Contracts and Covenants

Richard Anthony

Numbers 30:2, "If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth."

This comprehensive study will explore all aspects of contracts and covenants. Contracts can be godly or ungodly. We'll compare the difference between modern contracts and scriptural contracts. We'll look at the definitions and meaning of contracts in dictionaries and lexicons. And finally, we'll go to scripture and examine each and every passage which deals with a contract or covenant between man and man; whether believers or unbelievers. We'll also compare the consequences of agreements that were made by consulting with the Lord, with those that were made without consulting the Lord.

It is our prayer that this study will be a guide in helping you discern the "who, what, where, when, why, and how's" of entering into agreements with others. We must be very careful who we contract with, for we will be the ones who will be responsible for the consequences of our actions.

Modern Contracts

Contracts are a very big subject in man's law. There are over 2,000 pages on contracts in the Corpus Juris Secundum; that's 2,000 pages of commentary on court cases dealing with contracts! Therefore, we're talking about a gigantic subject. The following is from the beginning of Corpus Juris Secundum, and it basically tells you what a contract is.

“A definition which has been frequently quoted and reiterated is that a contract is an agreement which creates an obligation. A definition which would seem to embody all of the essential elements of a legal contract and numerated as being:
  1. parties competent to contract
  2. a subject matter
  3. a legal consideration
  4. mutuality of agreement
  5. mutuality of obligation”

Now, the important words there are “a legal consideration,” and a legal consideration means “money,” for the most part. Corpus Juris Secundum also states that:

“Contact and compact are synonymous terms.”

A compact means joined or knit together, confederated (so it takes us to the word confederate in scripture).

In section 36-2C in Corpus Juris Secundum, they have the part on price or compensation:

“Definite price or compensation is generally an essential element of a binding contract, and if a contract does not specifically fix prices, it must provide a definite method of ascertaining them. So it a general rule that the contract is unenforceable when the parties have not agreed on a price, or on a practical method of determining the price or that the price is to be a reasonable one. But there are recognized exceptions to the rule.”

The modern contract usually has to do with money. In scripture, a contract did not necessarily have to do with money. So when we speak about contracts today, it usually involves money. But, we find in scripture that even if there's no money involved, if the Lord is not involved in that covenant or agreement, there's a real problem.

In general, when believers enter into contracts with unbelievers, we must be careful that we do not "yoke" ourselves by that contract, because we're forbidden to do so.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"

And that's what most contracts with unbelievers are today, it's an unequal yoke. When you contract with the ungodly, and it brings us into bondage, and the Lord has told you not to do that, it's obvious that the Lord is not in that covenant. In other words, the Lord has to be the mediator in everything we do; not only contracting, but everything. That's what living, moving, and having your being in Him is all about (Acts 17:28). And when He is not part of that decision that you make, then you've fallen away.

When contracts involve money, we're not saying that those who contract are necessarily pursuing money, but most modern contracts are unnecessary. We do not have to contract with the ungodly for our needs to be provided; the Lord will provide for our needs. That is not to say that you don't interact with the ungodly, for that is one of our purposes here, but the question is how we interact with them. Must we enter into a contract on their terms, which usually brings us into bondage and slavery to the heathen? Or should we enter into an agreement on God's terms, which will have the blessings of the Lord upon it? That is what we must consider.

Now, when we enter into an agreement with a brother, there is no "yoke" or "burden" involved, because we freely receive and freely give (Matthew 10:8). And there is consent on both sides.

Even though most contracts are by consent, there are many who try to force us into a contract without our consent. Usually it's done on the basis of their "presumption" that we have a contract with them, when it fact we don't. And if their presumption is not rebutted, it will stand as truth.

“Party cannot be bound by contract that he has not made or authorized. Free consent is an indispensable element in making valid contracts.” Alexander v. Bothsworth, 1915.

A lot of times the government will say, “Well, you're a citizen of the United States and you're bound to the law; you have duties and obligations.” That's not true. It's only true when you make it true, and have authorized that contract. They can presume you authorized it because you're standing in front of them, but that doesn't mean it's true. You have to consent to it. If you have been consenting with the ungodly, walking with the ungodly, and engaged in contract and all the other things that bind you to them, then they do have jurisdiction over you. That's why we're told to not consent with the ungodly (Deuteronomy 13:6-8, Proverbs 1:10, Romans 12:2).

When we talk about contracts, we talk a lot about being bound to the so-called government of today. Just because they promise you something and don't deliver, there is no contract involved. They like to think, “we have all of these powers and we can bestow them upon you, and therefore, you're automatically engaged in a contract with us. And that's really a lie, because if they promise you something and they never deliver (in other words, you never accept it), there is no contract. But the spirit of the State today is, “You're under our thumb, and therefore, you're bound to our laws.” That's their attitude to drive you to them, but if you know the truth you will not be drawn to them, and you'll follow the ways of the Lord and stand on the Word and not be fooled and deceived by these people.

