, especially the LORD's formal ratification of His covenant with Abram more than 13 years ago, God says to Abraham, (v. 17:9 NKJV), "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. (v. 17:10 NKJV) This [is] My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants [lit., seed] after you: Every male [child] among you shall be circumcised." If this is part of the LORDs original and formally ratified covenant with Abram, it contradicts the non-participatory quality of the original when it was formally ratified. Nothing was stipulated at that time for Abram to do in a proactive way, certainly not circumcision. Furthermore, the LORD said, (v. 17:9 NKJV) "And God said to Abraham, As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. (v. 17:10 NKJV) This [is] My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants [lit., seed] after you: Every male [child] among you shall be circumcised. Notice that verse 9 and the phrase "This is My covenant" in verse 10a do not refer back to the LORDs unilateral covenant which He made with Abram more than 13 years ago, but they refer forward to what is spoken to Abram in verse 10b: "Every male [child] among you shall be circumcised." So the LORD is introducing another covenant: a command to Abram and his descendants to be circumcised as a sign of the first covenant, not as a part of it:
(v. 17:11 NKJV) "And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you."
Note that circumcision "shall be a sign of [the original Abrahamic] covenant between the LORD and Abram = two covenants are in view.
III) PALESTINIAN COVENANT
A) GOD WILL CIRCUMCISE THE HEARTS OF ALL ISRAELITES SO THAT THEY WILL LOVE HIM WITH ALL THEIR HEART AND SOUL IMPLYING COMPLETE OBEDIENCE TO HIM; AND BY THAT THEY WILL LIVE AND FULFILL THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT UNILATERALLY THROUGH THE LORD
1) [Dt 27-28; 29:1; 30:1-20 NKJV]:
[Deuteronomy chapters 27-28 speak of blessings and curses for Israel's past history of obedience and disobedience to God]
(v. 29:1 NKJV) "These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the [Mosaic Law] covenant which He made with them in Horeb.
(vv. 29:2-29 NKJV) [A review of Israel's past emphasizing blessings when she was faithful and curses when not]
(v. 30:1 NKJV) Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God drives you,
(v. 30:2 NKJV) and you return to the LORD your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul,
(v. 30:3 NKJV) that the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you
(v. 30:4 NKJV) If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you.
(v. 30:5 NKJV) Then the LORD your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.
(v. 30:6 NKJV) And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
[Notice that part of the Palestinian Covenant is a New Covenant wherein God will circumcise the hearts of all Israelites at that time so that they will love Him with all their heart and soul implying complete obedience to him; and by that they will live, i.e., experience the abundant blessings and complete fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant unilaterally through the LORD. From the history of mankind from Adam and Eve to Abraham to the Israelites and mankind the world over, it is evident that man has not and will not live godly lives of their own volition unless the LORD circumcises their hearts to enable them to do so]
The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Walvoord and Zuck Eds., Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 315:
"The promise that the LORD your God will circumcise your hearts (cf. 10:16) means that God will graciously grant the nation a new will to obey Him in place of their former spiritual insensitivity and stubbornness. After returning to the Promised Land with a new heart they will remain committed to the Lord and therefore will experience abundant blessing (live). Loving Him wholeheartedly ... they would not fall back into apostasy as they had done before. A new heart is an essential feature of the New Covenant (cf. Ezek 36:24-32), which will not be fulfilled for Israel as a nation until the return of Jesus Christ (cf. Jer 31:31-34)"]
(v. 30:7 NKJV) Also the LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.
(v. 30:8 NKJV) And you will again obey the voice of the LORD and do all His commandments which I command you today.
(v. 30:9 NKJV) The LORD your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the LORD will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers,
(v. 30:10 NKJV) if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
(v. 30:11 NKJV) For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off.
(v. 30:12 NKJV) It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?
(v. 30:13 NKJV) Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?
(v. 30:14 NKJV) But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
(v. 30:15 NKJV) See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.
(v. 30:16 NKJV) that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.
(v. 30:17 NKJV) But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them,
(v. 30:18 NKJV) I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.
[Notice that obedience to the LORD results in temporal blessing and disobedience in temporal destruction]
(v. 30:19 NKJV) I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live
(v. 30:20 NKJV) that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.' "
[The Palestinian Covenant was made between God and Israel right before Moses died and Israel entered the Promised Land. Hence it was made after the Mosaic Covenant and after Israel had wandered in the wilderness for forty years until the generation that had refused to enter the Promised Land the first time had passed away. The covenant would serve the new generation of Israelites as a reminder of their special covenant relationship with God originally ratified unilaterally with Abraham. It was the LORD's promise to restore the fortunes of Israel - make them more prosperous and more numerous than their fathers as they walked in his ways, and kept His commands, decrees and laws. Then the LORD will have compassion on the Israelites and gather them from all the nations where the LORD had scattered them to the land that belonged to their fathers. And the LORD will put curses on Israel's enemies. The focus of this covenant is on what God is going to do more than what Israel is supposed to do. While Israel's prosperity is closely tied to their obedience to God's command and they will still be punished for their disobedience to God, there is coming a day when God will return them to the land and they will possess it and God will bless them forever and through the New Covenant wherein He will circumcise their hearts and the hearts of their descendants, so that they may love Him with all their heart and with all their soul, and live - live forever in the eternal kingdom - live forever in the eternal kingdom]
IV) THE MOSAIC LAW COVENANT
A) [Ps 147:19-20 NIV]:
(v. 19 NIV) "He [The LORD, (v. 2)] has revealed His word to Jacob, His laws and decrees to Israel.
(v. 20 NIV) He has done this for no other nation; they do not know His laws. Praise the LORD."
B) [Ro 2:13-4, 17, 3:1-2 NIV]:
(v. 2:13) "For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law" =
Paul provides a perspective of Gentiles - those who do not have the Law, for it was instituted exclusively for Jews, yet they have the capacity to do by nature, i.e., out of their consciences, things required by the Law.
Notice that the lawgiving is unique to the Jews, not to the Gentiles.
C) [Dt 11:26-28]:
(v. 11:26) "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse -
(v. 11:27) the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today;
(v. 11:28) the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known."
V) DAVIDIC COVENANT
A) [2 Samuel 7:8-16 NKJV]:
(v. 7:8 NKJV) [God speaks to Nathan, (v. 4)]: '''Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel.
(v. 7:9 NKJV) And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth.
(v. 7:10 NKJV) Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously,
(v. 7:11 NKJV) since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the LORD tells you that He will make you a house.
[The LORD promises to make David's name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. Further, the LORD will provide a permanent land for His people Israel where no longer will they be disturbed]
(v. 7:12 NKJV) "When your days [David's, (cf. v. 5)] are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you [Solomon], who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.
(v. 7:13 NKJV) He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
(v. 7:14 NKJV) I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.
(v. 7:15 NKJV) But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you.
(v. 7:16 NKJV) And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever
The LORD will establish a temple for David to be built by David's son Solomon. Solomon will be on the throne of Israel which throne will be established forever pointing to a future Messiah King. The LORD will punish him for wrongs but His love will never be taken away from Solomon.
This is an unconditional covenant made between God and David where God promises David and Israel that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would come from the lineage of David and the tribe of Judah and would establish a kingdom that would endure forever. It is unconditional because God does not place any conditions of obedience upon its fulfillment. The surety of the promises made rests solely on Gods faithfulness and do not depend at all on David or Israels obedience. The promises of the Davidic Covenant are largely a reiteration of the Abrahamic and Mosaic Law Covenants.
This covenant centers on several key promises that are made to David.
1) God reaffirms the promise of the land that He made in the first two covenants with Israel (The Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants).
a) [Compare 2 Samuel 7:10 NKJV]:
"(v. 7:10 NKJV) Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously."
2) God promises that Davids descendent or "seed" will succeed Him as king of Israel and that Davids throne will be established forever - evidently referring to a future Messiah-Savior
a) [Compare 2 Sam 7:11-16]:
(2 Sam 7:11 NKJV) ''' " 'Since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the LORD tells you that He will make you a house [a temple of worship].
(2 Sam 7:12 NKJV) When your days [David's, (cf. v. 5)] are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you [Solomon], who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.
(2 Sam 7:13 NKJV) He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
(2 Sam 7:14 NKJV) I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of me.
(2 Sam 7:15 NKJV) But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you.
(2 Sam 7:16 NKJV) And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever' " '''
The promise that Davids "house", "kingdom" and "throne" will be established forever are significant because they show that the Messiah will come from the lineage of David and that He will establish a kingdom from which He will reign. The covenant is summarized by the words "house," promising a dynasty in the lineage of David; "kingdom," referring to a people who are governed by a king; "throne," emphasizing the authority of the kings rule; and "forever," emphasizing the eternal and unconditional nature of this promise to David and Israel.]
b) [1 Chron 16:15-18 NIV]:
(v. 15 NKJV) "Remember His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,
(v. 16 NKJV) The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac,
(v. 17 NKJV) And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel for an everlasting covenant,
(v. 18 NKJV) Saying, 'To you I will give the land of Canaan As the allotment of your inheritance' "
VI) NEW COVENANT
A) THE LORD WILL PUT HIS LAW IN THE MINDS OF ALL ISRAELITES SO THEY THEY WILL KNOW AND OBEY HIM; AND HE WILL FORGIVE THEIR WICKEDNESS. HE WILL BE THEIR GOD AND THEY WILL BE HIS PEOPLE
1) [Jer 31:31-34 NKJV]:
(v. 31 NKJV) ''' "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
(v. 32 NKJV) not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.
(v. 33 NKJV) But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: 'I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
(v. 34 NKJV) No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD, for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. ' "
The LORD will put His law in the minds of Israelites and write it on their hearts. He will be their God and they will be His people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know Him. And He will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. Notice that this covenant - a total act of grace on the part of the LORD - was made in view of the repeated failures of the Israelites to obey God. It is the unilateral fulfillment of God's covenants with Abraham and his descendants including David and the Israelite people in view of those failures. This implies the incapacity of any mortal being to obey God except the Seed of the Woman, Jesus Christ Who is the vessel through Whom God is justified in doing this via a perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.
B) THE LORD WILL GATHER THE ISRAELITES INTO THEIR OWN LAND AND GIVEN THEM A NEW HEART, PUT A NEW SPIRIT WITHIN THEM AND PUT HIS HOLY SPIRIT IN THEM CAUSING THEM TO WALK IN HIS STATUTES AND KEEP HIS JUDGMENTS HENCE FULFILLING THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT
1) [Ez 36:24-38 NKJV]:
(v. 24 NKJV) ''' " 'For I [the LORD, (v. 1)] will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
(v. 25 NKJV) Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
(v. 26 NKJV) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
(v. 27 NKJV) I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
(v. 28 NKJV) Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.
(v. 29 NKJV) I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you.
(v. 30 NKJV) And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.
(v. 31 NKJV) Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations.
(v. 32 NKJV) Not for your sake do I do this,' says the Lord GOD, 'let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!'
(v. 33 NKJV) Thus says the Lord GOD: 'On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.
(v. 34 NKJV) The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by.'
(v. 35 NKJV) So they will say, This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.
(v. 36 NKJV) Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it.
(v. 37 NKJV) Thus says the Lord GOD: 'I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock.
(v. 38 NKJV) Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.' " '''
[Notice that only after the LORD Himself has taken those Israelites living at the time from among the nations, and gathered them out of all countries, and brought them into their own land - the land promised to Abraham and all his descendants - and sprinkled clean water on them so that they will be clean and cleanse them from all filthiness and from all idols and given them a new heart and put a new spirit within them and taken out their heart of stone out of their flesh and given them a heart of flesh and put His Holy Spirit within them and caused them to walk in His statutes and keep His judgments and do them, (vv. 24-27), will there be a fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant. In view is God doing it all so that the Israelites will be a godly people. This implies that the Abrahamic Covenant will be finally and completely fulfilled through the New Covenant.
[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, OT, Walvoord and Zuck, Eds, Victor Books, 1988, p. 1297]:
"God's restoration will not simply be an undoing of Israel's sin to bring her to a state of neutrality. Rather it will involve the postive implanting of a new nature in Israel's people that will make them reighteous. Jeremiah called this work of God the 'New Covenant", (cf. Jer 31:31)."