A close-up photo capturing an open Bible revealing the seven covenants, beautifully illuminated by a soft beam of light, symbolizing divine promises and faith.

The 7 Major Covenants In The Bible

Covenants play a central role in the biblical narrative. They reveal God’s redemptive plan to restore His relationship with humanity through Jesus Christ. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The 7 major covenants in the Bible are the Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, New, and Everlasting covenants.

In this comprehensive article, we will examine each of these covenants in depth. We’ll look at the context, purpose, main points, and significance of each covenant.

Understanding the covenants provides crucial insight into God’s unfolding plan of salvation and His faithfulness across history.

The Adamic Covenant

The Context

The Adamic Covenant was made between God and Adam in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit.

This covenant outlines God’s plan for the relationship between Himself and humanity after the Fall. It contains both blessings and curses.

The Main Points

  • God curses the serpent used by Satan, indicating that Jesus will eventually defeat Satan (Genesis 3:14-15)
  • Eve and all women after her will suffer pain in childbirth and be under the authority of their husbands (Genesis 3:16)
  • Adam and all humanity after him will have to work hard for food and livelihood (Genesis 3:17-19)
  • Adam and Eve lost access to the Tree of Life and were banished from the perfection of Eden (Genesis 3:22-24)

In essence, this covenant explains the introduction of sin’s curse on creation—difficulty in relationships, hard work, pain, and death.

The Significance

The Adamic Covenant is a sobering illustration of the devastating effects of humanity’s rebellion against God. Yet it also contains the first messianic prophecy, pointing ahead to Jesus’ work of redemption (Genesis 3:15).

It sets the stage for God’s grand plan of salvation unfolding throughout Scripture. This covenant also explains the struggles all humans face in a fallen world.

It provides context for God’s later covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and finally, the New Covenant in Christ. Jesus’ sacrifice reverses the curse of the Adamic Covenant, defeating sin and death.

The Noahic Covenant

The Context

The Noahic Covenant was established between God and Noah after the devastating global Flood recorded in Genesis 6-9. As the Flood wiped out life on earth, God promised to never again destroy the world with a flood.

He gave the rainbow as the sign of this “everlasting covenant between God and every living creature” (Genesis 9:12-16).

The Main Points

The key aspects of the Noahic Covenant include:

  • God promising to never again curse the ground or destroy all life with a flood (Genesis 8:21-22)
  • Granting humanity permission to eat meat, but not meat with blood in it (Genesis 9:3-4)
  • Instituting capital punishment for murder because man is made in God’s image (Genesis 9:5-6)
  • Commanding Noah and his sons to “be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1,7)
  • Establishing the rainbow as a sign of God’s promise not to flood the whole earth again (Genesis 9:8-17)

The Significance

The Noahic Covenant has profound theological significance. It shows God’s desire to continue relations with humanity despite judgment for sin. It establishes human government to restrain evil after the Flood.

Many also see the Noahic Covenant as foundational to biblical covenants revealed later, including those with Abraham, Moses, David, and the New Covenant in Christ.

The covenant sign of the rainbow remains to this day, reminding all generations of God’s faithfulness and mercy according to His promise.

Whenever we see the rainbow stretched across the heavens, believers are reminded of how God preserves His creation now, just as He protected righteous Noah from the Flood (Genesis 6:8).

The Abrahamic Covenant

The Context

The Abrahamic Covenant is one of the most pivotal covenants in the Bible. It was established between God and Abraham in Genesis 12 and 15.

At the time, Abraham was living in Haran when God called him to go to a land He would show him and promised to make him into a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3).

Though Abraham obeyed, his journey wasn’t easy. He had to leave his country and family behind. Still, God reassured Abraham of His promises to bless, protect, and multiply his offspring.

The covenant was later confirmed more formally after Abraham’s battle to rescue Lot (Genesis 15). God had promised the land of Canaan to Abraham’s offspring but he had no children yet.

Despite this, Abraham believed God, and God considered his faith as righteousness (Genesis 15:6).

As a sign of the covenant, God instructed Abraham to sacrifice some animals, cut them in half, and lay the pieces opposite each other. Then God caused Abraham to fall into a deep sleep, and He passed between the divided animal pieces as a smoking oven and burning torch.

This signified that God swore an oath to fulfill His promise to Abraham.