If the IRS sees you on their radar screen, they consider that a voluntary act, they did not force you to be on their radar screen. They have your name, they have your address, they have numbers that are attributed to your name. Therefore, you have to pay your so-called "fair share." The IRS does not go after anyone who is not on their radar screen; it's impossible for them to do so; they wouldn't know you exist! So, how did you get on their radar screen? When you entered into a contract with somebody, somewhere; either in an employee/employer relationship (which is a contract), or you've contracted with others and they reported you to the IRS (“I paid so and so a certain amount of money because he contracted with me”). That's how you get on their radar screen.

“The opportunity to become a citizen is a privilege.” United States v. Shapiro, 43 F.Supp. 927, page 929.

“Citizenship is a government gift which can be obtained only by compliance with conditions precedent prescribed by Congress.” Petition of Karas, 17 N.Y.S. 2nd. 958 (1940).

So, when you say, “I'm a citizen of the United States,” you're partaking of a gift, privilege, and benefit from government.

Most people believe we cannot avoid contracts. But when we speak about contracts we are talking about debt. Normally, contracts have to do with a promise to pay, or a promise to provide services for something in exchange for those services. And that's what Caesar has jurisdiction over, because scripture says we are to "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another:"

Bondservants of Christ are to freely receive and freely give (Matthew 10:8); that's the Spirit of the Lord. The spirit of the world is “I'll do this for you if you do this for me.” That's where the contract comes in. A contract is something done for filthy lucre sake (1 Peter 5:2); to profit off of another. We are not here to profit off of others, we're here to serve the Lord. The Lord provides for all of our needs. It's when we take it upon ourselves to go out and “make a living” and make this and make that we fall away from the ways of the Lord and do not put our Trust in Him but put our trust in ourselves.

When you join yourself to the world, and make obligations to the world, you must become part of the world to meet those obligations.

Scriptural Contracts

The word “contract” is not used in scripture; however, there is an equivalent Hebrew word berith, which, in the English, is translated as “covenant”, “league”, “confederacy”, and “confederate” in the Old Testament. It is translated as “covenant” 264 out of 284 times this word is used. A covenant means alliance or pledge. Between men, it's a treaty, alliance, league, agreement, or pledge. An alliance is a friendship. For example, when you entered into marriage in scripture, it was not a “contract,” but an alliance. Between God and man it is an alliance. Alliance means you become allies, you become aligned, you become “one” to a certain extent, but it must be in spirit. It can become a real problem because men are not really good with keeping promises with one another, which is why they have courts. And that's where the problem is when you covenant or contract with the ungodly.

Now we will look at every occurrence of a “covenant” in scripture, between man and man, to determine when it is appropriate, and when it is not appropriate, to enter into an agreement with someone. In short, we should not enter into contracts with anyone if it would require we break a law of God in order to do so. And if we do enter into an agreement, we should follow the guidelines given in scripture. For example, in entering into a covenant, Almighty God was solemnly called on to witness the agreement (Genesis 31:50), and hence it was called a "covenant of the Lord" (1 Samuel 20:8).

To summarize, a covenant between man and man is sacred (Joshua 2:8-21; 9:16-21, Galatians 3:15, Psalms 15:4), binding (Joshua 9:18-20, Jeremiah 34:8-21, Ezekiel 17:14-18, Galatians 3:15), binding, not only on those who make them, but on those who are represented (Deuteronomy 29:14-15). Those who breached their covenant were punished (2 Samuel 21:1-6, Jeremiah 34:8-22, Ezekiel 17:13-19).

Covenants were forbidden to be made with certain heathen nations (Exodus 23:32; 34:12; Deuteronomy 7:2-3; 13:6,8, Joshua 23:6-7, Judges 2:2, Ezra 9:12) and with unbelievers (Proverbs 1:10,15, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17, Ephesians 5:11) because it may lead to idolatry (Exodus 34:15-16, Numbers 25:1-8, Deuteronomy 7:4; Judges 3:5-7; Revelation 2:20). God's people were condemned for making covenants with idolatrous nations (Isaiah 30:2-5, Hosea 12:1) and it provoked the anger of God (Deuteronomy 7:4; 31:16,17, 2 Chronicles 19:2, Ezra 9:13,14, Psalms 106:29,40, Isaiah 2:6, Joshua 23:12-13, Judges 2:1-3). Covenants were often violated by the wicked (Genesis 26:16, Romans 1:31, 2 Timothy 3:3). Covenants were also broken by fellow believers (Genesis 29:15-30).

Covenants were designed for establishing friendship (1 Samuel 18:3), procuring assistance in war (1 Kings 15:18-19), mutual protection (Genesis 26:28,29; 31:50-52), establishing peace (Joshua 9:15-16), promoting trade (1 Kings 5:6-11), and selling land (Genesis 23:14-16, Jeremiah 32:7-16,25). Sometimes names were given to places where a covenant was made (Genesis 21:31; 31:47-49).

Covenants were ratified by giving the hand (Ezra 10:19, Lamentations 5:6, Ezekiel 17:18, Proverbs 6:1; 11:21; 17:18; 22:26), by loosing the shoe (Ruth 4:6-11), by giving presents (Genesis 21:27-30, 1 Samuel 18:3,4), by making a feast (Genesis 26:30; 31:54), by a monument (Genesis 31:45,46,49-53), by salting (Leviticus 2:13, Numbers 18:19, 2 Chronicles 13:5), by offering a sacrifice (Genesis 15:9-17, Jeremiah 34:18-19), and by oath (Genesis 21:23,31; 26:31, Joshua 9:15,20, 1 Chronicles 16:16, Hebrews 6:16-17). Covenants were written and sealed (Joshua 24:25-26, Nehemiah 9:38, Jeremiah 32:10-12), and were made in front of witnesses (Genesis 23:17-18, Ruth 4:1-2,9-11), and God was often called to witness (Genesis 31:50,53). Once a covenant is confirmed, it is unalterable (Galatians 3:15).

