Inter-covenantal Truth and Relevance: Leviticus 26 and the Biblical Covenants

Leviticus 26 provides a key to advancing the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants by showing how the two relate to each other. The parenthetical nature of the chapter shows its inter-covenantal character in six areas: (1) covenant, (2) law, (3) Yahweh, (4) promise, (5) repentance, and (6) revelation. The word for “covenant” used therein always relates to God’s sovereignty and His binding relationship to Israel, sometimes in relation to the Abrahamic Covenant, sometimes in relation to the Mosaic Covenant, and sometimes in relation to a possible future Deuteronomic Covenant. The use of law in Leviticus 26 supplements the use of covenant by reflecting the wisdom and moral character of the covenant-giver and by focusing on His absolute authority. Yahweh, the covenant-maker, is God who identifies Himself with both the Mosaic and the Abrahamic covenants. In the chapter promise includes both the promise to bless under the Abrahamic covenant and the promise to curse under the Mosaic covenant. Though the word for repentance does not occur in the chapter, the concept of repentance is entailed in the promise of Israel’s return from captivity. The word “law” implies a necessity of communicating the law-giver’s standards in written form for the benefit of future generations. Though the NT cites Leviticus 26 only once, the concepts involved in the chapter permeate many parts of the NT. By synthesizing the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants, it offers a taste of promise tempered by precept in telling God’s people how to live.

Read this article from the Masters Seminary Journal in PDF format here.

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