Class 10: The Covenants
What is a covenant?
Between God and man, it refers to an alliance of friendship or a divine ordinance with signs or pledges. Sometimes a covenant was entered into by a meal together. Adapted from Strong’s Concordance
Covenants in the scriptures can include many things and aren’t necessarily involved with just our salvation. Other covenants include promises the Lord has made regarding giving people land, agreements, etc. Part of the purpose of the Book of Mormon is so that the people would know of the covenants the Lord has made with them.
There are several instances in the scriptures where people entered into covenants with the Lord.
Enoch – That a remnant would remain after the flood. Genesis 7:58, 79
Noah – That all nations would come from him. Genesis 8:18-28
Noah – That Zion would again come on the earth. Rainbow is the sign. Genesis 9:15-25
Abram – That he is to be a father of many nations. Circumcision is the sign. Genesis 13:12-15; 14:40; 15:21; 17:2-20
Isaac – The same as the covenant with Abraham. Genesis 17:25, 28
People of Israel – Same as with Abraham. Exodus 2:24, 6:4-5; 24:7-8; 34:10-14, 27-28; Leviticus 26:1-14, 39-45; Deuteronomy 4:13, 31; 5:2; 7:9, 12; 8:18; 9:9-17; 26:16-19; 29:12-13; II Samuel 23:1-5; I Kings 8:21-23; II Kings 11:17;13:23; 23:2-3, 21; I Chronicles 16:15-17; II Chronicles 15:12-15; 23:16; 29:10; 34:30-32; Nehemiah 9:7-8, 38; Psalms 50:5; 89:3, 28, 34; 103:17-18; 105:8-10; 106:45; 111:5-9; Acts 3:25; 7:8
What specifically was the original or old covenant that was made by the Lord with the People?
Exodus 19:5-6; Leviticus 26:3, 11-13; Jeremiah 11:3-5 – They will be God’s people or treasure
Exodus 32:13 – They were promised land forever
Exodus 34:27-28 – The words or form of the covenant was the Ten Commandments
In other words, the people of Israel had a written set of commandments that they were supposed to adhere to. If they kept these commandments, they would live in the promise land forever and God would be among them. These commandments were kept in the Ark of the Covenant.
What else was contained in the Ark of the Covenant?
I Kings 8:9; II Chronicles 5:10; 6:11
When not being transported, the Ark of the Covenant was kept behind the second veil of the temple (Hebrews 9:3-4).
The important thing to note here is that the law that was to be followed was physically separated from the people. This is in contrast to the New Covenant, which we will get into.
What is the difference between the first tables of stone that Moses received and the second?
Exodus 34:1-2; Deuteronomy 10:2
Is priesthood, then, an important part of the covenant? We will get to this.
Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant. Galatians 3:19
One final note about the Old Covenant is that Jesus fulfilled the law. III Nephi 7:6-12
The Old Covenant was violated several times and eventually was completely broken. This resulted in God judging the people and scattering them.
Deuteronomy 31:16-22 – Prophecy of breaking of the covenant
Joshua 7:11-15; 23:16; Judges 2:20-23; I Kings 19:9-15; II Kings 17:15, 32-41; 18:11-13; Psalms 55:20; 78:9-11, 36-38; 89:39; Isaiah 24:5; Jeremiah 11:10; 22:8-9; 34:13-22; Ezekiel 16:59; 44:7; Hosea 8:1; Malachi 2:4-8
Despite the fact that God turned away from the people, there is still hope.
Transitioning to the New Covenant:
What is the symbolic nature of the two covenants?
Galatians 3:17-20; 4:22-31
Prophecies of the New Covenant:
Genesis 50:25-31; Jeremiah 31:31-34; 32:40; Ezekiel 16:59-63; 37:24-28
Jesus is part of the New Covenant.
Isaiah 42:5-7; 49:7-9; 55:1-4; Malachi 3:1; Luke 1:67-74; I Nephi 6:38
What is the New Covenant?
Hebrews 8:7-12; 9:11-17; 10:16-18
What then is the difference between the Old and New Covenant?
In part, the difference is where the law resides. In the Old Covenant, the law resided on the tables of stone in the Ark of the Covenant. In the New Covenant, God will write the law into our hearts and minds. Does this remind us of the definition of Zion we talked about in class 9?
Has the New Covenant been fulfilled completely?
I Nephi 3:237; 4:17, 28-29; III Nephi 7:29
What about Zion and the New or Everlasting Covenant we often talk about?
Genesis 9:18-23; I Nephi 5:253; Ether 1:112
Is the gathering part of the New Covenant?
III Nephi 9:47-49, 54-106; 10:1-8; Mormon 2:42-49; Ether 9:12
The words or form of the New or Everlasting Covenant is the fullness of the Gospel.
DC 39:3e; 66:1b; 83:8; 108:11a
Bringing forth and fulfilling of the covenants
I Nephi 7:20-25; II Nephi 7:12-13; III Nephi 2:108; 7:34-38; 13:54-62
A land is promised
What is the purpose of the church?
Other interesting scriptures:
II Nephi 12:77-78; DC 34:6a; 45:2d; 49:2d; 94:2f; 98:5k
Things to ponder for next week:
What is the fullness of the gospel?
What is the gathering?