The Covenants

“For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites; to whom pertain the adoption [sonship], and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, … not as though the Word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the Word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.” —Romans 9:3-9

IT IS evident from the Apostle Paul’s statement in the scripture quoted above, that the covenants are a vital part of the structure of the truth, and are valuable in helping to understand the unfolding of God’s plan of salvation. God has made covenants in the past as well as promises of some in the future, which are referred to in the text quoted above. Outstanding among these various agreements are the three principal covenants of the Scriptures, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Law Covenant, and the New Law Covenant.

The covenant God made with Abraham provides for the seed, through which the reconciliation of mankind to himself will be accomplished. It is recorded in Genesis 22:15-18, “And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Some have questioned whether this was a covenant or a promise, but the Scriptures confirm that it is a covenant. (Acts 3:25; Luke 1:72,73) It is unusual, however, because it did involve God and it was in due time to affect others, but he made the promises contained in it irrevocable. God’s purpose was to make the covenant and its terms understandable to those with whom he was dealing, and leave it to the individual to decide whether or not he would comply in view of the promises made; compliance is therefore voluntary.

We know that the promise was made to Abraham because he demonstrated faith by his willingness to sacrifice his son, the son of promise, in obedience to God’s will. He had confidence that, since the Lord had promised that the blessings would come through Isaac’s seed, he would raise him from the dead, if necessary, in order to honor his word. (Heb. 11:17-19) The Lord referred to Isaac as Abraham’s only son, which from the standpoint of the flesh might not seem correct because Abraham had another son, Ishmael. But from the Lord’s point of view, Abraham had only one wife, Sarah, and one son by that wife, Isaac. This is an important point when we come to consider the meaning and operation of the covenant.

Each of the covenants, as it relates to God’s plan of redemption, is designed to accomplish one step, or one phase, of his plan. The promises related to each covenant may have various ramifications, but the work to be done is explicitly specified in the covenant. This is true of the Abrahamic Covenant, which is specifically concerned with the development of the seed of blessing. As a result of the completion of the seed, the promise was made that God, through the agency of the seed, would bless all the families of the earth. But this is to require another covenant because it is a separate, distinct, and final phase of God’s plan of reconciliation. (Gal. 3:7,8,16,26-29; Heb. 8:6-12) Confirming this, the Abrahamic Covenant contains the promise that the seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. This relates to the work of the seed in the further development of God’s plan. Historically it was true that those who controlled the gates of the city were in control of the city. In this simile, the Lord is saying that in due time the seed will have control of this present evil world, and that righteousness and justice will prevail.—Matt. 19:28,29; Rev. 20:1-3; 21:1-5; Matt. 16:17-19

The Law Covenant was not a part of the Abrahamic Covenant but, according to the Apostle Paul, was added. “This I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed [established] before of God, the Law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul [set aside], that it should make the promise of none effect. For, if the inheritance be of the Law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the Law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.” (Gal. 3:17-20) The Law Covenant was ordained by angels and, because of its terms, required a mediator, but the Abrahamic Covenant was ordained by God and its terms did not require a mediator. As Paul suggests, the Law Covenant was made, using the nation of Israel as an example, to demonstrate how they, because of their fallen condition, could not render perfect obedience to God’s law and thereby attain its provision of life. This covenant continued in effect, however, until the promised seed came.

The inauguration of the Law Covenant, as recorded in Exodus 24:4-8, was used by the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 9:19,20 as a type of the inauguration of the New Covenant. He points out that in the dedication of the Law Covenant the death of that which had ratified it was necessary to be produced. (Heb. 9:16, Diaglott) And so with the New Covenant, it is necessary that the death of the better sacrifices be produced before the covenant can be ratified.—Heb. 9:22,23

We probably would not have the clear understanding of the covenants that we do, if it had not been for the error of some brethren in Paul’s day who felt that they should be under the Law as well as under the Covenant of Grace, or Abrahamic Covenant. It was by divine inspiration that the apostle was able to show through the allegory prepared many centuries before by God, “that the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” The account, recorded in Galatians 4:21-31, reads as follows: “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the Law, do ye not hear the Law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from Mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But the Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free.”

To better understand what the apostle is saying, we need to review Abraham’s life as recorded in Genesis, beginning with the twelfth chapter through the twenty-second chapter. There we find when God first called Abram while he was living in the land of the Chaldees, he made this promise: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Responding to God’s call, Abram took Sarah and others of his family, with all their possessions and, leaving Ur of the Chaldees, was led eventually to the land of Canaan.—Gen. 12:1-6

Abram was seventy-five years old when God finally brought him into the Promised Land. As time went by, however, the promise to make of him a great nation seemed less and less probable because of the advancing years of both himself and Sarah. The problem began to weigh so heavily upon them that Sarah “said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abraham hearkened to the voice of Sarah.” (Gen. 16:2) The maid’s name was Hagar, and as a result of this union a child was born who was called Ishmael. It should be remembered that this method of bringing forth the promised seed was not authorized by God; it was a matter of the flesh and had nothing to do with the original promise. Ishmael grew to be a young lad, but God did not recognize him as the promised seed. In fact, God appeared to Abraham and renewed his promise that Sarah would have a child by him.

This account is recorded in Genesis 17:15-21: “God said unto Abraham, as for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her and give thee a son of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old, and shall Sarah that is ninety years old bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed: and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.”

Isaac was born at the set time promised, but his birth required a miracle by God. (Rom. 4:19) Isaac thus became an apt type of Christ and the church, begotten to a new life as the spiritual seed by the Holy Spirit of God and promised a resurrection to the divine nature. After a time, “Sarah saw the son of Hagar … mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. … And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. … And God heard the voice of the lad; and … the angel of God … said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? … Arise, Lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad to drink.”—Gen. 21:9-19

Abraham had many experiences that were directed by the Lord, and in all of these God tried and developed his faith. His greatest test came when the Lord asked him to sacrifice Isaac, the son of promise. This is recorded in Genesis 22:1-19. It was because Abraham demonstrated the completeness of his faith in God, by his obedience to the instruction of the Lord, that the wonderful promise, previously quoted from verses fifteen to nineteen, was made to him. This experience also was a type wherein Abraham represented God sacrificing his only begotten Son, Jesus, that the world might have life.

Returning now to Paul’s use of these circumstances to show their allegorical significance, we see immediately the evidence of God’s hand in the matter. In the picture, Abraham represents God; Sarah, his only true wife, represented the Abrahamic Covenant; and the seed, Isaac, was the seed of promise that was provided by a miracle. According to the apostle, Isaac represented Christ and his footstep-followers in the Gospel Age. (Gal. 3:16,26-29) When we consider this, we realize that it was by God’s arrangement that Jesus came to earth and became a man, in order that he might take Adam’s place in death and thus provide the means for removing Adamic condemnation from mankind. In culmination of his begettal at Jordan, God’s mighty power raised Jesus out from the power of the grave and raised him to his own right hand, with authority to function as the head of the church. (Eph. 1:19,20; Heb. 2:10,11,16-18; Col. 1:17-22) The footstep-followers of Jesus also are begotten of the Holy Spirit, and because of this miracle, God will raise these from death in like fashion as Jesus, to be born to the divine nature in order to be associated with Jesus in the work of the next age. (Rom. 8:14-18) And so Paul could say, “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”—Gal. 4:28

Unlike Sarah, Hagar was not a wife, but a bondwoman; and her son (who pictured the nation of Israel) was a matter of the flesh, which was not God’s arrangement for providing the promised seed. But, nevertheless, Abraham loved Ishmael. (Gen. 17:18; 21:11,12) And so, as in the type, God has loved and dealt with the nation of Israel, but they are not to be the seed of blessing. Hagar represented the Law Covenant, which held its children, the nation of Israel, in bondage.

Then, in considering the allegory further, the apostle quotes from Isaiah 54:1-5: “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.” Here the prophet, by inspiration from God, is referring to one of the circumstances of the allegory—the barrenness of Sarah, and the seed produced by Hagar. Under the Mosaic Law, a husband could have a wife and concubines; but in this arrangement, the real wife was protected and continued to hold the prominent place in the household. But if, in that household, the wife was barren and a concubine brought forth the first child, she was exalted to a high place in the household. This was true in the case of Sarah and Hagar. We read in Genesis 16:4,5, “When she [Hagar] saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarah said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid unto thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes.” As a result of this confrontation, Hagar fled from the face of Sarah, but later by the Lord’s overruling, she came back into Abraham’s household. In Isaiah’s prophecy, God is telling us that even though Hagar, who pictured the Law Covenant, had the first child, Ishmael, and had claim on the husband, Abraham, eventually Sarah would have more children than Hagar. This foretold the time when Jesus would be resurrected and exalted to the divine nature, and become the firstfruit of the Abrahamic Covenant, opening up a “new and living way,” which Jesus would consecrate for us, through the veil, that is to say his flesh.—Heb. 10:20; Ps. 2:8; Rev. 2:26,27

In the fifth verse of the prophecy we read, “For thy Maker is thine husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” This establishes the typical husband and wife relationship of the covenants in the allegory.

In Galatians 4:29, 30, the apostle confirms that, just as in the type when Hagar and Ishmael were cast out because Ishmael mocked Isaac, so was it true in the reality; the children of the Law Covenant mocked and persecuted the children of the Abrahamic Covenant. And Paul states that the sequential events in the type were also true in the reality—that the Law Covenant and its children, the Jewish nation, were cast off and they shall not be heir with the children of the Abrahamic Covenant.

In the eleventh chapter of Romans there is an unusual text of scripture that deals with the three covenants we are considering. Paul opens the chapter expressing remorse that, because of unfaithfulness, the nation of Israel failed to receive the promises held out to them under the Abrahamic Covenant. But he is consoled by the fact that there was a remnant who recognized Jesus and accepted the way of salvation offered through him. Then he continues, “If the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.” (vs. 16) The original branches in this illustration, which represented Israel, were mostly all broken off because of unbelief, and Gentiles were grafted in. The Gentiles were represented by the wild olive branches, and contrary to nature the wild branches brought forth the good fruit of the good olive tree. The olive tree would seem to represent God’s divine purpose, which has its roots in the Abrahamic Covenant. The Apostle Paul expressed the thought, in Romans 8:3,4, “For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

We want to especially consider verses twenty-five through thirty-two of Romans eleven. “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” (vs. 25) The apostle quoted from a prophecy in Isaiah 6:9-13, as did Jesus also, in Matthew 13:13-15. The prophecy states that Israel would be blinded and cast off, and that the land would become desolate. The prophet then asked how long would this condition last, and the Lord answered, “The Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the land. But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a tell tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof. [Rotherham: A holy seed shall be the stock thereof.]” Paul interprets this text as saying that the nation of Israel will be blind and desolate until a holy seed shall give them life. This holy seed is the seed of Abraham—Christ and his church. Returning to Romans eleven, the apostle elaborates: “So all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (vss. 26,27) The covenant God will make with the nation of Israel in order to take away their sins will be the New Covenant, which is set forth in Jeremiah 31:28-34 and Hebrews 8:6-13.

In the subsequent verses of Romans eleven, the apostle tells us the Jews as a nation had the first opportunity to become the seed of Abraham, but they failed the test and the privilege was given to the Gentiles. “For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief.” (vs. 30) Then Paul indicates that the seed of Abraham, composed of both Jews and Gentiles, will be the instrument God uses to bring blessings to Israel and the world of mankind.

In Micah 5:1-3, we have a supportive prophecy showing that before Israel and the world can receive the blessings of the New Covenant, the seed to be developed under the Abrahamic Covenant must be completed. The prophecy reads, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he [Jesus] come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Therefore will he [God] give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth; then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.” ‘She that travaileth’ is the Abrahamic Covenant represented in Sarah, who was to bring forth the promised seed of blessing—Christ and his church. And it is not until the travailing is over and the birth (the church completed and glorified) has taken place that Israel will experience a return to full favor under the terms of the New Covenant.

We think it appropriate to quote from an article on the covenants, written by a Bible scholar many years ago: “We thus get the thought that the covenant under which Christ and his church were to be developed was not a new covenant which superseded the Old Law Covenant, but in reality is a much older covenant than that made at Mount Sinai—it was made back in the days of Abraham. However, it remained barren for twenty-two hundred years, and about nineteen hundred years ago that covenant was delivered from its barren condition (when Christ was begotten of the Spirit at Jordan.) It would not be right to say that when Isaac was begotten, Sarah had become Abraham’s new wife. She was his true wife much longer, as respects her relationship to Abraham, than was Hagar. The only difference was that there had not been any visible result from Sarah’s relationship to Abraham up to that time. The same is true of the covenant under which we are developed. It is not a new covenant any more than Sarah was a new wife, and if it is proper to term the Law Covenant the Old Covenant, then it is proper to designate the covenant under which we are developed as an Older Covenant still.”

The New Covenant was designed by God to replace the Law Covenant which was not able, because of the weakness of the flesh, to bring those under the covenant to perfection, and thereby qualify them to receive life. Its mediator, faithful Moses, was at best an imperfect man who eventually died in that office. The priests, who were also dying men, could not offer any better basis for atonement than the blood of animals, which possessed no ransoming merit. This impotency of administration, no doubt evident to those it served, offered little incentive for the people to cooperate with any instruction and help provided for their uplift. God corrected this deficiency by supplying the New Covenant with better promises and a better mediator, Christ and his church. The mediator was developed through the operation of the Abrahamic Covenant during the Gospel Age. A mediator is a go-between (Strong’s Concordance, #3316), for two or more parties who are not in agreement. This situation was true under the Law Covenant and it will also be true under the New Covenant, and is opposed to the condition that exists for those under the Abrahamic Covenant, for they are reconciled to God by the blood of Christ, and therefore need no mediator. (Rom. 8:1-4; 5:10,11) Jesus is the church’s advocate (I John 2:1, Greek—paraclete; John 14:26), who provided the means for their access and relationship to the Heavenly Father.

The Apostle Paul, in Hebrews 8:6-13, makes mention of various aspects of the New Covenant, and we will discuss some of these points without quoting the text. In the ninth verse, the apostle, in quoting from Jeremiah 31:32, states that the New Covenant was not to be like the one he made with the nation of Israel when he led them out of Egypt, which covenant they broke, “and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.” The Hebrew word husband, used in the Jeremiah text, is baal and has two meanings: one is ‘lord or master or husband’, and the other is ‘to disdain’. Paul used the latter meaning when translating this text, and this is in harmony with the facts; for after Israel rejected Jesus, they, as a nation, were cast off with respect to the hope of becoming part of the seed. (Matt. 23:37-39) The period of time they have been disregarded is contemporary with the Gospel Age, which is still in progress.

Therefore, in verse ten the apostle states, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days.” By ‘after those days’, the apostle is referring to the period of time during which Israel is cast off and the work of the Gospel Age is complete; then the Lord will make the New Covenant with the house of Israel. (Heb. 10:13-17) In the subsequent verses of Hebrews the eighth chapter, the apostle describes the work of the New Covenant, which is to bring Israel, as well as the rest of mankind, up the highway of holiness to the state of perfection.—Isa. 35:8

In Hebrews 7:22, Jesus is spoken of as “a surety of a better covenant.” The Greek word for surety is egguos which, according to Strong’s Concordance, means a ‘bondsman’, or ‘one who assumes the responsibility to see that a transaction is completed’. Thus the apostle is saying that Jesus, in giving himself for a covenant of the people (Isa. 42:6; Matt. 26:28), is a guarantee that the New Covenant will be established and that it will accomplish its work.

We obviously are not able to consider all the texts that concern the New Covenant, but we will examine one final text, Hebrews 9:13,15. “If the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Covenant, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” In the context of this chapter, the apostle is relating the function of the typical Tabernacle principally to the Day of Atonement, showing that the animal sacrifices were only typical and did not really take away the sins of Israel.

Christ, on the other hand, was the fulfillment of the typical offering for sin, and by offering himself he provided the merit necessary to cleanse them from Adamic sin. In our previous considerations, we have shown that the Mediator of the New Covenant is not just Christ, but is composed of the entire seed of blessing, Christ and his church. We have also shown that this mediator must be complete before the New Covenant can be inaugurated, else they will have nothing to mediate. Because of this, the merit of his death, or the ransom-price, has not yet been applied on behalf of Israel and the world by inaugurating the New Covenant, but was first applied on behalf of his church.

The Apostle Paul, in Hebrews 9:24, states, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” The purpose, of course, was to provide the means for the justification of the church, and thus make it possible for them to be qualified as the seed of blessing, the mediator, with Christ, of the New Covenant. (Matt. 26:28,29) In demonstrating the church’s share in this arrangement, the apostle states, “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things [that is, the typical arrangements] in the heavens should be purified with these [that is, animal sacrifices]; but the heavenly things themselves [that is, the reality of the types] with better sacrifices than these.” (Heb. 9:23) The better sacrifices are Christ and his church.

In our text, Hebrews 9:13-15, the apostle states that Jesus, in order to be the mediator of the New Covenant, had to yield himself in sacrifice, and because of his faithfulness, he was exalted to the divine nature, and was empowered to be the better mediator of the New Covenant, which was to be activated in the future. (Heb. 5:8,9; 9:11) Paul then states that the merit of Christ’s sacrifice would cleanse from Adamic condemnation those Jews who were called to be a part of the church, so that they might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.—John 6:44,45

No consideration of the covenants would be complete without a discussion of Keturah, whom we believe represented the New Covenant. She became Abraham’s wife after the death of Sarah. In Genesis 24:67 we read, “Isaac brought her [Rebekah] into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. In keeping with the allegory of Abraham’s wives representing covenants, this seems to be telling us that the part of the Abrahamic promise, represented in Sarah, came to an end after its work of bringing forth the promised seed, Christ and his church, was complete. In Genesis 25:1-6, we are told that immediately after the death of Sarah, Abraham took another wife and her name was Keturah. It is interesting that Keturah was Abraham’s concubine many years before. (I Chron. 1:32,33) It was through this previous relationship that the six sons of Keturah were born. These same sons are identified in Genesis 25:2. We think that this is an important facet in that it demonstrates that the covenants God has authorized are represented by real wives, and so in order to authenticate the arrangement, it was necessary for Abraham to make Keturah his real wife. Her six sons could well represent all of mankind other than the Jewish nation, exemplified by Ishmael, the son of Hagar. The fifth verse of Genesis twenty-five reads, “Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac [the seed of promise]. But unto the sons of the concubines [Hagar, and Keturah before she was Abraham’s wife] which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.” (vs. 6) The six sons of Keturah, plus Ishmael the son of Hagar, make seven—a symbol of completeness. Isaac, on the other hand, received the promises of the Abrahamic Covenant and remained separate from the other sons.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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