The Jewish Covenant: Relationships with God


Biblically, a covenant is an agreement among people, between man and God, or a person and a group of people. The notion of the covenant is based on two concepts, grace and law, which are also known as natural and supernatural. The first covenant was between God and Abraham, whereby God made an agreement between the Jewish people to show that they were the chosen. The convention, according to the Jewish, was to guide them on their way of living. Therefore, there are various covenants of Jewish that one can analyze, such as Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, Noahic, and the New covenant.

Abrahamic Covenant

The Abrahamic covenant between God and Abraham consisted of three parts; the promised land, the promise of descendants, and the promise of blessings and redemption. In the part of Promised Land called Abraham to leave Ur and move to Canaan. The land of Canaan was to be named the Promised Land because called promised the land to the descendants of Abraham. The Lord asked Abraham to move from his country, people, and his father’s household to the land God would show him (Shetter 145). The Promised Land was named Israel after Abraham’s grandson. Hence, the land was to host Abraham’s descendants since it was the chosen generation.

The second part is the promise of descendants that God revealed to Abraham. God assured blessings to Abraham’s generation, whereby he stated that he would make Israel a great nation, and he would bless Abraham and make his name great (Shetter 67). In this part, God changed Abrahams’s name from Abram to Abraham, meaning the father of many. God also guaranteed Abraham that he would make a great nation out of him and choose his generation.

The third segment of the Abrahamic covenant is the promise of blessings and redemption. God promised to bless Abraham and all his descendants and curse those who curse him (Shetter 88). As part of the last covenant, God asked Abraham to remove his foreskin and all Jewish boys after him. The amputation of the foreskin, known as circumcision, was a sign of the Abrahamic covenant. God imposed laws on the Jews since he wanted them to live like they were indeed God’s chosen people. Additionally, God tested Abraham’s obedience when he was asked to kill his only son, whereby Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac, but God stopped him and showed him a lamb.

Noahic Covenant

The Noahic covenant was between God, humans, and other living creatures. The agreement was made after the destruction of all living creatures except those in Noah’s ark. Noah and his family were saved from the floods by God, his sins were forgiven, and God chose him to build an ark. God not only promised a fresh start for those saved but also promised not to destroy human life through floods, and he created the rainbow as a sign of this (Williams 80). However, in return, he asked Noah’s generation not to murder because humankind is made from the image of God. The Lord said that whoever kills would pay with the death penalty. However, those who lawfully sentence the death penalty and those who slaughter for self-defense will not be punished. Also, a new diet was introduced before the floods, whereby human beings consumed vegetables (Williams97). They were allowed to consume meat but were forbidden from consuming it with blood on it. In this case, they were to drain the blood before eating the meat. Moreover, God gave a similar commandment of filling the earth like that of Adam and Eve.

Mosaic Covenant

Mosaic covenant is one of the covenants that God gave through Moses. The agreement has five concepts that are common to other promises. For instance, their authority resides in God, no covenant outdo another, and salvation from sin is not obtained by keeping the convention. According to the theological concepts, the agreement was by grace since the Israelites were being delivered from Egypt (Leighton162). Additionally, the covenant was the most conditional of them all. Like all other agreements, it promises blessings and curses (Leighton 162). The Mosaic Law was meant for the Israelites only considering the rules that were stipulated in the covenant. Also, the agreement was not initiated by human beings but by God. The focus of the covenant at Mount Sinai was on the ways that the descendants of Abraham should follow to inherit the Promised Land and how they should conduct themselves as the chosen generation.

The Mosaic covenant marked a step of fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant. It had two parts, which involved freeing the people of Israel from Egypt and the issuing of the commandments. God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, and promised to help Moses during the journey (Leighton) 162). At first, Pharaoh had refused them to leave, and God sent the plagues and also separated the red sea where the Pharaoh’s army drowned. The Israelites passed through the desert and later Mount Sinai, where it is believed that Moses was given the 613 commandments (Leighton, 162). The convention had different impacts on the people of Israel, such as focusing on the need to worship God and living in unity. Long before the Israelites started the journey from Egypt, God had revealed to Moses that Mount Sinai would be primarily the place of worship. All the Israelites were believers, and unbelievers would not participate in true worship. Also, the law was never meant to bring anyone worshipping Yahweh or salvation from sin. The covenant brought blessings to the people of Israel and redemption that was already there.

