Textual Notes on "The Covenant"
-v. 1 - God assures Abram.
-v. 2-4 - Abram's confusion.
-v. 5-6 - God promises Abram numberless seed. Abram believes God, and it is reckoned to him for righteousness.
-v. 7-8 - God promises to give "this land" to Abram (his seed, v. 18). Abram seeks confirmation.
-v. 9-11 - God instructs Abram to divide and lay out a 3 year-old heifer, 3 year-old she-goat, 3 year-old ram, a turtle dove and a pigeon. He did so and kept the scavengers away.
-v. 12-16 - While Abram is in a deep sleep God revealed the future of his descendants, their affliction, and their release from it.
-v. 17 - Smoke and fire "passed between" the animal carcasses. cf. Jer. 34:18-20.
-v. 18-20 - "In that day Jehovah made a covenant with Abram" -- "Unto thy seed have I given this land."
1. "Cutting a covenant" was a confirmation procedure, verifying or validating
the commitment of the one(s) entering into the covenant.
2. The LAND PROMISE is the "covenant" God confirmed to Abram in Genesis 15. - v. 7-8, 18. cf. Exod. 6:4-5
3. By necessary implication, Abram concluded that he would have offspring -Eliezer would not be his heir - v. 2-3.
-v. 23 - Cries of relief from the affliction of Israel in Egyptian bondage went up unto
-v. 24 - God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
-v. 25 - God knew their situation and was about to act in keeping with His covenant (promise).
-v. 2-3 - God introduces himself as YAHWEH (Jehovah).
-v. 4 - The covenant God here speaks of is the LAND PROMISE (Gen. 15:7, 18-20). It has already been "established" (cf. Gen. 15:13-17).
-v. 5 - God has seen Israel's suffering & remembered His covenant.
-v. 6-7 - God reaffirms His covenant: He will free (redeem) Israel with "great judgments" & Israel would live in fellowship with Him.
-v. 8 - He would give Israel the land He swore to Abraham -- They would receive their heritage (or inheritance). "I am Jehovah" -- Basis of assurance - God would do what He said.
-v. 5 - Obeying God's voice is equivalent to keeping His covenant.
1) Therefore, God's covenant with Israel consisted of promises, provisions (commands, statutes, laws), and blessings (present, and future).
2) This formula outlined:
a. Promises: Great Nation, Land of Canaan (Gen. 12:2-3, et al.).
b. Provisions: Obey My voice (Exod. 19:5).
c. Blessings: My possession, kingdom of priests, holy nation (Exod. 19:6).
** Psalms 25:10: All the paths of Jehovah are loving-kindness and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
-v. 6 - Israel would be distinct from the other nations.
-v. 4 - Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah (this is the "book of the
covenant," v. 7) and built an altar.
-v. 5 - Offerings were made to Jehovah.
-v. 6 - Moses sprinkled half the blood on the altar.
-v. 7 - Moses read the book of the covenant and Israel acknowledged that they would be obedient to the covenant.
-v. 8 - Moses sprinkled the blood upon the people (and the book, Heb. 9:19-20).
-v. 3-8 - If Israel obeyed God's statutes & keep His commandments to do them, then
they would be blessed (crops, peace from enemies, safe living conditions, victory over
-v. 9-13 - When Israel was obedient, God would "establish" His covenant with them. That is, He would bless them contingent upon their obedience, as the covenant stated.
1) v. 11 - Then God would dwell among them.
a. If Israel rebelled God would no longer dwell with them. Does this mean HE DIDN'T KEEP COVENANT WITH ISRAEL (Deut. 7:9)? NO, IT SHOWS THE CONDITIONAL NATURE OF HIS COVENANT (Deut. 7:10-11).
b. cf. Jer. 7:12-15; 25:1-11; 35:12-17; Ezek. 12:17-20; 28:25-26.
** Jeremiah 11:6-8: 6 And Jehovah said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them. 7 For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. 8 Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the stubbornness of their evil heart: therefore I brought upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did them not. (cf. Jer. 11:9-13)
2) v. 12 - God would walk with Israel if they were disobedient - cf. Amos 3:1-3
3) v. 13 - God could and would accomplish His word, just as He had by bringing Israel out of Egyptian bondage.
-v. 13 - God declared His covenant to Israel - Which He "commanded" them to
1) 4:10 - At Horeb, God spoke to Israel that they might learn to fear Him.
2) The 10 commandments are identified as "His covenant, which He commanded you to perform...."
-v. 14 - God commanded Moses to teach Israel "statutes and ordinances" to obey in the land of promise. (cf. 4:5)
** Exodus 34:27-28: And Jehovah said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with Jehovah forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
** Deuteronomy 9:9: When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which Jehovah made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights; I did neither eat bread nor drink water.
** 2 Chronicles 6:11: And there have I set the ark, wherein is the
covenant of Jehovah, which he made with the children of Israel.
-v. 1 - Israel must listen, learn and observe to do "the statutes and the
ordinances" Moses would speak to them that day.
-v. 2 - God made a covenant with Israel in Horeb (Mt. Sinai) - cf. Exod. 19-20, 24.
-v. 1-5 - Israel not to make covenants with the inhabitants of the land.
-v. 6-8 - Because they were to remain a holy people, God's possession.
-v. 9-10 - God keeps covenant:
1) v. 9 - Loving-kindness with those who love Him and keep His commands.
2) v. 10 - Repays those who hate Him (punishment sure).
-v. 11 - Therefore, Israelis commanded to keep God's commandments.
-Here, come have said that "covenant means two parties make a faithful commitment to each other."
--But in reality, God's covenant is conditional: if a person is faithful, God will reward that faithfulness with His mercy; if man is unfaithful, God remains faithful and will execute the punishment of the covenant upon the evil-doer.
-Please note that the word "covenant" is not in this passage, but the concept
-Does speak of God's requirements: Fear God, walk, love, serve, keep the commandments, do not be stiff-necked, love the sojourner, cleave to Jehovah.
-Hebrews 8:6-13 and 10:15-18 give the Holy Spirit's interpretation of this prophecy. We should be content to accept His explanations (2 Pet. 1:19-21).
-v. 31 - God would make a new covenant with Israel and Judah.
-v. 32 - Not according to the covenant he made with their fathers at Mt. Sinai which they broke. (cf. Jer. 11:6-13)
-v. 33 - "After those days" - A Messianic pronouncement (cf. Joel 2:28). After the days of punishment would come the blessings of the Messiah's covenant.
-v. 33 - Intimate fellowship between God and His people would be established under the conditions of this "new covenant."
-v. 34 - Under this new covenant there would be an offering for sin that would bring no more remembrance of sin to occur.
---Hebrews 8:6-13 and 10:15-18 show the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:31-34 (see charts).