Easton's Bible Dictionary

A contract or agreement between two parties. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word “berith” is always thus translated. “Berith” is derived from a root which means "to cut," and hence a covenant is a "cutting," with reference to the cutting or dividing of animals into two parts, and the contracting parties passing between them, in making a covenant (Gen. 15; Jer. 34:18, 19).

The corresponding word in the New Testament Greek is “diatheke”, which is, however, rendered "testament" generally in the Authorized Version. It ought to be rendered, just as the word “berith” of the Old Testament, "covenant."

This word is used (1) of a covenant or compact between man and man (Gen. 21:32), or between tribes or nations (1 Sam. 11:1; Josh. 9:6, 15). In entering into a covenant, Jehovah was solemnly called on to witness the transaction (Gen. 31:50), and hence it was called a "covenant of the Lord" (1 Sam. 20:8). The marriage compact is called "the covenant of God" (Prov. 2:17), because the marriage was made in God's name, and He ordained it. Wicked men are spoken of as acting as if they had made a "covenant with death" not to destroy them, or with hell not to devour them (Isa. 28:15, 18).

(2.) The word is used with reference to God's revelation of himself in the way of promise or of favour to men. Thus God's promise to Noah after the Flood is called a covenant (Gen. 9; Jer. 33:20, "my covenant"). We have an account of God's covenant with Abraham (Gen. 17, comp. Lev. 26:42), of the covenant of the priesthood (Num. 25:12, 13; Deut. 33:9; Neh. 13:29), and of the covenant of Sinai (Ex. 34:27, 28; Lev. 26:15), which was afterwards renewed at different times in the history of Israel (Deut. 29; Josh. 1:24; 2 Chr. 15; 23; 29; 34; Ezra 10; Neh. 9). In conformity with human custom, God's covenant is said to be confirmed with an oath (Deut. 4:31; Ps. 89:3), and to be accompanied by a sign (Gen. 9; 17). Hence the covenant is called God's "counsel," "oath," "promise" (Ps. 89:3, 4; 105:8-11; Heb. 6:13-20; Luke 1:68-75). God's covenant consists wholly in the bestowal of blessing (Isa. 59:21; Jer. 31:33, 34).

The term covenant is also used to designate the regular succession of day and night (Jer. 33:20), the Sabbath (Ex. 31:16), circumcision (Gen. 17:9, 10), and in general any ordinance of God (Jer. 34:13, 14).

A "covenant of salt" signifies an everlasting covenant, in the sealing or ratifying of which salt, as an emblem of perpetuity, is used (Num. 18:19; Lev. 2:13; 2 Chr. 13:5). (Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary).

a treaty or confederacy. The Jews were forbidden to enter into an alliance of any kind (1) with the Canaanites (Ex. 23:32, 33; 34:12-16); (2) with the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8, 14; Deut. 25:17-19); (3) with the Moabites and Ammonites (Deut. 2:9, 19). Treaties were permitted to be entered into with all other nations. Thus David maintained friendly intercourse with the kings of Tyre and Hamath, and Solomon with the kings of Tyre and Egypt. (Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary).

Strong's Lexicon

01285 berith {ber-eeth'}

from 01262 (in the sense of cutting [like 1254]); TWOT - 282a; n f

AV - covenant 264, league 17, confederacy 1, confederate 1,
confederate + 01167 1; 284

1) covenant, alliance, pledge
1a) between men
1a1) treaty, alliance, league (man to man)
1a2) constitution, ordinance (monarch to subjects)
1a3) agreement, pledge (man to man)
1a4) alliance (of friendship)
1a5) alliance (of marriage)
1b) between God and man
1b1) alliance (of friendship)
1b2) covenant (divine ordinance with signs or pledges)

This Study

This study covers each and every passage in scripture that deals with a covenant between man and man. Since the Hebrew word for covenant, “berith,” is translated into four different English words, we will examine all four. It is translated as “confederate” one time, “confederacy” one time, “league” seventeen times. All of these passages deal with a covenant between man and man. Berith is also translated as “covenant” 264 times, but most of these are in reference to the covenant between God and man. We will concentrate on just the passages that are in reference to the covenants between man and man.

Confederate (Negative Example)

Between Heathens and Heathens

Psalms 83:1-5, “Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:"

Lesson: Since heathens are in agreement against the Lord, what right do we have to enter into contracts with Caesar on Caesar's terms? Our covenant is with God, not with Caesar.

Confederacy (Negative Example)

Between Heathens and Heathens

Obadiah 1:7, "All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee;"

The Chaldeans are here intended, to whom the Idumeans were attached, and whose agents they became in exercising cruelties upon the Jews. When Idumean ambassadors shall go to confederate states seeking aid, these latter shall conduct them with due ceremony to their border, giving them empty compliments, but not the aid required.

