The Eight Covenants

by Joseph Hunting

God has made eight covenants with mankind. They are as follows:-

1. EDENIC (Genesis 1:28-30)

2. ADAMIC (Genesis 3:15)

3. NOAHIC (Genesis 9:1ff)

4. ABRAHAMIC (Genesis 12:1-3)

5. MOSIAC (Exodus 19:25ff)

6. CANAANIC (Deuteronomy 30:1-10)

7. DAVIDIC (II Samuel 7:8-16)

8. NEW COVENANT (Jeremiah 31:31-34)


During the sixth day of creation "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them". Adam and Eve were the last of God's creative acts. They were given dominion over every living thing and told to be fruitful and multiply. The Edenic covenant covered the period of time when all life, human, animal and vegetable flourished in a condition unmarred by sin and its effects.


The idyllic condition of the Garden of Eden was shattered when Adam and Eve disobeyed God by partaking of the tree "whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat."

This single act of disobedience by our first parents had devastating results which have continued through the years of time to our present age.

(a) The serpent was cursed above all animals.

(b) The "Seed" of the woman was promised.

(c) "Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children . . . "

(d) The earth itself was cursed. "Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee".

(e) Physical death resulted from spiritual death. "In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."


During the centuries that followed Adam and Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth and it grieved him at his heart." (Genesis 6:5-6)

The earth and all flesh with the exception of Noah and his family were subsequently destroyed in the deluge. Following the flood, "God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him saying: behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; . . . ; and I will establish my covenant with you: neither shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth." (Genesis 9:8-9,11)


Nowadays, with all our technological development and leisure time at our disposal few men at 75 are looking for fresh fields to conquer. On the contrary, it would be fair to say that in our modern society most of us at 75 would be content to enjoy our homes, families and grandchildren with just enough outside interests to keep us from dying of boredom.

Not so with Abraham. At 75 years of age he was uprooted from his home, family, friends and life-long associations he had in the city of Ur in Chaldea. Certainly this is not a new experience for many thousands, even in our modern society when war or physical disasters such as the Darwin cyclone strike. Abraham left the security and pleasures of his society because God told him to. "Now the Lord had said unto Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee.

"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: AND IN THEE SHALL ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED." (Genesis 12:1-3)

No one can deny that God has raised up a great and very wonderful nation from the seed of Abraham. Israel's redemption from slavery out of Egypt 3,500 years ago is still being talked about as is their current re-entry into the land which God promised to them.

God did bless Abraham as few men have ever been blessed either before or since.

Abraham was a blessing to all who knew him during his lifetime and his extraordinary faith in God has been an inspiration to countless millions since, including myself.

3,500 years of history testify to the rise and fall of individuals, nations and empires according to the promise, "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee." It still remains for the last promise to come to pass. To be sure, the world has been enriched beyond measure as the result of Abraham's descendants. The greatest treasure the world can boast is their history book, the Bible. The greatest blessings the world has ever known have come to us because of Abraham's most illustrious descendant, Jesus Christ. Yet, no one can say we have even remotely arrived at the time when ALL the families of the earth are blessed. Indeed, the starving millions, oppressed millions, suffering millions, together with war and unrest on a global scale, prove that point.

In spite of what appears to the contrary God is going to fulfil this particular promise to Abraham: "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed". Isaiah assures us that "since the beginning of the world men have not heard, or perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what He has prepared for them that wait for Him." (Isaiah 64:4) One day, incredible as it may seem, God's blessing upon this planet with reach saturation point. "No man shall say to his neighbour, know the Lord? For they shall all know Him from the least of them to the greatest of them" and "the knowledge of the glory of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea." (Jeremiah 31:34, Habakkuk 2:14).


Let us follow Abraham in his journeyings through the land to which God had led him. Some forty years after He called him out of Ur God spoke again to Abraham: "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." (Genesis 22:2)

Some time previously God had commanded Abraham to "cast out the bondwoman and her son". Hagar and Ishmael were to have no part in the blessing God promised to Abraham and his seed. The command to disinherit Ishmael would have been a severe test of Abraham's obedience. Ishmael was the firstborn, and under the patriarchal system would have precedence over his brethren. But this second command to offer Isaac as a burnt offering upon Mt. Moriah must have shaken Abraham to the very core of his being. A command to slay his son would shatter any father. However, note the very words God uses. "Take now thy son, THINE ONLY SON, whom thou lovest"! In offering Isaac as a sacrifice upon Mt. Moriah Abraham would destroy all hope of God fulfilling His promise: 'IN THEE SHALL ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED."

Deeply ponder the events that led up to the climax on the summit of Mt. Moriah. As they approached Moriah "Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, AND COME AGAIN TO YOU." Was Abraham deliberately deceiving his travelling companions? Or was his faith such that he knew God would have to raise his son from the dead in order to fulfil His promise of universal blessing? I believe it was the later.


Next, Isaac enquired of his father, "Behold, the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide Himself with a lamb . . . ". In his heart Abraham knew what God required of him. Isaac was to be that lamb!

What follows reveals Abraham's extraordinary obedience. Isaac was bound and placed upon the altar "And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son." In that split second of time before the knife plunged into Isaac's heart the Angel of the Lord intervened with the shout from heaven, "ABRAHAM, ABRAHAM . . . LAY NOT THINE HAND UPON THE LAD, NEITHER DO THOU ANYTHING UNTO HIM: FOR NOW I KNOW THAT THOU FEAREST GOD, SEEING THOU HAST NOT WITHHELD THY SON, THINE ONLY SON FROM ME. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him for a burnt offering in the stead of his son."

How wonderfully the Scriptures portray in type the far greater truths yet to be unveiled. This is the one incident where a lamb with thorns about its head was slain on Mt. Moriah as the substitute for Isaac, foreshadowing an event that was to take place on the same mount, two thousand years later, when another thorn-crowned Lamb was sacrificed for the sins of all mankind. How truly "Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said this day, (or today) In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen". (Genesis 22:14)

There is a beautiful sequel to the drama that has just been unfolded. Because of Abraham's obedience "the Angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.


(Next month, THE NEW COVENANT)