Share
Explore BrainMass

Covenant versus Contract

Can we really distinguish between covenant and contract? Is there one significant difference, or can we call the agreement between God and the Israelites a contract? Explain.

Solution Preview

Hi,

Excellent questions! Let's take a closer look.

1. Can we really distinguish between covenant and contract? Is there one significant difference, or can we call the agreement between god and the Israelites a contract? Explain.

We can distinguish between a covenant and a contract. A contract is an agreement made in suspicion between parties who do not trust each other; so they set "limits" to their own responsibility. In contrast, a COVENANT is an agreement made in trust, like between the Israelites and God. The parties love each other and put no limits on their own responsibility. According to Wicasa (1974), Indian Leaders made Treaties with the Great White Father and called them Covenants, sealing them with the smoke of the Sacred Pipe. The trouble began when the Great White Father, his Lieutenants and Merchants, looked on the Treaties and called them Contracts. Thus began -- in the basic religious difference -- the conflict between Cultures (Source: http://www.bluecloud.org/covcon.html).

In other words, trust is the one significant difference, as you sign a contract because of a lack of trust. In relation to God and the Israelites, covenants are made in respect and love:

(1) Covenant With Adam God blessed them, saying: "Be fertile and multiply: fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth." God also said: "See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food, and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food." And so it happened. God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.

(2) Covenant With Noah God said to Noah and to his sons with him: "See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses whether or not we can distinguish between the two concepts, covenant and contract. Differences are then explored between the two concepts, including one of the most significant differences. It also discusses whether or not the agreement between God and the Israelites is a contract. Supplemented with an article describing the historical covenants between God and the Israelites in the Old Testament.

$2.19