At our weekly Bible study, we delve into the deep truths of Scripture and learn how to apply them to our daily lives. One important theme that we encounter time and time again is the concept of covenants. Covenants are crucial not only in the Bible but also in our daily lives. Today I explore the covenants in the Bible. So, how many times is a covenant mentioned in the Bible?
The word covenant is mentioned approximately 290 times, depending on the translation. For example, it is mentioned 297 times in the New International Version and 292 times in King James Version. It also appears approximately 265 times in the Old Testament and 30 times in New Testament. In the Bible, we see God making covenants with His people, and we can learn much about His character through these covenants.
In this article, I will look at what the Bible says about covenants and biblical references about covenants. Read on to learn more.
What is a Covenant in the Bible?
In the Bible, a covenant refers to a formal agreement or relationship between two parties, one being God and the other being a person or a group of people. Oaths, signs, and ceremonies are frequently performed alongside them. There were many covenants made in the Bible, and they included the invoking of blessings and curses. Covenants were initiated by God without negotiation from the human party and were renewed or reaffirmed throughout history as a way of reminding the parties involved of their commitment to each other. For example, the renewal of the Covenant at Mount Sinai as described in the book of (Deuteronomy 30).
What does the Bible say about covenants?
In the books of the Old Testament, God made covenants with various individuals and groups, such as David, Moses, Abraham, and Noah. These covenants established the terms of the relationship between God and His people, and signs and symbols accompanied them to help people remember their commitments. As an illustration, the covenant with Noah was symbolized by the rainbow, whereas Abraham’s covenant was represented by circumcision, and the Sabbath symbolized Moses’ covenant.
In the New Testament, Jesus established a new covenant through His death and resurrection. This new covenant is based on faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, and it offers forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who believe. The apostle Paul used the concept of covenant to explain the relationship between God and believers in Jesus. For example, in Galatians 3:15-29, Paul compares the covenant with Abraham to the new covenant in Jesus Christ, showing how the promises made to Abraham are fulfilled in Christ.
What are the covenants in the Bible?
The covenant with Noah was made after the flood, and God promised never to destroy the earth by flood again. The sign of the covenant was the rainbow (Genesis 9:8-17)
The covenant with Abraham: God promised to make Abraham the father of a great nation and to give him and his descendants the land of Canaan. The sign of the covenant was circumcision (Genesis 12:1-3)
The covenant with Moses was made when God gave the Ten Commandments and other laws to the Israelites through Moses. It established the terms of the relationship between God and the Israelites and included blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. The sign of the covenant was the Sabbath (Exodus 19-24 )
The covenant with David promised that David’s dynasty would be established forever and that one of his descendants would rule over Israel forever. The sign of the covenant was the throne of David. (2Samuel 7:8-16)
The new covenant in Jesus Christ is established through Jesus Christ, who is the mediator between God and humanity. It offers forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The sign of the covenant is the blood of Jesus shed on the cross (Luke 22:20, Hebrews 8:6-13).
What is the first appearance of the covenant in the Bible?
The first appearance of a covenant in the Bible is in the book of Genesis 6:17-18 when God makes a covenant with Noah. This covenant was made just before the Great Flood, which God had decided to send as a judgment on the wickedness of humanity.
God tells Noah that He will establish His covenant with him, and he will enter the ark with his sons and wife.
God then gives Noah specific instructions on how to build the ark and gather the animals, and the flood comes and destroys everything on the earth except for Noah, his family, and the animals that were with him in the ark. After the floodwaters recede, God establishes His covenant with Noah, pledging never again to flood the earth and ruin it, placing the rainbow in the sky as a sign of the covenant (Genesis 9:8-17).
Bible references about covenants
This verse illustrates God’s covenant with Noah.
This passage states God’s covenant with Abraham.
This passage illustrates God’s covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai.
This passage states the Covenant blessings and curses.
This verse illustrates God’s covenant with David.
This verse states God’s promise of a new covenant.
This verse states the new covenant in Jesus’ blood.
This passage states God’s covenant with Israel and the Gentiles.
This passage includes Gentiles in the covenant promises.
This verse illustrates Jesus’ role as the mediator of a new covenant.
God promised Abraham offspring, land, and universal blessing, fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:16). Through faith in Jesus Christ. Believers become children of Abraham. Israel received the promised land under Joshua and Solomon but lost it due to sin. However, the promise of land is fulfilled through Jesus Christ’s resurrection, which inaugurates the new creation and will be fully realized in the new creation where God and the Lamb will reign (Revelations 21:1). The promise of universal blessing is fulfilled through Jesus Christ, who includes people from every nation in Abraham’s family.
The covenant with Noah signifies a new beginning and the preservation of life on earth until the end. It is similar to the creation covenant and reminds us that, despite human wickedness, we are still made in God’s image and are blessed with fruitfulness. The flood serves as a warning of the judgment to come 2 Peter 2:5, but the rainbow symbolizes God’s promise to preserve the world until redemption is accomplished and he has withdrawn his weapons of war.
Covenants involve promises and curses for disobedience, so they commonly have both conditional and unconditional elements. The covenant with Israel at Sinai has clear conditions. At the same time, some scholars argue that the covenants with Abraham and David are unqualified, but this is disputed when examining the text in Genesis 7:2 and Samuel 7:14. The relationship between conditional and unconditional elements requires investigation. However, there are exceptions to this principle, such as the unconditional covenant with Noah.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.