Lesson: Those heathens in whom you trusted to have help and friendship, will be your enemies and destroy you. Contracts by heathens are used for deception. The modern warning, “read the fine print” is evidence of this. By entering into contracts with the heathen, there might be peace, temporarily, but with enough time, the heathen will prevail against us.

League (Negative Examples)

Between Believers and Heathens


Joshua 9:1-21, "And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof; That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord. And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy. And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us. And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you? And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye? And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt, And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth. Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us. This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy: And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey. And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD. And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them. And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them. And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim. And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes. But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them. And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them."

The Israelites were at war with seven Canaanitish nations. Joshua was carrying out the commands of God by conquering these countries. The Jews were forbidden to enter into an alliance of any kind with the Canaanites (Exodus 23:32, 33; 34:12-16). And God specifically commanded to destroy them (Deuteronomy 20:17).

Joshua recently destroyed Jericho and Ai. The inhabitants of Gibeon, hearing what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, worked with shrewdness, craftiness, prudence, and guile and sent phony ambassadors to Joshua (verses 3-5). They told Joshua that they came from a distant country and asked them to enter into an agreement with them (verse 6). They used deceit, by professing to be believers in Almighty God and other lies, to get the Israelites to enter into an agreement with them (verses 7-13).

Joshua was deceived and made a covenant with them, and agreed to let them live (verse 15), but the mistake that Joshua and the elders made was that they “asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD” (verse 14). After three days they are informed that the Gibeonites belong to the seven Canaanitish nations, yet they spare their cities because of the league they entered into with them (verses 18-19), “...lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them." (Joshua 9:20). Even though God commanded Joshua to kill the Canaanites, and even though God specifically forbade them to enter into contracts with them, Joshua had no choice but to break God's commandment and let them live, because of the oath they took with them. If Joshua broke the oath they made with them, then the wrath of God would be upon Israel, because God wants us to keep our word when we make an agreement with someone (verse 21). Even if that someone is with the heathen.

Lesson: Many people believe that it is okay to break one's agreement with another, if the agreement was entered into under fraud and deceit. However, the above passage tells us we are to still keep our word, even if the other used deception to get us to enter into a contract with them.


Judges 2:2-3, "And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you."

If we enter into agreements with those we are not supposed to, we cannot be separate from them and they will be as thorns in our sides and they will be a snare to us. We will be in captivity, and the heathen will rule over us.


2 Samuel 3:12-25, "And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose is the land? saying also, Make thy league with me, and, behold, my hand shall be with thee, to bring about all Israel unto thee. And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou first bring Michal Saul's daughter, when thou comest to see my face. And David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines. And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish. And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned. And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you: Now then do it: for the LORD hath spoken of David, saying, By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies. And Abner also spake in the ears of Benjamin: and Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and that seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin. So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men that were with him a feast. And Abner said unto David, I will arise and go, and will gather all Israel unto my lord the king, that they may make a league with thee, and that thou mayest reign over all that thine heart desireth. And David sent Abner away; and he went in peace. And, behold, the servants of David and Joab came from pursuing a troop, and brought in a great spoil with them: but Abner was not with David in Hebron; for he had sent him away, and he was gone in peace. When Joab and all the host that was with him were come, they told Joab, saying, Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace. Then Joab came to the king, and said, What hast thou done? behold, Abner came unto thee; why is it that thou hast sent him away, and he is quite gone? Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all that thou doest."

A man named Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf. They tried to persuade David to enter into a league with them (verse 12). David agreed (verse 13). This allowed Abner to “speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and that seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin” (verse 19). So Abner came to David personally (verse 20). After Abner left, Joab, the general of David's army, said to David, in verse 25, "Thou knowest Abner the son of Ner, that he came to deceive thee, and to know thy going out and thy coming in, and to know all that thou doest."

David entered into a contract with a heathen. Abner made the contract “seem good” to David. It offered a lot a goodies and benefits. But this contract allowed a heathen into his personal life, and this allowed his enemy to know all about David. Caesar works the same way. He asks us to enter into contracts with him, and it sure does seem good! But this allows Caesar to enter into our lives and know all our doings, which he then uses to control our lives and property.

Lesson: When we enter into an alliance or league with someone, we really have to be careful about what the motives are, because the ungodly usually have ulterior motives why they want to be involved with you.


1 Kings 15:18-19, "Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Benhadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying, There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; come and break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me."

This is an example of Asa taking all the silver and the gold that was left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and wished to enter into a league with the Syrian king to destroy the kingdom of Israel. There is a bribe involved to move him to break the league with Israel.

Lesson: Heathens that are in agreement against the Lord should be avoided. Some heathens are such because of ignorance, others because they are in open rebellion against God. When we begin to enter into leagues with everyone, then everyone starts taking sides, they want to pull you away from others, and it really created a lot of problems.


Ezekiel 30:5, "Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword."

God says that all the nations that are in league with the Egyptians shall fall. These heathens were against God. It would be wrong to enter into covenants with heathens that are in rebellion against God.


Daniel 11:23, "And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people."

