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Stanton Winder eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology edited by Walter A. Elwell defines a biblical covenant as "a compact or agreement between two parties binding them mutually to undertakings on each other's behalf. It denotes a gracious undertaking entered into by God for the benefit and blessings of man, and specifically of those men who by faith received the promises and commit themselves to the obligations which this undertaking involves."The Scriptures mention a number of covenants including the Edenic, Noachic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, and the New covenant. More simply put, in a biblical covenant God enters into a legal agreement between himself and mankind and he clearly enumerates the conditions of their relationship. God clearly states the parties involved in the covenant and stipulates the conditions of their relationship and then gives promises and blessings for those who obey and fulfill the conditions of the covenant.

An example of this is the Mosaic covenant. God entered into an agreement with Moses and the people of Israel. In the giving of the 10 Commandments and other laws found in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) God stipulates what he expects from his people and and he also mentions the many blessings that will come if they obey the conditions of the covenant. Deuteronomy 28 give the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience.