covenant

[kuhv-uh-nuhnt]
noun
1.
an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.
2.
Law. an incidental clause in such an agreement.
3.
Ecclesiastical. a solemn agreement between the members of a church to act together in harmony with the precepts of the gospel.
4.
(initial capital letter) History/Historical.
5.
Bible.
a.
the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture.
b.
the agreement between God and the ancient Israelites, in which God promised to protect them if they kept His law and were faithful to Him.
6.
Law.
a.
a formal agreement of legal validity, especially one under seal.
b.
an early English form of action in suits involving sealed contracts.
verb (used without object)
8.
to enter into a covenant.
verb (used with object)
9.
to promise by covenant; pledge.
10.
to stipulate.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French, noun use of present participle of covenir < Latin convenīre to come together, agree; see -ant

covenantal [kuhv-uh-nan-tl] , adjective


1. treaty, pact, convention.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To Covenant
Collins
World English Dictionary
covenant (ˈkʌvənənt)
 
n
1.  a binding agreement; contract
2.  law
 a.  an agreement in writing under seal, as to pay a stated annual sum to a charity
 b.  a particular clause in such an agreement, esp in a lease
3.  (in early English law) an action in which damages were sought for breach of a sealed agreement
4.  Bible God's promise to the Israelites and their commitment to worship him alone
 
vb
5.  to agree to a covenant (concerning)
 
[C13: from Old French, from covenir to agree, from Latin convenīre to come together, make an agreement; see convene]
 
covenantal
 
adj
 
cove'nantally
 
adv

Covenant (ˈkʌvənənt)
 
n
(Scot) history any of the bonds entered into by Scottish Presbyterians to defend their religion, esp one in 1638 (National Covenant) and one of 1643 (Solemn League and Covenant)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

covenant
c.1300, from O.Fr. covenant "agreement," originally prp. of covenir "agree, meet," from L. convenire "come together" (see convene). Applied in Scripture to God's arrangements with man, as a translation of L. testamentum, Gk. diatheke, both rendering Heb. berith (though testament
is also used for the same word in different places). Covenanter (1638), especially used of Scottish Presbyterians who signed the Solemn League and Covenant (1643) for the defense and furtherance of their cause.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

covenant definition


Literally, a contract. In the Bible, an agreement between God and his people, in which God makes promises to his people and, usually, requires certain conduct from them. In the Old Testament, God made agreements with Noah, Abraham, and Moses. To Noah, he promised that he would never again destroy the Earth with a flood. He promised Abraham that he would become the ancestor of a great nation, provided Abraham went to the place God showed him and sealed the covenant by circumcision of all the males of the nation. To Moses, God said that the Israelites would reach the Promised Land but must obey the Mosaic law. In the New Testament, God promised salvation to those who believe in Jesus.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Easton
Bible Dictionary

Covenant definition


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 convenant, 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. 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 covernant 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). COVENANT OF WORKS, the constitution under which Adam was placed at his creation. In this covenant, (1.) The contracting parties were (a) God the moral Governor, and (b) Adam, a free moral agent, and representative of all his natural posterity (Rom. 5:12-19). (2.) The promise was "life" (Matt. 19:16, 17; Gal. 3:12). (3.) The condition was perfect obedience to the law, the test in this case being abstaining from eating the fruit of the "tree of knowledge," etc. (4.) The penalty was death (Gen. 2:16, 17). This covenant is also called a covenant of nature, as made with man in his natural or unfallen state; a covenant of life, because "life" was the promise attached to obedience; and a legal covenant, because it demanded perfect obedience to the law. The "tree of life" was the outward sign and seal of that life which was promised in the covenant, and hence it is usually called the seal of that covenant. This covenant is abrogated under the gospel, inasmuch as Christ has fulfilled all its conditions in behalf of his people, and now offers salvation on the condition of faith. It is still in force, however, as it rests on the immutable justice of God, and is binding on all who have not fled to Christ and accepted his righteousness. CONVENANT OF GRACE, the eternal plan of redemption entered into by the three persons of the Godhead, and carried out by them in its several parts. In it the Father represented the Godhead in its indivisible sovereignty, and the Son his people as their surety (John 17:4, 6, 9; Isa. 42:6; Ps. 89:3). The conditions of this covenant were, (1.) On the part of the Father (a) all needful preparation to the Son for the accomplishment of his work (Heb. 10:5; Isa. 42:1-7); (b) support in the work (Luke 22:43); and (c) a glorious reward in the exaltation of Christ when his work was done (Phil. 2:6-11), his investiture with universal dominion (John 5:22; Ps. 110:1), his having the administration of the covenant committed into his hands (Matt. 28:18; John 1:12; 17:2; Acts 2:33), and in the final salvation of all his people (Isa. 35:10; 53:10, 11; Jer. 31:33; Titus 1:2). (2.) On the part of the Son the conditions were (a) his becoming incarnate (Gal. 4:4, 5); and (b) as the second Adam his representing all his people, assuming their place and undertaking all their obligations under the violated covenant of works; (c) obeying the law (Ps. 40:8; Isa. 42:21; John 9:4, 5), and (d) suffering its penalty (Isa. 53; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13), in their stead. Christ, the mediator of, fulfils all its conditions in behalf of his people, and dispenses to them all its blessings. In Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24, this title is given to Christ. (See DISPENSATION.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature