The Treaty Of The Old Testament

1718 WordsDec 7, 20157 Pages
Introduction In the days of the Old Testament, if you wanted to make a deal with someone, you could either make a promise, or make a covenant with them. However, an important distinction needs to be made here. A promise can be broken without severe consequence. To the people of the Ancient Near East, a covenant closely resembled a Suzerainty Treaty; this was a legal bond between two parties, one being the Suzerain with power, and another being the Vassal, that is agreeing to help from the Suzerain. The treaty describes blessings that will occur from Suzerain to Vassal if the treaty is upheld, and cursings if it is not. This document would be accompanied by a ceremony that involved the cutting of animals into halves, laying the halves into…show more content…
The sign of the covenant is a rainbow, mentioned in Gen. 9:13. Following such a devastating scale of destruction by water, God wanted His bow to be a sign whenever clouds appeared that He would be faithful to His covenant with all flesh on earth. The character of God described through this covenant is His great care for every aspect of His creation. Through Genesis 9:9-11, God describes in great detail who and what shall benefit from the covenant He makes with Noah. He not only mentions Noah’s immediate family (which in turn is the peoples of the earth), but even goes as far to describe His care for the beasts of the earth. Busenlitz says "The reason for such detail is to make the divine concern for even the least of the creatures strongly apparent” (p 184). God’s incredible care for His people carries over into the next covenant, with assurances of not only earthly glories, but heavenly also. Abrahamic Covenant The Abrahamic covenant is God’s assurance to make Abraham’s name great, but eventually make His name greater. The main promises associated with the Abrahamic covenant are “I will give all these lands”, “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky”, and “through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed” (Niehaus, 251-52). This covenant was
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