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Question:. What are the different covenants in the Bible?
Answer: Covenants are an "agreement between two parties containing their promises each to the other" according to Webster's Dictionary.There are many of them in the Bible between men and between nations that are not listed here. There are also covenants that are not designated as such in the scripture where the agreement is reached, i.e., God's covenant with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden concerning what fruit they could eat and what fruit they could not eat.
- With Noah to save him and his family:
"But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark - you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you." (Genesis 6:18, NKJV throughout)
- With Noah and his descendants to never again destroy the world by flood:
" 'And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.'
And God said: 'This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.' " (Genesis 9:9-17)
With Abram to give him and his descendants the land we call Israel today and to destroy the inhabitants of that land because of their great sins. (Genesis 15:18-21)
God's follow-up with Abram, changing his name to Abraham, and designating him the father of many nations and millions of descendants, and adding the covenant of circumcision, and promising him Isaac as a son and the inheritor of it (Genesis chapter 17). God made His with Abraham unconditional. (Genesis 22:12-18)
God's conditional one with the children of Israel, requiring their keeping God's law and circumcision, in return for physical blessings. (Exodus 19 - 24). Further terms (conditions) of this covenant were expounded later. (Leviticus chapters 25 - 27; Deuteronomy chapters 29 - 31)
With the children of Israel concerning the Sabbath. (Exodus 31:14-18)
God's concerning the Ten Commandments and Holy Days designated by God. (Exodus 34:10 - 35)
God's concerning the bread in the Tabernacle, and later the Temple, to be eaten only by the priests, descendants of Aaron. (Leviticus 24:8,9)
God promised a new covenant in the Bible:
"'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 - 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.'
"'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. . . .' " (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
- God, in the Bible, spoke of His unconditional covenant with King David of Israel and of His continuing, unconditional covenant with Jacob's descendants. (Jeremiah 33:19-36)
- God spoke of "divorcing" Israel and Judah, thus ending the earlier covenant, and of establishing a new one with them. (Ezekiel 16:59-63)
The most important one - the new covenant - established by Jesus upon His death. (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews chapters 7 - 10). Paul described the only new ritual of it. (1Corinthians 11:23-30)
I have attempted to give you some scriptural references to the more important covenants of the Bible. There are many other scriptural references to these.
The word "testament" is interchangeable with "covenants". The King James Version Bible sometimes translates the Greek word diatheke as "testament" and sometimes as "covenant". Many other Bible translations use "covenant" exclusively. We could just as easily refer to the two common divisions of scripture as the "Old Covenant" (since it contains descriptions, prophecies and books of wisdom from people living under it) and the "New Covenant" (containing the story of Jesus and people who lived during the transition from the old to the new one).
Thank you for submitting your question about the different covenants found in the Bible.