Talk:Covenant (biblical)

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Regarding Category:Calvinism[edit]

I removed this category because the page doesn't really explain in any way how the concept of "covenant" is unique to Calvinism or particularly important to Calvinism, as opposed to other families of Christianity. If someone can edit the page to explain that, then I have no problem with us returning it to that category. KHM03 14:32, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Proposed Merger with Covenant (Israel)[edit]

Covenant (Israel) is redunandant and should be deleted, and its link pointed to here. --Bruce IV

Agreed. I did so. --Flex 12:34, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Broken external link[edit]

The external link to (# The Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man by Hermann Witsius) is broken.

Paragraph on the New Covenant[edit]

The New Covenant, predicted by the prophet Jeremiah in the eponymous book, chapter 31, and connected with Jesus at the Last Supper where he says that the cup is "the New Covenant in [his] blood" and further in the Epistle to the Hebrews (chapters 8-10).

This is a pure christian view and this idea is completely foreigh to judaism. Here is a webpage criticizing the christian view of Jeremiah 31. Now we have two possibilities : 1/ either we indicate that this is a christian view only 2/ or we delete this interpretation because this article is part of both portals (Judaism and Christianity).

I slightly changed the title ; if anybody has a better idea, please discuss it here. --Squallgreg 19:01, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I've fleshed out the article a bit, especially the definition and the New Covenant (Christian view) section. Eventually, I'm afraid, we'll have to fork this article into a Jewish and Christian version since most Christians agree on certain things about the covenants, but the emphases, I'm sure, are different than in Judaism. For now, though, a "New Covenant (Judaism)" section would be good for balance, but I'm not qualified to write it, at least for a while yet. Also, sometime we might want to reorganize the article so the primary covenants of Biblical revelation are kept separate from the other instances of covenant such as the national covenants, individual covenant, and covenant with Lot. What would be interesting would be to see a discussion of the general principles motivating such uses of the word "covenant" and what makes them different from the primary use (to refer to covenants made unilaterally between God and man). Evan Donovan 04:03, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Format issue[edit]

I'm using IE 7 and I see a huge gap (10+ lines worth) after the "Noahic Covenant" headline before the first line of text. I don't see this gap with firefox. Any way to make the entry more IE friendly? I suspect it has to do with placing the photo on the right which wants to go below the "part of a series of articles on Christianity" box.

Mstupak 10:16, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I moved the images. How's that work? --Flex (talk|contribs) 15:37, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Personal covenants[edit]

On what basis are these types of statements considered "covenants?" The word does not appear in the passages listed and so this entire section appears to be Original Research. 23:07, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Abrhamic Covenant[edit]

The consensus commentary from Christian and Jewish experts is that the covenant giving the land from the Euphrates to the great river in Egypt excludes the descendants of Ishmael. That is why G-d explains and foretells Jacobs descendants being enslaved in Egypt and refers to those as Abram's seed. Please see the lengthy discussion on the talk page for Land of Israel and the many commentaries and proofs shown. Sposer (talk) 04:03, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

This is your OR as mentioned there you even fail to supply one commentator for that! Most Christian commentator just like Albert Barnes , Johann Friedrich Karl Keil and John Gill mentioned their Comment under Gen 21:9-21 that Ishmael is not excluded from the promise.--Submitter to Truth (talk) 04:37, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
How do they explain that? Would you consider that OR? If you don't; then how can you call what Sposer is saying Original Research, when Judaism and Christianity and all their textbooks and scholars say the same thing? He didn't make it up; he is simply stating what scholars are saying. Itzse (talk) 18:18, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I added source. This section has nothing to do w/Gen 21. Look at the article. It is about Gen 12-17. I strongly suggest you self revert your error and OR. Now you are saying that Rashi is not a good enough source. I added sources in the other article talk. I will happily add them here. This is your OR, not mine. Sposer (talk) 10:24, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
My friend please be patient and rational, Rashi is a great Tanakh and Talmud Commentator and who am I to declare him not good! But the refrence that you provided and the edit that you made had absolutly no relation! where in the refrence Rashi speak about Nile to Euphrate? You can add another sentence separate from this one and add Rashi Comments about the other covenants or anything else but the refrence you provided had no relation to the text you editted. Please check the address maybe incorrect address you provided!--Submitter to Truth (talk) 10:39, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
You need to scroll through several pages, but it covers from Gen 15 to Gen 17. I can also give you a site that shows that Gen 15:13 refers to the enslavement beginning with Ishmael's actions against Isaac, and the nation he is referring to is the Hebrews. Here is a very detailed Christian text that states that the promise is fulfilled through Isaac's seed, although Ishmael will still be a great nation. See here: "To perpetuate the remembrance of the wonder, the promised seed was to bear the name of Isaac, or "laughter."" And, if you read earlier, he points out in his summary the rejection of Ishmael as being the key point in this whole part of Genesis: The election and selection of what became the people of God. Step by step we see in the history of the patriarchs this electing and separating process on the part of God. Both are marked by this twofold characteristic: that all is accomplished, not in the ordinary and natural manner, but, as it were, supernaturally; and that all is of grace. Thus Abram was called alone out of his father's house - he was elected and selected. The birth of Isaac, the heir of the promises, was, in a sense, supernatural; while, on the other hand, Ishmael, the elder son of Abram, was rejected. Found here: When I have a chance I will fix the text up so it reflects these additional sources.Sposer (talk) 13:08, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I think we can follow better with this kind of edit. I have not checked all your refrences yet, but prefer this kind of edit rather than discussing without any result! All different opinions can mention in the article.--Submitter to Truth (talk) 03:22, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
First of all, virtually all Jewish commentators explicitly exclude Ishmael. And, Esau gave his inheritance to Jacob, with regard to all that was due him. As for Christian commentators, I am far from expert. However, I did not find one on the web that said Ishmael's seed was included in the covenant. Please include the exact relevant quotes from the people you noted. The Wiki articles say nothing about this. Sposer (talk) 03:35, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually, here, Gill says the seed is of Isaac:
And here Gill again explicity again stating only through Isaac and Jacob:
And again Gill saying "not with Ishmael":

And again, "for in Isaac thy seed shall be called":
And Ishmael as seed, just means son, but not in terms of an heir:

And now Barnes -
The seed is Isaac:
And here too -
And Keil also agrees the covenant is via Isaac:,M1 (you will have to scroll around a bit). He does point out that Ishmael is important, but separate form Abraham's other descendants, but that he is a separate nation that has physically held much of the land. However, he repeatedly states that the covenant with G-d is through Isaac in these pages. Sposer (talk) 04:38, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Forgive me for intruding in this argument that is clearly out of my league. I think someone should mention Genesis 17:21 [1]. Emmanuelm (talk) 16:05, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Been there, done that, in the Land of Israel article. One of the Gill examples I gave above refers to it too. Sposer (talk) 17:04, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Submitter to truth; got your answer? Here G-d states that he's excluded; blame G-d, but Wikipedia only reports what it says; that's all. Itzse (talk) 18:23, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
My friends you confuse different covenants with each other! Albert Barnes Qouted under Gen 21:9-21 as below:

Abraham is comforted in this separation with a renewal of the promise concerning Ishmael Gen_17:20

and again said:

And their(Hagar & Ismael) departure did not imply their exclusion from the privileges of communion with God, as they might still be under the covenant with Abraham, since Ishmael had been circumcised, and, at all events, were under the broader covenant of Noah.

Same thing claimed by Johann Friedrich Karl Keil and John Gill. The covenant with Isaac that Ishmael excluded is a different covenat. And Rashi also never claimed that Ishmael excluded from Promiss.