Lesson: This is a warning to us, that when we enter into contracts with most heathens, their purpose is usually deception. By entering into contracts with them, they become a strong people because we give them authority over us that they previously did not have, and we become the small people because we give up the authority we once had and become the servants of those who we gave it to.

League (Positive Examples)

Between Believers and Believers

2 Samuel 5:3, "So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel."

This was a righteous act, this league, because this contract was entered into “before the Lord;” that is, taking the Lord to witness. This is a league whereby David obliged himself to rule people according to God's laws; and the people promised obedience to him.

Between Believers and Heathens

1 Kings 5:12, "And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together."

Hiram was the king of Tyre, a heathen nation, but a nation that God permitted covenants with. First, Hiram entered into an alliance with David, and assisted him in building his palace by sending him able workmen, and also cedar-trees and fir-trees from Lebanon (2 Samuel 5:11; 1 Chronicles 14:1). 1 Kings 5:12 took place after the death of David, and Hiram entered into a similar alliance with Solomon, and assisted him greatly in building the temple (1 Kings 5:1; 9:11, 2 Chronicles 2:3). He also took part in Solomon's traffic to the Eastern Seas (1 Kings 9:27; 10:11, 2 Chronicles 8:18; 9:10).

Each of the parties made good his engagement. Hiram delivered Solomon the timber according to his promise (1 Kings 5:10), and Solomon delivered to Hiram the corn which he had promised him (verse 11). This agreement was made to further God's Will, because this furniture was used for God's temple (verses 17-18). This contract was not made for selfish purposes, or for profit. God was the center of it.

However, as will be seen later, Hiram decided to break this “brotherly covenant,” and was punished by God for doing so.


Positive examples between Believers and Heathens


Abimelech and Abraham:

Genesis 21:22-34, "And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest: Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned. And Abraham said, I will swear. And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away. And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day. And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves? And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them. Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba: then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days."

Here, Abraham enters into a covenant of peace with a heathen. They had met a few years earlier when, by an interposition of Providence, Sarah was delivered from Abimelech's harem, and was restored to her husband Abraham. As a mark of respect he gave to Abraham valuable gifts, and offered him a settlement in any part of his country. Among the gifts presented by the king were a thousand pieces of silver as a "covering of the eyes" for Sarah.

Here, a few years later, Abimelech, the Philistine king of Gerar, and Phichol, general of his armies, entered into a covenant of peace and friendship with Abraham. This covenant was confirmed by a mutual oath at Beer-sheba. Abraham accepted this land from the Philistines to exercise God's Will. Abraham did not agree to perform a duty to the king, but the king gave him this land without any obligation on Abraham's part.

There was no command given in scripture that forbade covenants being made with the Philistines.


Abimelech and Isaac:

Genesis 26:28-29, "And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the LORD."

This is a covenant between the same king, Abimelech, and Isaac, who was Abraham's son. This happened many years after the covenant between Abimelech and Abraham (previous passage above). Abimelech visited Isaac when he was encamped at Beer-sheba, and expressed a desire to renew the covenant which had been entered into between their fathers. Again, this is a covenant of friendship. It is not a covenant that would compel performance, or place a duty or obligation on Isaac to perform certain acts for the king. Again, there was no command given in scripture that forbade covenants being made with the Philistines.

Negative examples between Believers and Heathens


Exodus 23:32-33, "Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee."

This is a command from God. Had the Israelites contracted any alliance with the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, Jebusites (verse 23), or the Girgashites (see Septuagint), either sacred or civil, they would have enticed them into their idolatries, to which the Jews were at all times most unhappily prone. Why were only these specific nations singled out? Because “the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites” (Judges 3:5). And it would be more tempting for Israel to serve their gods. Whereas Israel did not dwell among the other heathen nations, and the temptation was at a minimum.


Exodus 34:12-15, "Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;"

A similar command as the passage above, forbidding the Israelites from entering into agreements with the above nations. The same seven nations are mentioned in verse 11 (six in the KJV, seven in Septuagint). Notice the only heathen nations that God prohibited them from entering into a covenant with were with the inhabitants of the same land that God gave to them. The covenants that were forbidden were most likely in reference to a treaty of peace. In order that they might not be tempted to worship other gods, they must not join in affinity or friendship with those that did.


Deuteronomy 7:2, "And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:"

Again, God forbade them from entering to covenants with these seven nations (verse 1). This includes marriage covenants (verse 3).


Joshua 23:16, "When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you."

A warning by God. We cannot serve two masters. If we enter into a contract with the heathen that causes us to forsake God's Law, then we are serving the heathen.


1 Samuel 11:1-2, "Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee. And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel."

Here, Nahash, king of the Ammonites, besieges Jabesh-gilead. The men of Jabesh (Israelites) found they were in no condition to risk a war; and they wished to have peace, and desired to know his conditions. They had lost the virtue of Israelites, else they would not have thus lost the valour of Israelites, nor tamely yielded to serve an Ammonite, without one bold struggle for themselves. Had they not broken their covenant with God and forsaken Him in the first place, they would not have courted a covenant with a Gentile nation, and offered themselves to serve them.

God has never given any authority to His children to enter into a covenant with any heathen to serve them. It is quite a different thing to enter into a covenant of peace, or trade, but to serve a heathen would require a man of God to NOT serve God. For you cannot serve two masters. You either serve Good or you serve Evil.