The Main Points

  • God promised to make Abraham a great nation and bless all peoples through him (Genesis 12:2-3)
  • God promised Abraham the land of Canaan as an inheritance for his offspring (Genesis 12:7)
  • Abraham believed God’s promise and this was credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6)
  • God established an unconditional covenant with Abraham sealed by passing between the animal sacrifices (Genesis 15:9-18)
  • As a sign of the covenant, all Abraham’s male descendants were to be circumcised (Genesis 17:9-14)
  • God promised Abraham he would have a son with Sarah in their old age, and many nations would come from him (Genesis 17:15-19)

The Significance

The Abrahamic Covenant is crucial because it marked the beginning of God’s plan to restore humanity from the Fall. Through Abraham, God began fulfilling His promise in Genesis 3:15 to defeat evil and redeem mankind.

The covenant established Abraham’s descendants as God’s chosen people whom He would use to accomplish His purposes and through whom the Savior would eventually come.

The covenant revealed key elements of God’s redemptive plan. God unilaterally obligated Himself to bless Abraham and his offspring. He promised undeserved grace in choosing a people for Himself.

He also established a perpetual covenant that did not depend on Abraham or his descendants, demonstrating His faithfulness, sovereignty and glory.

Additionally, Abraham’s response of believing God’s promise was the model of saving faith for all to follow.

The Mosaic Covenant

The Context

The Mosaic Covenant was made between God and the Israelites at Mount Sinai after the exodus from Egypt. This covenant was mediated by Moses, through whom God gave the Ten Commandments and other laws to govern Israel’s life as God’s chosen people.

The laws covered areas like the sacrificial system, priesthood duties, social responsibilities, justice administration, and guidelines for living a holy life.

This covenant was established after God demonstrated His power through the 10 plagues on Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. The Israelites pledged their loyalty to God at Mount Sinai and promised to obey His laws.

However, the Israelites violated the covenant when they built the golden calf idol while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments.

The Main Points

Here are some key features of the Mosaic Covenant:

  • God promised to make Israel His treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation if they obeyed His commands (Exodus 19:5-6).
  • The Ten Commandments formed the core of this covenant and outlined God’s standards for moral behavior and relationship with Him (Exodus 20:1-17).
  • Detailed laws regarding the sacrificial system, priesthood, social justice, religious festivals, health regulations, and civil laws were also given (Exodus 20-23).
  • Blessings were promised for obedience and curses for disobedience to the covenant stipulations (Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28).
  • Blood sacrifices of animals like lambs and bulls were required to atone for the people’s sins (Leviticus 1-7).
  • The covenant was renewed through a solemn ceremony between God and Israel at Shechem before entering Canaan (Joshua 8:30-35).

The Significance

The Mosaic Covenant marks a pivotal point in Israel’s history. Through this covenant:

  • Israel was constituted as a holy nation set apart for God’s purposes and called to reflect His character. The extensive laws governing daily life were given to shape them into a distinct people.
  • The sacrificial system was instituted as the means of dealing with sin and approaching God. It pointed to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ.
  • The tabernacle was established as the place where God dwelled among His people. Its features prefigured Christ’s role as the only access to God.
  • The priesthood was set up with mediatory and intercessory roles. The office of high priest foreshadowed Christ as our great High Priest.
  • God’s moral law was engraved as the universal standard for human conduct and relationship with God.

Though the Israelites failed to keep the covenant, it remains foundational in God’s redemptive plan. It displays the seriousness of sin, need for sacrifice, and God’s holiness. The promise of blessings presaged the blessings of salvation brought by the New Covenant.

The Davidic Covenant

The Context

The Davidic Covenant was an unconditional covenant made between God and King David through the prophet Nathan in approximately 1000 BC.

God promised David that his throne would be established forever and that one of his descendants would always rule over Israel.

This covenant confirmed God’s intention to establish an eternal kingdom under the rule of the house of David.

The Main Points

The main points of the Davidic Covenant include:

  • God will establish David’s throne/kingdom forever
  • David’s descendant will always sit on his throne
  • David’s kingdom will last forever
  • God will be a father to David’s son (Solomon) and later descendants
  • David’s son and descendants will be God’s sons
  • God will not take his lovingkindness away from David’s line

This covenant confirmed that the Messiah would come from the lineage of David and inherit his throne eternally. It was a significant development in God’s revelation of his plan to redeem and rule humanity.