The Truth will come out, later or sooner , you submit to it or not!--Submitter to Truth (talk) 15:04, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Ishmael was not omitted from the covenant with Noah, or the covenant regarding circumsion. I never said that he was excluded from that. Ishmael was specifically excluded from the covenant regarding the land. And G-d also repeated that he would keep the promise to make of Ishmael's seed a great nation, which he did. Just not the nation of the Israelites, from the Euphrates to the River of Egypt, which was given only to Abraham's descendants through Isaac. Gen 17 refers to the covenant of circumcision and that Ishmael would make a great nation. In Gen 21, Gill repeats that in Isaac his seed shall be called, and not with Ishmael. So, you see, for the covenants regarding Abraham's seed and the land, that is for the descendants through Isaac only, period, end of discussion. The covenant with Noah is separate, and so is the covenant of circumsion, which is not tied to the land. All I have ever referred to is the land. To further clarify, G-d promised to Ishmael's descendants a great nation, but that was not a covenant, but a promise (word used differently in the Bible it seems). Also, I changed article so as to make it clear that Ishmael is not excluded from the Covenant of Circumcision. Sposer (talk) 01:23, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
The land was promised to Abraham's seed and Covenant of Circumcision is made between G-d and Abraham's seed! Stop the double standard! Non of commentators mentioned that Ishmael was excluded from covenant regarding land! It's your OR--Submitter to Truth (talk) 02:22, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
G-d requires all to be circumcised. He is circumcised. I apologize. Again, here is Rashii saying that Ishmael though is not part of this covenant. I can't keep track, because I am no expert on this, but just following the words of the commentators and the Bible itself, as opposed to making it up as I go along, which you seem to be doing. From Rashii on Gen. 17.
Indeed. אִבָל is an expression of a confirmation of a statement, and likewise (below 42:21):“Indeed (אַבָל) , we are guilty;” (II Kings 4: 14):“Indeed (אַבָל), she has no son.” - [from Targumim] and you shall name him Isaac. Heb. יִצְחָק, because of the rejoicing (צְחוֹק) (Mid. Chaseroth v’Yetheroth. And some say: because of the ten (י) trials, and Sarah’s ninety (צ) years, and the eighth (ח) day on which he was circumcised, and Abraham’s hundred (ק) years. (Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer , ch. 32). (Other editions: “And My covenant.” Why is this written? Is it not already written (verse 9): “And you shall keep My covenant, you and your seed, etc.?” But because He said (verse 7): “And I will establish, etc.,” one might think that the sons of Ishmael and the sons of Keturah are included in the establishment [of the covenant]. Therefore, Scripture states: “And I will establish My covenant with him,” and not with others. Now, why does it say [again in verse 21]: “But My covenant I will establish with Isaac?” This teaches us that he was holy from the womb. Another explanation [for the repetition of verse 19]: Said Rabbi Abba: Scripture here derives an a fortiori conclusion regarding the son of the mistress from [what is written regarding] the son of the handmaid. It is written here: “Behold I have blessed him, and I will make him fruitful, and I will multiply him.” This refers to Ishmael. How much more so,“But My covenant I will establish with Isaac!” (Gen. Rabbah 47:5). My covenant. The covenant of circumcision shall be given over [only] to the seed of Isaac. See Sanh. 59.

So, I guess I was wrong. Not only is Ishmael excluded from the covenant of the land, but he is also excluded from the covenant of circumcision. I will correct the article as I messed up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sposer (talkcontribs) 03:12, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

In summary, each and every commentator I found, including the ones you quoted exclude Ishmael. In Gen 15, he is excluded from the Land by virtue of G-d stating that it was those enslaved in Egypt (Isaac's seed only) that were due the land. In Gen. 17, said directly, as noted above, with regard to the Covenant of Circumcision. And, also with regard to the Land of Canaan (I think that was Gen. 21, but I don't remember). And finally, all the commentators say that the term "seed" only applies to Isaac's descendants.
I admit when I am wrong. When I briefly lost track and thought Ishmael was part of the circumcision covenant, I changed the text. Then, since you cannot admit to being incorrect, and you challenged me, I went back and read the text, and saw that in fact, I was wrong, and that Ishmael, according to the commentators, and even without that, just by reading the Bible, was excluded. I am not going to continue this debate, as I have proven it over and over again.