Nahash proposes to its inhabitants the most degrading conditions of peace. The besiegers offer them base and barbarous conditions; they will spare their lives, and take them to be their servants, upon condition that they shall put out their right eye.

So, they appeal to their brethren for help (verses 3-4). Saul hears of their distress; takes a yoke of oxen, hews them in pieces, and sends them throughout the coasts of Israel, with the threat that all who did not come to their aid should have his cattle served in like manner; in consequence of which he is soon at the head of an army of three hundred and thirty thousand men (verses 5-8), and the Israelites scattered the Ammonites (verse 11).


Ahab and Benhadad:

1 Kings 20:34, "And Benhadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away."

Benhadad, the king of Syria, and his army, being closely besieged in Aphek, and unable to escape, surrender themselves to Israel. The king of Israel receives them in a friendly manner, and makes a covenant with Ben-hadad. However, a prophet, tells him "Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD…" (verse 36) and shows him the sin of his conduct in permitting Ben-hadad to escape, and predicts his death and the slaughter of Israel (verses 35-43). All this because he had to forsake his covenant with the Lord in order to enter into a covenant with the heathen. The king of Israel released a man that God had appointed to destruction (verse 44); thus forsaking the covenant he had with God for a covenant with a heathen.


Isaiah 28:15, "Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:"

A covenant with the State is synonymous with a covenant of death, because the State is “dead” under the law. Man's law says that all States are corporations (Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall.(US) 419, 468, 1 L.Ed. 440) and all corporation have no soul (10 Rep.32 b.). Therefore, since the State has no soul, it is dead under the law. And a covenant with a dead thing is a covenant with death!

Also, those contracts are built upon lies, so those who enter into contracts with Caesar are making lies their refuge, and are hiding themselves under falsehood.


Isaiah 28:18, "And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it."

We should all heed this warning from God. We will be trodden down if we enter into covenants with death (or dead things, such as the State). Our covenant is with the King of kings and Lord of lords, which is Life!


Daniel 11:22-23, "And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully…”

The prince of this covenant was Onias, the high priest, who Antiochus from Athens removed, and put Jason in his place, who had given him a great sum of money; and then put wicked Menelaus in his room, who had offered him a larger sum. Thus he acted deceitfully in the league made with Jason.


Daniel 11:28, "Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land."

On his way back to Syria, Antiochus attacked Jerusalem, the metropolis of Jehovah's covenant-people, plundered the temple at Jerusalem, slew eighty thousand, took forty thousand prisoners, and sold forty thousand as slaves (2 Maccabees 5:5-14).


Hosea 12:1, "Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he daily increaseth lies and desolation; and they do make a covenant with the Assyrians, and oil is carried into Egypt."

The prophet describes the unprofitableness and destruction attending evil courses; particularly such as Ephraim pursued, who forsook God, and courted the alliance of idolatrous princes.

A Heathen breaking his covenant with a Believer

Amos 1:9, "Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant: But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof.”

This covenant was between the league of Hiram of Tyre with David and Solomon, the former supplying cedars for the building of the temple and king's house in return for oil and corn (II Samuel 5:11; I Kings 5:2-6; 9:11-14,27; 10:1-22; I Chronicles 14:1; II Chronicles 8:18; 9:10). Treaties were permitted to be entered into between these nations and believers. However, the city of Tyre was punished for not keeping their agreement.

A Believer breaking his covenant with a Heathen

Ezekiel 17:13-19, "And hath taken of the king's seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land: That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand. But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons: Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head."

God was, in the foregoing chapter, reckoning with the people of Judah, and bringing ruin upon them for their treachery in breaking covenant with Him; in this chapter he is reckoning with the king of Judah for his treachery in breaking covenant with the king of Babylon (a covenant with Babylon was not prohibited by God). Zedekiah was practicing with the king of Egypt underhand for assistance in a treacherous project he had formed to shake off the yoke of the king of Babylon, and violate the agreement and oath he had sworn to him. When someone breaks a covenant they made with man, a covenant that was sworn by an oath to God, and one breaks that, it is as if one broke a covenant with God Himself. And it reflects bad upon God himself if a servant of God cannot keep his word, and even worse, deals treacherously with the one he contracted with, for we do all in the Name of God.

Between a Believer and a Lukewarm Believer

Jacob and Laban

Genesis 31:44,50, "Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee…God is witness betwixt me and thee. "

This covenant is made between family members of the same faith. Jacob (Rachel's husband) makes a covenant with Laban (Rachel's father), and this covenant is made with God as a witness. Even though this contract was broken by Laban, because it was made before God as witness, God made sure that Jacob was not harmed by Laban's deception.

Laban seems to have known and worshipped God (Genesis 24:50; 30:27; 31:53), but the "gods" which Rachel stole from her father (Genesis 31:30,34) show that he was not without the taint of idolatry.

The first contract between Laban and Jacob was that Jacob would marry his daughter, Rachel, after 7 years of working for him (Genesis 29:15-20,27-30). But after Jacob fulfilled his seven years, Laban deceived Jacob and gave him Leah, his older daughter, instead (Genesis 29:23-26). Then Jacob had to work an additional seven years to marry Rachel (Genesis 29:23-26). Even though Laban broke his contract with Jacob, he still got Rachal in the end.

