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Jewish Covenant vs. Contract

What is the Jewish understanding of covenant? How does it differ from the notion of contract?

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1. What is the Jewish understanding of covenant? How does it differ from the notion of contract?

Covenant, Jewish -

The central theme of Judaism is the covenant between the Jews and God. This was first made with Abraham, from whom the Jewish believe they came. This covenant was renewed with Abraham's son Isaac and Abraham's grandson Jacob. The covenant was extended as Moses was given the Ten Commandments and other laws. From this, the Jews learn how they should lead their lives. The covenant involves and is understood that the Jews are a chosen people, giving them certain rights as well as responsibilities. This is the Jewish understanding of the concept covenant.

Biblically, the term covenant generally applied to transactions. The term covenant was a compact between man and man; either between tribes or nations (1 Samuel 11:1; Joshua 9:6, 15) or between individuals (Genesis 21:27) in which each party bound himself to fulfill certain conditions, and was promised certain advantages. God also made covenants (e.g., and promises) with the Jewish people. In the process of making covenants, God was solemnly invoked as a witness (Genesis 31:50), thus came the expression "a covenant of Jehovah," followed by the swearing of an oath (Genesis 21:31). Accordingly, a breach of the covenant was regarded as a heinous sin (Ezekiel 17:12-20). The marriage contact was called "the covenant of God" (Proverbs 2:17). As a witness a gift was presented, or a pile of stones set up (Genesis 31:51) (Unger, 1966).

How does it differ from the notion of contract?

It differs from ...

Solution Summary

This soltuion explains the Jewish understanding of covenant and how it differs from the notion of contract.

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