As for Barnes, he said he is not sure, if that is your quote, though not in the source I see from the web. Here is what I see from Barnes, which also says that the covenant is through Isaac, though from Ishmael will descend a great nation:

Genesis 17:15-22

Sarai is now formally taken into the covenant, as she is to be the mother of the promised seed. Her name is therefore changed to Sarah, "princess." Aptly is she so named, for she is to bear the child of promise, to become nations, and be the mother of kings. "Abraham fell upon his face and laughed." From the reverential attitude assumed by Abraham we infer that his laughter sprang from joyful and grateful surprise. "Said in his heart." The following questions of wonder are not addressed to God; they merely agitate the breast of the astonished patriarch. Hence, his irrepressible smile arises not from any doubt of the fulfillment of the promise, but from surprise at the unexpected mode in which it is to be fulfilled. Laughing in Scripture expresses joy in the countenance, as dancing does in the whole body.

Genesis 17:18-20 "And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! 19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation."

Abraham seems up to this time to have regarded Ishmael as the promised seed. Hence, a feeling of anxiety instantly penetrates his breast. It finds utterance in the prayer, "Oh that Ishmael might live before thee." He asks "life" for his beloved son - that is, a share in the divine favor; and that "before God" - that is, a life of holiness and communion with God. But God asseverates his purpose of giving him a son by Sarah. This son is to be called Isaac - he that laughs or he shall laugh, in reference to the various emotions of surprise and delight with which his parents regarded his birth. Abram's prayer for Ishmael, however, is not unanswered. He is to be fruitful, beget twelve princes, and become a great nation. But Isaac is to be the heir of promise. At the present season next year he is to be born. The communication being completed, "God went" up from Abram.

Sposer (talk) 03:34, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

You still act according what you guess or wish and that is not correct in an Encyclopedia And not even checked what I addressed!--Submitter to Truth (talk) 13:02, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
You remind me of the little boy who asks his father: father, how much is 2 plus 2? and his father answers him: four. Not liking the answer, he asks again: but father, how much is two plus two?! Two plus two is always four, even if asked one hundred times.
Submitter; are you interested in answers, or just pulling our leg? We already told you that two plus two equals four; do you have a different answer? Say what you think instead of saying that Sposer isn't correct. Start from the beginning and go through passage by passage and tell us what it says. Can you do that? Itzse (talk) 18:45, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

An additional point[edit]

In the Biblical story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac (I know the Koran says Ishmael), G-d refers to Isaac as Abraham's only son. Ishmael's descendants could not be part of the covenant if G-d did not consider him to be Abraham's son. In the same way, Hagar was not Abraham's wife, but merely his bondwoman/concubine. Sposer (talk) 15:22, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Capitalization of God as referred to by He/His, etc.[edit]

The guide says that pronouns referring to deities are capitalized. Would not capitalize he with regard to Abraham, since he isn't a deity. But, God is a deity, so He is capitalized as it is a pronoun referring to Him. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sposer (talkcontribs) 16:17, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

As Emily Litella said, "Nevermind". My mistake. I disagree with the policy, but what the heck. Sposer (talk) 16:27, 21 November 2008 (UTC)


1. I removed the section on Ishmael because he never received a covenant, but only a blessing, and circumcision with the rest of the males in Abraham's household.

2. The Christian content in the 'New Covenenat' was removed since claims to it are covered elsewhere, and do not enlighten the reader on the significance or content of the prophetic covenant, explicitly stated to be for Israel and Judah.

The entire article needs to be significantly expanded since all it is now is a collection of verse citations--Meieimatai? 11:45, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I question the removal of both the Lot Covenant since Deut 2:9 states "I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession". This does not imply to me a blessing, but a stated commitment by God. Further the removal of the covenant with Ishmael seems to be without any cause, and the POV addition to New Covenant all seem like bad edits that need to be cleaned up. Heptazane (talk) 22:31, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Palestinian Propaganda[edit]

Has anyone noticed that the article seems to have been edited in a way to give the impression that Ephraim are Arabs and they are the rightful inheritors of the land and the covenant is addressing them? Especially clear in the sections Covenant to Issac and Covenant to Israel. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wd233 (talkcontribs) 06:52, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

New Covenant in Christianity[edit]

This section promises to be about the New Covenant in Christianity, but then includes Noahidism, which is not Christian at all. Each section under a header should discuss the subject of the header. Noahidism already has its own header. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sfarney (talkcontribs) 05:54, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Dissolution of the Covenant Form and covenant connections[edit]

Hello everyone! I would like to add a few new sections. One section would discuss the dissolution of the covenant law for the sake of Monarchial unity. The other section would include phraseological and semantical evidence supporting the theory that the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants where truly grants, as understood by the surrounding cultures, as opposed to a treaty. Does anyone believe this would be a helpful endeavor? ZarathustraSay20 (talk) 14:28, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Edits look mostly very good, ZarathustraSay20. "Weinfield believes that similar terminology and wording can connect the Abrahamic Davidic covenants with ancient near grants as opposed to being largely similar to the more popular Mosaic covenant, which is Suzerainty." -- looks rushed and needs revision: "Abrahamic Davidic" missing an and? Ancient Near East? "which is Suzerainty" is missing something, too. On dissolution, which is also good, the lead sentence (at least) needs to provide more context for the reader. What time period? Who says this? Perhaps this can be a separate section, which would be great, so needs to be rewritten slightly in relation to the rest of the article. Keep up the good work! ProfGray (talk) 15:32, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

The Covenant With Abraham in Gen. XV[edit]

Hello, I am a student at Miami University. After reading a journal by Weinfeld, I believe I have some interesting information to add to this page. I am interested in adding more information to the covenant with Abraham involving the grant covenant. Also, I would like to add more about Genesis 15 and the sacrificial aspect it has.AL2015 (talk) 16:04, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Abraham's Covenant Roles[edit]

Hello, I am also a student at Miami University. Also based on a journal by Weinfeld, I had a few things I think would be beneficial in pointing out in terms of covenants. I would like to add info about the roles taken on by God and Abraham in terms of the structure of the obligatory covenant. Also adding in what parts of the covenant follow the structure of obligatory covenants and what parts don't. I think this would be beneficial for this page. Any advice or comments are welcome. Thank you. Dkcincy (talk) 17:21, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Abrahamic and Davidic covenants as grants[edit]

Hi there! I'm a student at Miami University enrolled in a course on the Hebrew Bible. I found an interesting comparison and analysis in an article written by Moshe Weinfeld that suggests that the covenants between God and Abraham and God and David are modeled after grants, forms of treaties used in Near East antiquity. This idea would be useful under either the Abrahamic or Davidic covenant sections (or perhaps in a new section?) Sctimmons (talk) 17:50, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

David and the covenant[edit]

Hi, I am also a student at Miami University enrolled in a hebrew bible class. PG .193-194

Weinfield begins talking about David and how he is mentioned in the old testament. David is known in a few sources as the first born, and how many of gods decedents are alike, however being the first born is a much more significant role. There is a hebrew word mentioning that he was appointed which is his divine right and not one by luck. He was given land and how he shall refer to him as the "father". These pages mention and use words in a family setting to explain the relationship of David and the other states in an easier way. he explains how exactly David became to be known in the pentateuch however some parts are left with gaps making is difficult to understand. Adrugby (talk) 18:04, 11 March 2015 (UTC)


Promissory and Obligatory Covenants[edit]

I would also like to add to the information in this article concerning the differences between promissory and obligatory covenants, and how they are able to be related to the royal grant and political treaty legal documents in biblical times. Specifically, I plan to focus on how these are related to the Davidic and Abrahamic covenants. Slfirme (talk) 18:34, 11 March 2015 (UTC) [2]

Unconditional gift section -- problems[edit]

This section has several problems, User:IMcayat. First, it doesn't reference any secondary, reliable source, such as academic Biblical scholarship. Second, it seems to rely on the Bible itself as a source, which isn't suitable for Wikipedia and thus appears as original research. Third, it seems to lack a Neutral Point of View -- for instance with "There is a grace that will be bestowed upon his children even in the midst of their sins." -- and NPOV is necessary here. Finally, it's not clear why this deserves its own section and can't be integrated elsewhere -- which covenant is this section about? ProfGray (talk) 17:19, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Weinfeld, M. "The Covenant of Grant in the Old Testament and in the Ancient near East." Journal of the American Oriental Society 1970: 184. JSTOR Journals.
  2. ^ Weinfeld, M. "The Covenant of Grant in the Old Testament and in the Ancient near East." Journal of the American Oriental Society 1970: 182-185. JSTOR Journals.