Mosaic Covenant

Yahweh freely bestows his love; the people pledge full love to Yahweh as their only possible response.

Ten Commandments express the loving response in form of basic obligations that henceforth are binding on Yahweh’s people.

Yahweh’s love is now contingent upon the continued fidelity of his people to him.

Davidic Covenant

United Kingdom

Yahweh promises that the Davidic dynasty will inherit the throne of Israel, regardless of Israel’s worthiness.

Yahweh will intervene to save his people through the dynastic king rather than through temporary charismatic leaders (Judges).

Covenant in the Divided Kingdom


In the north, the people and kings are accountable directly to Yahweh. Thus, if circumstances warrant, kings can be deposed; dynasties are temporary.


In the south, the continuance of the promises to David is contingent on the conduct of David’s successors.

Covenant in Deuteronomistic History

Defeat and disaster will result from cultic infidelity to Yahweh. Cultic fidelity, on the other hand, will ensure continued blessings of the covenant.

Prophets as charismatic messengers call king or people to repentance and new fidelity.

Since Josiah’s reform (late seventh century B.C) did not lead to lasting repentance, the exile was inevitable.

The convenant had been broken, but God’s love remained and was a new source of hope for the future.

Covenant in Ezra’s Reform

The history of Yahweh’s past goodness, the people’s constant infidelities and Yahweh’s just punishments are the basis for a new beginning.

Exact obedience to the Torah would preserve the people from future punishments.

The Torah is seen as Yahweh’s gracious gift. The believer relates to Yahweh through acceptance, study, and observance of all Torah obligations.