Christian Education Department Fall 2017: Covenant With God Unit 1: Signs of God’s Covenant
Binding agreements, or covenants, were known and used in ancient times. A more familiar term today is contracts. We can hardly imagine how any society, ancient or modern, could function without them!
The Bible’s first use of the word covenant is in Genesis 6:18 regarding Noah (compare 9:8-17, lesson 1). But a passage often overlooked concerning an even earlier covenant is Hosea 6:7. The majority interpretation affirms that not only had Israel (“they”) broken covenants, Adam had done so as well although the word covenant is not used in Genesis 1-3. (The Hebrew word adam can refer to the first human, to people in general [compare Job 31:33 on these two], or to a place [Joshua 3:16].)
If the very first human can be said to have been associated with a covenant, then it is reasonable to assume that covenants became widespread among humanity in general. Indeed, solid evidence exists to establish that this is the case. At least four types of covenants have been identified.