After the flood, God began again, now with Noah and the people who came afterward. With them, too, He sought a relationship, and central to that relationship was the idea of covenant. The Bible identifies seven major covenants that God has made with people:
- 1st Covenant – Adam (Genesis 1:1-3:24)
2nd Covenant – Noah (Genesis 6:1-9:29)
- 3rd Covenant – Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3)
- 4th Covenant – Moses and the Israelite nation (known as Sinaitic or Mosaic Covenant; Exodus 19:1-24:18)
- 5th Covenant – Phineas ( Num. 25:10-13)
- 6th Covenant – David (2 Sam. 7:5-16)
- 7th Covenant – New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34)
Read the following texts. What do they mean by the “everlasting covenant”? (Gen. 9:16, Gen. 17:7, Isa. 55:3, Heb. 13:20).
The Bible incorporates the term “everlasting covenant” sixteen times. Out of them, thirteen are specifically applied to the covenants with Abraham, Israel at Sinai, and David. Each of the covenants mentioned above, although unique, bore the imprint of “the everlasting covenant”. Just as the everlasting gospel is first announced in Genesis 3:15, but then progressively revealed throughout the Bible, the same applies to the everlasting covenant. Each consecutive covenant serves to expound and deepen our understanding of the everlasting covenant of love, which is revealed most fully in the plan of salvation. The New and Old Covenants, as they are often distinguished, contain the same components.
3. Mission: “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” (Jer. 31:34, NKJV; Heb. 8:11).