The second contract between Laban and Jacob:

Jacob faithfully served his time out with Laban. Though Laban's service was hard, and he had cheated him in the first bargain he had made, yet Jacob honestly performs his engagements. Note, A good man, though he swear to his own hurt, will not change. And though others have deceived us this will not justify us in deceiving them. Our rule is to do as we would be done by, not as we are done by. Jacob's term having expired, he begs leave to be gone (Genesis 30:25). Jacob had a large family to provide for, and he wanted to set up for himself, but no provision was yet made for them. He had got wives and children with Laban, but nothing else; yet he does not solicit Laban to give him either a portion with his wives or the maintenance of some of his children. No, all his request is, “Give me my wives and my children, and send me away” (Genesis 30:25-26). Note, Those that trust in God, in his providence and promise, though they have great families and small amounts of money, can cheerfully hope that he who sends mouths will send meat. He who feeds the brood of the ravens will not starve the seed of the righteous.

In love to himself, not to Jacob or to his wives or children, Laban endeavors to persuade him to continue his chief shepherd, entreating him, by the regard he bore him, not to leave him, “If I have found favour in thy eyes, tarry.” (Genesis 30:27). Note, selfish men know how to give good words when it is to serve their own ends. Laban found that his stock had wonderfully increased with Jacob's good management, and he owns up to it, with very good expressions of respect both to God and Jacob: “I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for thy sake.” Observe,

Laban admits that his prosperity was owing to God's blessing: “The Lord has blessed me.” Note, worldly men, who choose their portion in this life, are often blessed with an abundance of this world's goods. Commonly, blessings are given plentifully to many that have no title to covenant- blessings. Jacob's piety had brought that blessing upon him: The Lord has blessed me, not for my own sake. Let not such a man as Laban, that lives without God in the world, think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord (James 1:7), but for thy sake. Note, God often blesses bad men with outward mercies for the sake of their godly relations, though it is seldom that they have either the wit to see it or the grace to own up to it, as Laban did here.

Laban's covetousness took advantage of Jacob's plainness, honesty, and good nature; and, perceiving that Jacob began to be won upon by his fair speeches, instead of making him a generous offer and bidding high, as he ought to have done, all things considered, he puts it upon him to make his demands (Genesis 30:28): “Appoint me thy wages,” knowing he would be very modest in them, and would ask less than he could for shame offer. Jacob accordingly makes a proposal to him, in which he shows what reason he had to insist upon so much, considering,

(1.) That Laban was bound in gratitude to do well for him, because he had served him not only faithfully, but very successfully (Genesis 30:30). Yet here observe how he speaks, like himself, very modestly. Laban had said, "The Lord has blessed me for thy sake; Jacob will not say so, but, The Lord has blessed thee since my coming." Note, Humble saints take more pleasure in doing good than in hearing of it again.

(2.) That he himself was bound in duty to take care of his own family: Now, when shall I provide for my own house also? Note, Faith and charity, though they are excellent things, must not prevent us from making necessary provisions for our own support, and the support of our families. We must, like Jacob, trust in the Lord and do good, and yet we must, like him, provide for our own houses also; he that does not the latter is worse than an infidel (1 Timothy 5:8).

Jacob is willing to refer himself to the providence of God, which, he knew, extends itself to the smallest things, even the colour of the cattle; and he will be content to have for his wages the sheep and goats of such and such a colour, speckled, spotted, and brown, which should hereafter be brought forth (Genesis 30:32,33). This, he thinks, will be a most effectual way both to prevent Laban's cheating him and to secure himself from being suspected of cheating Laban. And Laban was willing to consent to this bargain because he thought if the few he has that were now speckled and spotted were separated from the rest, which by agreement was to be done immediately, the body of the flock which Jacob was to tend, being of one colour, either all black or all white, would produce few or none of mixed colours, and so he should have Jacob's service for nothing, or next to nothing. According to this bargain, those few that were partly coloured were separated, and put into the hands of Laban's sons, and sent three days' journey off; so great was Laban's jealously lest any of them should mix with the rest of the flock, to the advantage of Jacob. And now a fine bargain Jacob has made for himself! Is this his providing for his own house, to put it upon such an uncertainty? If these cattle bring forth, as usually cattle do, young ones of the same colour with themselves, he must still serve for nothing, and be a drudge and a beggar all the days of his life; but he knows whom he has trusted, and the event showed.

It is not in vain to rely upon the divine providence, which owns and blesses honest humble diligence. Those that find men whom they deal with unjust and unkind shall not find God so, but, some way or other, he will recompense the injured, and be a good pay-master to those that commit their cause to him.

Now Jacob's contrivances were,

1. To set peeled sticks before the cattle where they were watered, that, looking much at those unusual partly-coloured sticks, by the power of imagination they might bring forth young ones in like manner party-coloured (Genesis 30:37-39).

2. When he began to have a stock of ring-straked and brown, he contrived to set them first, and to put the faces of the rest towards them, with the same design as in the former contrivance; but would not let his own, that were motley-coloured, look at Laban's that were of one colour (Genesis 30:40).

