The Jews and the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants
The Jews and the Abrahamic Covenant
The Abrahamic Covenant is what defines Israel as God’s people in all ages; the Mosaic Covenant is what defined the nation of Israel in a particular time of history when they became a nation before they turned away from God and rejected the messiah.
The OT establishes the following:
I. The Abrahamic covenant was unconditional (Gen.15), could not be broken, and was permanent. The Mosaic covenant was conditional and was eventually broken by the Israelites (Deut.28) and God destroyed them as a nation in 70A.D (until a future time).
II. The “eternal” future of Israel as a nation and God’s people was based upon the Abrahamic Covenant, not the Mosaic Covenant.
Thus we should not be surprised that the Mosaic Covenant was completed in Christ and is no longer a valid covenant.
I. The Abrahamic Covenant is the permanent covenant that God made with the Jews.
A. The Jewish people are defined in God’s eyes by the covenant he made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Three promises were given to Abraham and to his physical descendents (through the line of Isaac and Jacob – the Jews)
1) The great land (of Canaan)
2) The great nation
3) Blessing to all the world through them
Gen.15: 1-21 God ratified these promises in a covenant, which was unconditional (demonstrated by the fact that only God passed between the sacrifice)
Notice the prediction of Israel becoming a nation after its slavery in Egypt was first part of the Abrahamic covenant, not the Mosaic covenant.
Gen.22:15-18 God repeated his unconditional covenant to Abraham
Gen.26:1-6 God repeated the Abrahamic covenant to Isaac “…and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.”
Gen.28:10-15 God repeated the Abrahamic covenant to Jacob “I am the LORD God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac…”
II. The Mosaic Covenant was a temporary Covenant given to Israel to govern itself as a nation during the time before the messiah came.
MC = Mosaic Covenant AC = Abrahamic Covenant
A. The Mosaic covenant defined them as a nation in terms of possessing the land before the messiah came, not after the messiah came.
The conditional nature of the covenant shows that it was not part of the Abrahamic covenant.
When God promises that he will save a remnant, he goes back to the promises of Abraham not Moses. Under the Mosaic covenant, there is no mercy for the Israelites violating the covenant.
The Israelites have violated the Mosaic Covenant and will be destroyed according to the curses of the MC. However, God will not consume all of them according to the Abrahamic covenant (demonstrated by mention of Jacob) V.6 “For I am the LORD, I change not [from what I promised in the Abrahamic Covenant] therefore ye sons of Jacob [he whom I gave the AC to] are not consumed [completely and utterly wiped off the face of the earth].
God says that if the Israelites violate the Mosaic covenant he will judge them and if they do not repent he will keep judging them until they are scattered everywhere and are finally at the end of the line.
Then in v.40-41 God says that if they humble themselves, he will restore them according to the Abrahamic covenant.
V. 42 “Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham [AC, not MC] will I remember; and I will remember the land. v.43 The land also shall be deserted, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lies desolate without them: and they shall accept the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes. v.44 And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God. v. 45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors [Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob = AC], whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.”
The Lord is saying that he will rescue them when they are at the end of the line and finally humble themselves before him because of his unconditional covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This will actually take place just before Jesus returns the second time (Zech.14).
Other OT passages show that God does not destroy Israel completely because of the AC, not the MC.
"Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.v. 4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. v.5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and nations that did not know you shall run to you because of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he has glorified you.. Jer.33:19-26 2 Ki.13:20-24
Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Covenant. Matt.5:17-18
“Do not think that I came to destroy the law, or the prophets: I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, ‘Until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the law, until all is fulfilled.”
v. 16 "The law and the prophets existed until John. Since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”
And he said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. v.45 Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, v.46 And said to them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48And you are witnesses of these things. 49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but wait in the city of Jerusalem, until you are endued with power from on high.”
Jn.1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
III. Certain provisions, which were a part of the Mosaic Covenant, were given to Israel to accomplish apart from the Mosaic Covenant.
A. The Sabbath Exod.31:15 15Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed
The Sabbath is celebrated by Israel during the millennial kingdom in order to fulfill this statement by God, but not as a fulfillment of the Mosaic Covenant. We know this because the Sabbath sacrifices are not the same as the Mosaic covenant
Sacrifices The Millennial sacrifices are not Mosaic, they are different.
This shows that during the millennial kingdom the MC is not restored, but the AC is fulfilled.
The millennium is the fulfillment of the AC, not the MC which means that the AC continues, but not the Mosaic. The MC had no mercy attached to it.
In the future [millennial kingdom], Israel will inhabit the land promised them and will be a great nation according to the Abrahamic Covenant
“Listen to me, you that follow after righteousness, you that seek the LORD. Look to the rock from which you have been hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah that bore you, for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him [Abrahamic covenant]. For the LORD shall comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.”
All this means that a Jewish Christian should be looking at the Abrahamic Covenant to define who he or she is, not the Mosaic Covenant! By the way so do Gentile Christians (remember the third promise of the AC).