The Covenants

Genesis (Chapter 1 to 11) – Be Basic
The Covenants

A covenant is an agreement between 2 or more parties. There are many examples of covenants in the Old Testament. Sometimes the covenants are between 2 or more people or nations. However, the most important covenants are the divine covenants – agreements initiated by God and made with man. In Genesis, 1 -11, we see –

  • Edenic and Adamic Covenants; and
  • Noahic Covenant

Edenic and Adamic Covenants:

This is the first covenant between God and Adam. In this covenant, God supplied Adam with many blessings, among them: life, perfect body, perfect environment, a world without pain, hunger, sickness or death and also a wife.

All Adam and Eve had to do was to keep 6 conditions God had laid down to keep the covenant in effect:

  1. Multiply and replenish the earth (Genesis 1:28)
  2. Subdue the earth for their use (Genesis 1:28)
  3. Exercise dominion over the animal creation whether on land or in the sea or in the air (Genesis 1:28)
  4. Have only a vegetable diet (Genesis 1:29) [Note: There never has been death of an animal.  In fact, all animals and man were vegetarians up to this point.]
  5. Cultivate and keep the garden of Eden they were put in (Genesis 2:15)
  6. Abstain from eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:16-17) or they will surely die.

Under the Edenic covenant, man lived in innocence, without knowledge of evil until Adam and Eve broke the Edenic covenant by eating the forbidden fruit. When they ate of the forbidden tree, they died spiritually but God by His mercy and grace made the second covenant with Adam.

Unlike the Edenic covenant which was unconditional, this new covenant contained a promise of ultimate deliverance which is still in effect now. This covenant is called the Adamic Covenant. God the Redeemer promised by the Adamic covenant a seed from the woman who will bruise the head of the Serpent.

Then God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 1:28

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”
Genesis 2:15-17

Noahic Covenant:
Having destroyed everyone except Noah and his family because of extreme wickedness, God made His third covenant with man. The Noahic covenant was established when Noah left the ark after the flood.

This covenant contains promises to man and responsibilities required of man. The promises were:

  • God would not curse the ground anymore or smite ALL living creatures (Genesis 8:21)
  • The seasons and day and night will not cease (Genesis 8:22)
  • God would not destroy the earth through a universal flood (Genesis 9:11)
  • God would set the rainbow as the sign of this covenant (Genesis 9:12).

These promises are valid and continue regardless of man’s conduct but God had some requirements for man to follow:

  • Noah and his sons shall again multiply and replenish the earth (Genesis 9:1,7)
  • They shall not eat blood from any source (Genesis 9:4).  The life is in the blood and that life comes from God and should be respected.
  • They shall not murder. An accounting shall be made on the man who shred blood. (Genesis 9:5,6).

God also made two other statements related to this covenant:

  • Animals would fear and dread man (Genesis 9:2)
  • Animals were now available for food (Genesis 9:3)

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.
Genesis 9:11

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 9:12 – 13