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The Abrahamic Covenant


consiglieri

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In reviewing the chapters in Genesis dealing with Abraham for Gospel Doctrine class, it suddenly stands out to me how many times God covenants with Abraham to give him the land of Canaan (or a much bigger land) and how many times God covenants with Abraham that his seed shall be as the particles of dust (or stars in the sky).

Is there a reason for this?

Are these different stories of the same event that got cobbled together in the Genesis narrative simply because it is the foundation story of the Israelites?

Or are these to be understood as separate and discreet events that actually occurred over and over again?

My Sunday school class wants to know . . .

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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The Covenant among the Carcasses (chp 15) is a personal assurance to Abraham that the Lord will give him heirs and the land of Canaan. Why carve up all those poor animals? Seems to be one way of ratifying agreements, the Lord was speaking to Abraham as one man to another, so Abraham would be assured that the Lord isn't making promises abstractedly or spiritually.

In 17, the covenant is made official, with conditions that both sides have to bide by.

The other thing to look at is where they are situated at in the narrative. We are shown Abraham's trials of faith.

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The Covenant among the Carcasses (chp 15)

Is that what that is called? I absolutely love that story because it is so . . . creepy.

I read that one to my wife over the weekend, and then supplemented it with the reworking found in the Apocalypse of

Abraham where one of the "vultures" that comes down is the bad angel, Azazel, and how after he is dispatched in a manner reminiscent of Moses One, Abraham and the angel who accompanies him (Michael?) ascend to heaven on the wings of the turtle dove, wafted upward by the flames from the sacrifice.

Talk about cool!

(Note to self--Must find a place for this in Gospel Doctrine class . . . )

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Is that what that is called? I absolutely love that story because it is so . . . creepy.

In English, yeah. In Hebrew it is brit bein habetarim loosely translating to the covenant among the chopped up pieces.

I read that one to my wife over the weekend, and then supplemented it with the reworking found in the Apocalypse of

Abraham where one of the "vultures" that comes down is the bad angel, Azazel, and how after he is dispatched in a manner reminiscent of Moses One, Abraham and the angel who accompanies him (Michael?) ascend to heaven on the wings of the turtle dove, wafted upward by the flames from the sacrifice.

Talk about cool!

Though I must say that the Hebrew has an eagle, not a vulture. I used to do birdwatching, so forgive the nitpicking. Actually, the coolest place I did birdwatching at was the traditional location of said covenant. Amazing place, little mountain grove with a pool of deep, blue water.

(Note to self--Must find a place for this in Gospel Doctrine class . . . )

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I wasn't teaching last class, but did manage to throw that name in.

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Though I must say that the Hebrew has an eagle, not a vulture. I used to do birdwatching, so forgive the nitpicking. Actually, the coolest place I did birdwatching at was the traditional location of said covenant. Amazing place, little mountain grove with a pool of deep, blue water.

Dismemberment is always good for an attention activity to start Sunday school.

Where the carcass is, the "eagles" are gathered. Is that comment by Isaiah (?) just a comment about birds of prey, or do you think it might refer back to the covenant of the chopped up pieces?

I also understand that the basic meaning of "create" in Hebrew is "cut," and that whereas we say, "make a covenant," in Hebrew, it is "cut a covenant." Any truth to this?

And is a "bris" related to the word "brit"? (I am just full of questions today!)

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Where the carcass is, the "eagles" are gathered. Is that comment by Isaiah (?) just a comment about birds of prey, or do you think it might refer back to the covenant of the chopped up pieces?

In 1831, Joseph Smith re-interpreted that in the JST of Luke 17:37 to say that the body was the saints, and the birds were the angels. When the saints are gathered, the angels will descend to assist in the Gathering . I actually just read that this morning :P Good timing...

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Dismemberment is always good for an attention activity to start Sunday school.

Where the carcass is, the "eagles" are gathered. Is that comment by Isaiah (?) just a comment about birds of prey, or do you think it might refer back to the covenant of the chopped up pieces?

I need to look up the word, to see if it is eagle or vulture.

I also understand that the basic meaning of "create" in Hebrew is "cut," and that whereas we say, "make a covenant," in Hebrew, it is "cut a covenant." Any truth to this?

I'm not sure about this.

And is a "bris" related to the word "brit"? (I am just full of questions today!)

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

bris is how Ashkenazic jews say it. They refer mainly to brit milah the covenant of circumcision.

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Are these different stories of the same event that got cobbled together in the Genesis narrative simply because it is the foundation story of the Israelites?

Definitely this option, although the Exodus narrative overtook the Abrahamic covenant as the foundation story for Israel pretty quickly. Exodus refers to the "covenant I swore to your fathers. . ." but Moses is considered the most important prophet and the exodus the most important event in Israel's heritage.

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The Covenant among the Carcasses (chp 15) is a personal assurance to Abraham that the Lord will give him heirs and the land of Canaan. Why carve up all those poor animals? Seems to be one way of ratifying agreements, the Lord was speaking to Abraham as one man to another, so Abraham would be assured that the Lord isn't making promises abstractedly or spiritually.

In 17, the covenant is made official, with conditions that both sides have to bide by.

The other thing to look at is where they are situated at in the narrative. We are shown Abraham's trials of faith.

In ancient times it seems covenants were made or ratified over the blood of a sacrificial animal. The greatest covenant in the OT, as far as the Jews were concerned at least, was the covenant that Jehovah made with Israel at Sinai, which was ratified or made binding by a blood sacrifice:

Exodus 24
:

8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.

Hence Paul is able to write with regard to the

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