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Unformatted text preview: Abrahamic Covenant Types of divine-human covenants in the biblical narrative Covenant: A durable personal relationship to which one or both parties are obligated. Two Types: Promisory Covenant = oath/promise A covenant where only one party is obligated to fulfill the specific demands of the relationship Sustaining and preserving of the relationship depends upon one party, i.e., God. Obligatory Covenant = treaty/law A covenant where both parties are obligated to fulfill the specific demands of the relationship. It is conditional upon the people's obedience to the covenant stipulations and upon God's faithfulness to Gen 12-50 God's Covenant with the Patriarchs Abraham Gen 12 Blessing for all nations (fivefold blessing to overturn fivefold curse in Gen 311) Gen 15 Covenant sacrifice / Abraham reckoned as righteous for believing God's promise Gen 17 Sign of the covenant (circumcision) Isaac Gen 26:1-5 What type of covenant is the Abrahamic Covenant? Tensions in the text Gen 15:6 (promissory?) Gen 22:15 (cf. 26:5; obligatory?) A Promissory Covenant Gen 12:1-3 Only God makes a promise to Abraham Gen 15:17-21 Only God passes through the covenant sacrifice God remains faithful even when the Patriarchs are faithless. Hagar / Ishmael Abraham / Sarah Jacob and Esau Joseph and his brothers The importance of reading the Abrahamic narrative in its Sirach 44:19-21 narrative sequence Gen 15 and 17 read in light of Gen 22; in other words, Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac proved God's choice of Abraham was right and that he was a keeper of God's law. 1 Macc 2:51-52 Gen 15 read in light of Gen 22 Josephus (Ant. 1.222-236): a demonstration of Abraham's piety and virtue, i.e., worthiness of God's care. James 2:21-23 Gen 22 read in light of Gen 15 Hebrews 11:17-19 Gen 22 read in light of Gen 15 and 17 Romans 4:9-12 The fact that Gen 15 precedes Gen 17 demonstrates that God's justification is for both the Jew ("circumcised") and What is the content of the Abrahamic Covenant? Land "promised land" = Canaan = Palestine Descendents (through his wife, Sarah, and their son, Isaac) What is the purpose of the Abrahamic covenant? To bless all peoples/nations. God has chosen the geographical stage upon which God is going to carry out His plan of redemption, a specific world culture through which He will communicate His revelation, and He has chosen the specific people through whom the plan will begin to be fulfilled. The Gospel of Matthew and the Abrahamic covenant Chapter 1 genealogy begins with Abraham and ends with Jesus Chapter 28 Jesus commissions disciples to take his gospel to all nations Narrative subplot: Israel Jesus Church/New Israel What does Gen 12-50 tells about God? Can God be trusted? God's promise is always being threatened Bareness (Sarah) Famine (Isaac, Jacob) Faithlessness (Abraham, Jacob) YES! God is faithful to what He has promised and powerful to fulfill that promise. His promise will not fail. The last reference of the Abrahamic covenant is at the end of Genesis (50:24). Does God always act in a way that is understandable to humans? NO! look at the life of Joseph. Gen 45:5-8 "And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. . ." What does Gen 12-50 tell us about Israel's ancestors and humans? Were the Patriarchs always able to trust God? God's word brings life and order Faithlessness and disobedience reintroduce chaos. Adam and Eve (eat the forbidden fruit) Abraham and Sarah (attempt to fulfill promise through Hagar) Rebecca and Jacob (deceive Isaac to get the blessing) What does this say about the goodness-evil of humans? All humanity is corrupt/faithless and evil still resides in even the righteous. ...
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- Spring '08