Another significance is God brought redemption to the people of Israel. Yahweh revealed to the people of Israel that he cared and would deliver them. It was a sign that Israelites were God’s people, and he was their God after delivering them from Egypt (Leighton 178). It also signified that God redeemed them before he made a covenant with them at Mt Sinai. The convention was also an act of grace, as the descendants of Abraham were supposed to follow the footsteps of their ancestors and fulfill God’s promises (Leighton 177). The Israelites were to be God’s priestly generation since God had promised them about their blessed land. Thus, through witnessing God’s holiness, they were to obey him and serve as God’s witnesses (Leighton 181). The covenant to save humans from their rebelliousness was also established. In this case, sacrificial worship was part of the agreements, which were meant to be practiced during atonement to forgive sins. Like the Noahic covenant preserved human life, the Mosaic covenant was meant to protect Abraham’s generation.

Davidic Covenant

Davidic covenant happened after the Mosaic agreement in Mount Sinai. Nathan delivered the promise of God to David, David intended to build a temple of God, but God wanted to make a dynasty from David’s descendants. David’s covenant is unconditional because God does not put any strategy or rules for the promise to be fulfilled, unlike in Mosaic and Abrahamic covenants (Byers). Davidic covenant is a sign that God is faithful and merciful, whereby Solomon worshipped idols and his generation sinned, but God was truthful to fulfill his promise and merciful to forgive their sins.

God promises David and Israel that he would establish an everlasting kingdom that would reign forever. Correspondingly, the Messiah Jesus Christ was to be from the lineage of David. God reaffirms the promise of Promised Land that he made in Mosaic and Abrahamic covenants. The Lord stated that he would provide a place for his people, and he would plant them to have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people would not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning. God goes ahead to promise David that one of his sons (Solomon) would succeed him and would rule forever and build a lasting house. The Lord also expands the assurance by promising that he would establish an everlasting kingdom that would rule forever (Byers). This is a reference that the Messiah was to be from the lineage of David. Davidic covenant revealed hope for humankind as the gospel show that Jesus was the right king of Jews. Moreover, the house in the promises shows the dynasty that would be built from the lineage of David.

New Covenant

Failure to follow God’s covenant led to a disaster for both the people and the monarchy, whereby the temple and Babylonian exile were destroyed. The new covenant primarily shows that all the agreements would be realized through Jesus Christ (Rogers 215). The agreement brings better promises since eternal redemption and eternal inheritance would be experienced through the blood of Jesus Christ. This covenant was to bring forgiveness of sin, knowledge of God, and renewal of heart (Rogers 216). Jesus Christ sacrificial death led to the forgiveness of sins. The covenant was also inaugurated by the blood of Jesus, where during the last supper, Jesus took the cup and declared that his death would be the inauguration of this new covenant. Many people in the modern world have also analyzed the New Covenant since it focuses on the need for people to repent their sins following Jesus’s death.


In conclusion, Jewish covenants were agreements between people and God. The five covenants discussed in this paper reveal that the Jewish people focused on developing a good relationship with their God. A covenant can either be conditional or unconditional, whereby God made a convention with his people due to his mercy and faithfulness to save humans from sins. Some of the reasons for the agreements are the redemption of humankind, the forgiveness of sin, fulfillment of previous promises, and showing love. The covenants also revealed that God is faithful and encouraged Jews to emulate him and obey his commandments. Therefore, the Jewish covenants were essential as they focused on ways that people would be close to their creator and live a holy life.


Byers, Andrew Samuel. “The Fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.” (2020).

Leighton, Matthew B. “Mosaic Covenant as a Possible Referent in Paul.” Tyndale Bulletin, vol. 69, no.1, 2018, pp. 161-181. Web.

Rogers, Jessie. “Book Review: Paul, a New Covenant Jew: Rethinking Pauline Theology.” vol. 8, no.2, 2021, pp. 215-217. Web.

Shetter, Tony L. The Promissory and Obligatory Elements of the Abrahamic Covenant in the Light of Alalah Texts 1 and 456. Dallas Theological Seminary, 2019.

Williams, Michael D. “The Noahic Covenant and the Promise of the Eschaton.” Presbyterian, vol., 2018, pp. 80-97. Web.

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