3. When he found that his project succeeded, through the special blessing of God upon it, he contrived, by using it only with the stronger cattle, to secure to himself those that were most valuable, leaving the feebler to Laban (Genesis 30:41-42). Thus Jacob increased exceedingly (Genesis 30:43), and grew very rich in a little time. This success of his policy, it is true, was not sufficient to justify it, if there had been any thing fraudulent or unjust in it, which we are sure there was not, for he did it by divine direction (Genesis 31:12); nor was there any thing in the thing itself but the honest improvement of a fair bargain, which the divine providence wonderfully prospered, both in justice to Jacob whom Laban had wronged and dealt harshly with and in pursuance of the particular promises made to him of the tokens of the divine favour, Note, Those who, while their beginning is small, are humble and honest, are in a likely way to see their latter end greatly increasing. He that is faithful in a little shall be entrusted with more. He that is faithful in that which is another man's shall be entrusted with something of his own. Jacob, who had been a just servant, became a rich master.

Positive examples between Believers and Believers


Deuteronomy 29:14-15, "Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:"

This agreement is made by fellow believers before the Lord.


Joshua 24:25, "So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem."

Here, the people solemnly promise to serve the Lord alone. Joshua calls them to witness against themselves, that they had promised to worship God alone. The people promise obedience. Joshua makes a covenant with the people and writes it in a book and sets up a stone as a memorial of it (Joshua 24:26).

Note: Only covenants between fellow believers were written down (Joshua 24:26, Nehemiah 9:38, Jeremiah 32:10-12), there is no record of covenants between believers and heathens being written down.


Jonathan and David:

1 Samuel 18:3, "Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul."

Such covenants of brotherhood are frequent in the East. They are ratified by certain ceremonies, and in the presence of witnesses, that the men covenanting will be sworn brothers for life.


1 Samuel 20:8, "Therefore thou shalt deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of the LORD with thee: notwithstanding, if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father?"

Here, David complains to Jonathan of Saul's enmity against him, and Jonathan comforts him. The covenant that Jonathan and David had was a covenant of the Lord. They walk out into the field, and renew their covenant (verses 11-17), and was made before the Lord:

1 Samuel 20:16, "So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David's enemies."

1 Samuel 23:18, "And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house."

Still later, when there is trouble, Jonathan meets David in the wood of Ziph, strengthens his hand in God, and they renew their covenant with each other before the Lord.


2 Kings 11:4,17 "And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king's son. And Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they should be the LORD'S people; between the king also and the people."

This shows a covenant being made between Jehoiada, the high priest, and other men of God. They took an oath in the house of the Lord, before the Lord. And then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people to follow God's Law.


1 Chronicles 11:3, "Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel."

This covenant was made before the Lord, according to the word of the Lord.


2 Chronicles 23:1-3, "And in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham, and Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, and Azariah the son of Obed, and Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, into covenant with him. And they went about in Judah, and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the chief of the fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. And all the congregation made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said unto them, Behold, the king's son shall reign, as the LORD hath said of the sons of David."

Another covenant made before fellow believers, in the house of the Lord, made before the Lord to exercise His Will.


2 Chronicles 23:16, "And Jehoiada made a covenant between him, and between all the people, and between the king, that they should be the LORD'S people."

It is a righteous act when people make an agreement to serve the Lord.


Job 31:1, "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?"

This is a covenant that Job made with himself. To paraphrase, he is basically saying, “My conscience and my eyes are the contracting parties; God is the Judge; and I am therefore bound not to look upon any thing with a delighted or covetous eye, by which my conscience may be defiled, or my God dishonoured.”

Negative examples between Believers and Believers


King Zedekiah and his subjects:

Jeremiah 34:8, "This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them;"

This is a covenant to the Hebrew man-servants and maid-servants, in compliance with the law of Moses, which states "Every man should let his man-servant and his maid-servant go free” (Exodus 21:2). As we learn from Jeremiah 34:14, on the sabbatical year; for the seventh year was the year of release (Deuteronomy 15:12).

The people obeyed this covenant in Jeremiah 34:8. But, in the very next verse (Jeremiah 34:9) they broke it! The princes and people again reduced to bondage their servants whom they had set free (Jeremiah 34:11). Jeremiah 34:12-22 explains the consequences from the Lord for them breaking their covenant. This is lengthy, but shows how seriously God desires that people honor their agreements.

Jeremiah 34:12-22, "Therefore the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying, At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear. And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name: But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof, The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf; I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth. And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which are gone up from you. Behold, I will command, saith the LORD, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant."


Malachi 2:14, "Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant."

God is a witness between the marriage agreement between man and woman. This is how all agreements and promises should be made, with God as a witness. Those who deal treacherously and break their word with another will reap the judgment of God (Malachi 3:5), whether it's between you and another believer, you and a heathen, or you and your spouse.


As we have seen, when we enter into an agreement with somebody, God wants us to keep our word, even if it means breaking God's Word. Why?

Numbers 30:2, "If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth."

Therefore, before we enter into an agreement with someone, we must take into consideration who we are entering into an agreement with, the purpose for the agreement, and if the agreement is made before the Lord. Because it is God's Will that we keep our Word with others, no matter what the consequences.

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