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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 1349 covenant, God’s at Sinai
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1349 covenant, God’s at Sinai

1349 covenant, God’s at Sinai

God’s faithful commitment, made in pursuance of his promises to Abraham, to acknowledge the newly-redeemed Israel as his own special people. Israel’s required response to the grace of God in election was to be holiness and obedience to the law.

The occasion of the covenant

The covenant fulfilled God’s promises to Abraham Dt 29:12-13 See also Ex 2:24; Ex 6:4-8; Dt 7:8

The covenant followed Israel’s redemption from slavery Jer 34:13 God’s covenant at Sinai was made in the context of his historical acts of deliverance. Covenants (“treaties”) between a supreme (suzerain) overlord and a subordinate ruler (vassal) are well known in ancient Near Eastern writings. They are not “agreements” but “requirements”. See also Ex 20:2 pp Dt 5:6; Lev 26:45

The covenant was mediated through Moses Ex 34:27; Lev 26:46; Dt 29:1; Jn 1:17

The covenant was accompanied by signs of God’s presence Ex 19:18-19; Ex 20:18-19; Ex 24:16; Ps 68:8

Sealing the covenant

Sharing a meal Ex 24:11

Offering a sacrifice Ex 24:5-8; Ps 50:5

God’s oath Dt 28:9; Dt 29:14; Eze 16:8

Israel’s promise Ex 19:8; Ex 24:3,7

The covenant relationship

Israel as God’s people Dt 7:6 See also Ex 19:5-6; Lev 26:12; Dt 14:2; Jer 13:11

Israel adopted into God’s family Hos 11:1 See also Dt 1:30-31; Dt 8:5; Isa 63:16; Mal 2:10

Israel as God’s bride Jer 2:2 See also Isa 54:5-8; Jer 31:32; Eze 16:8; Hos 2:14-16

The blessings of the covenant

Inheriting God’s promises Dt 6:3; Dt 26:18-19; Dt 28:9; Jos 23:5

Provision and protection Lev 26:3-13; Dt 28:1-14 This pattern of blessings and curses is also a feature of Near Eastern political treaties.

The requirements of the covenant

Obedience to the law Ex 24:7; Ex 34:27-28 See also Dt 4:13; Jos 8:31; Ne 8:1

Holiness Dt 14:2 Israel has been made holy through her election as the covenant people of God. The ensuing call for holiness is a call to work out the implications of that relationship and to live in accordance with its demands; Lev 11:45 See also Lev 20:26

Wholehearted devotion Ex 34:14; Dt 10:12 See also Ex 23:32; Dt 4:23; Dt 6:5; Dt 10:20; Jos 24:14-15

Breaking the covenant

The consequences of breaking the covenant Disease: Lev 26:15-16; Dt 28:21-22 Drought and crop failure: Lev 26:19-20; Dt 28:23-24 Defeat by enemies: Lev 26:17,25; Dt 28:25 Exile from the land: Lev 26:32-33; Dt 28:36-37; Jos 23:16; Eze 17:19-20

Israel’s unfaithfulness to the covenant Ps 78:37 See also 2Ki 18:12; 1Ch 5:25; Jer 3:8; Jer 11:10; Eze 16:32; Hos 6:7

God’s commitment to the covenant

God’s covenant of love Dt 7:9 “love” translates the Hebrew word “hesed”, which here expresses God’s loyalty and faithful commitment to his covenant people. See also Ne 1:5; Da 9:4

The everlasting covenant Eze 16:60 God’s faithfulness to the covenant at Sinai will result in a new covenant that will never come to an end. See also Isa 61:8; Jer 32:40

Renewing the covenant

Lev 26:40-45; Dt 29:1; Jos 24:22-25; 2Ki 23:3 pp 2Ch 34:31

See also

1035God, faithfulness
4269Sinai, Mount
5377law, Ten Commandments

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