Covenant Theology: The Relationship of the Jewish People to God and Israel

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Covenant theology: The relationship of the Jewish people to God and Israel In the Torah, the bond between Israel and God is negotiated in terms of a covenant, or a legal obligation. "The relation of man to the Deity was also conceived of in Biblical times as a covenant concluded by God with certain men or nations, from which all laws derived their sanctity and perpetuity. God, when creating the heavens and the earth, made a covenant with them to observe the rules of day and night" (Covenant, 1906, The Jewish Encyclopedia). The original covenant is often called the general, or Noahide covenant between God and humanity. This exists regardless of whether one is a gentile or Jew: "Jewish law grants all non-Jews who accept these laws of civilization social and theological rights everywhere, as well as residency rights in a Jewish religious polity" (Korn, n.d.). These rules of civilization include just enforcement of social laws; prohibiting blasphemy; not engaging in idolatry; not engaging in immoral sexual behavior; prohibiting murder; prohibiting theft; and not eating live animals (Korn, n.d.). However, there is also a special covenant between the Jewish people and God which began with Abraham and Abraham's circumcision and was renewed on Mount Sinai with Moses. Jews are obligated to adhere to the 613 commandments of Mosaic Law to honor this covenant. A covenant implies a 'two-way' exchange in which one person owes obligations to another, based upon his or her reciprocal
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