The Significance

The Davidic Covenant marked a pivotal moment in biblical history. God established a dynasty by promising an everlasting kingdom under David’s lineage. This set the foundation for the coming Messiah who would fulfill this covenant as the ultimate heir to David’s throne.

The Davidic covenant is significant because:

  • It advanced God’s revelation of the Messiah who would inherit David’s throne
  • It presented the Messiah ruling over an eternal kingdom
  • It connected the Messiah to Israel by establishing his credential as the heir of David’s royal lineage
  • It presented the close relationship the Messiah would have with God the Father
  • It revealed the Messiah would have inherent authority over God’s people as a descendant of David

The Davidic Covenant is a key Old Testament prophecy that finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ as the inheritor of David’s throne who currently reigns and will reign forever over the eternal Kingdom of God.

The New Covenant

The Context

The New Covenant refers to the new relationship between God and humanity foretold by the Old Testament prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel. This covenant was established through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and is mediated by Him.

It is a covenant of grace in which God promises to forgive sin, write His law on people’s hearts, indwell believers through the Holy Spirit, and initiate an intimate and unbreakable relationship with His people.

The Main Points

There are several key aspects of the New Covenant:

  • It was instituted at the Last Supper when Jesus offered the cup as the sign of His sacrificial blood which would ratify this covenant (Luke 22:20).
  • God’s laws would be written on people’s hearts rather than external tablets of stone like in the Old Covenant (Jeremiah 31:33). This represents an internal motivation to follow God’s will.
  • Sins would be forgiven once and for all instead of needing continual animal sacrifices (Hebrews 10:18).
  • All believers would know the Lord personally, not just know about Him (Jeremiah 31:34). This intimacy comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

The Significance

The New Covenant represents a dramatic shift in God’s dealings with humanity. Through Christ’s sacrifice, believers are now God’s people by grace rather than law.

This allows a familial relationship with God where He guides from within rather than externally imposing commands.

The forgiveness of sins provides not just a clean slate, but the promise of eternal life with God. Truly, as Paul says, if anyone is in Christ, the old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)!

This new covenant mediated by Jesus is the crowning fulfillment of God’s plan for reconciling the world to Himself.

The Everlasting Covenant

The Context

The everlasting covenant refers to God’s unconditional covenant that He made with Abraham in Genesis 17. This covenant was God’s promise to bless Abraham and his descendants forever.

It was an eternal agreement dependent solely on God’s faithfulness rather than any actions of man (Genesis 17:7).

The Main Points

There are several key aspects to the everlasting covenant:

  • God promised to be Abraham’s God and the God of his descendants forever (Genesis 17:7). This signifies an eternal, unbreakable relationship.
  • God promised to give Abraham and his descendants the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession (Genesis 17:8). This land was a gift, not something earned.
  • Circumcision was to be the sign of the covenant (Genesis 17:11). This physical mark signified Israel’s connection to the eternal promises.
  • The covenant was established with Abraham and his offspring forever, using language denoting permanence (Genesis 17:7, 13, 19).

As an unconditional covenant, the fulfillment of God’s promises did not depend on man, but solely on God’s faithfulness. Even when Israel sinned or strayed, God remained committed to His covenant by His grace.

The Significance

The everlasting covenant forms the framework for all of God’s subsequent covenants and interactions with His people. Several key implications include:

  • It reveals God’s unconditional love and eternal faithfulness to His promises and people.
  • It signifies that Israel’s relationship with God was not based on their performance but His gracious initiative.
  • It guarantees that despite Israel’s future disobedience and exile, God would remain faithful and restore them, keeping the covenant intact.
  • It typifies through physical circumcision the spiritual circumcision of the heart that would come through faith in Jesus (see Colossians 2:11-12).
  • It forms the foundation for the new covenant that Jesus inaugurated, bringing spiritual life and eternal redemption through His blood.


The covenants of the Bible reveal God’s faithfulness and commitment to redeem humanity. Though we broke relationship with God, He relentlessly pursued us to restore us back to Himself.

Jesus Christ fulfilled the covenants, serving as the ultimate sacrifice that atones for sin once and for all. When we place our faith in Christ, we become partakers of the blessings and promises of the new and everlasting covenants.

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