Covenant (biblical)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A biblical covenant is an agreement found in the Bible "between God and His people in which God makes certain promises and requires certain behavior from his people in return (conditional covenant)".<ref>Christiane Fellbaum (1998). WordNet: An Electronic Lexical Database. Bradford Books.</ref> It is the customary word used to translate the Hebrew word berith (ברית Tiberian Hebrew bərîṯ Standard Hebrew bərit) as it is used in the Tanakh 135 times (see appended list), thus it is important to all Abrahamic religions. The equivalent word in the Septuagint and the Greek New Testament is Template:Polytonic/diatheke (Strong's G1242).

In theology and Biblical studies, the word "covenant" principally refers to any of a number of solemn agreements made between God and the children of Israel in the Hebrew Bible, as well as to the New Covenant, which some Christians consider to be the replacement or final fulfilment of these, see Supersessionism. Likewise, some Christians use the term "Old Covenant" to collectively refer to the covenants described in their "Old Testament".

The foundation of the Torah is the belief that God chose the Children of Israel, in His wisdom and for His purposes, and made His covenant with them. This covenant requires the Children of Israel not to practice idolatry and to live their lives according to the commandments.Template:Bibleref2c This covenant is essentially one-sided, since its terms are dictated by God, though performance is left to the free will of each person. By contrast, at many points in the Hebrew Scripture, human covenants are made, and in such covenants, the terms are agreed upon mutually.

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