Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative

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The Mosaic Covenant

The Standard for Who His People Are and Who Enters the Promised Land

Moses on Mt Sinai

When God spoke directly to the nation of Israel, He set the standard for who could become "God’s own possession," "His kingdom of priests and holy nation," which enabled their entrance into the Promised Land (Ex 19:3-6).

In contrast to the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant was bilateral and conditional.

Failure to be obedient disqualified anyone from entering the Promised Land (Deut 1:34-36).

When God spoke of the Decalogue directly to the nation of Israel (Ex 20:1-17), they feared His voice and asked Moses to intercede. Through Moses, God elaborated on the 10 commandments in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy with 613 commands and prohibitions. Included in this, God specified the details to other items:

  • How the altar (Ex 20:24-26), Temple and Ark of the Covenant were to be constructed (Ex 25:8-10)
  • How the annual Day of Atonement was conducted, the role of the High Priest, the substitutionary sacrifice of the unblemished lamb for sin, and the Mercy Seat (Lev 16:15-19, 34; 17:11)
  • The commemoration of other religious festivals such as Passover (Lev 23:5-8; Ex 12:1-13, 42-51).

With the Mosaic Covenant, God Himself placed an emphasis on what it meant to be holy; something must be set apart or separated from the profane or unclean before it could come into the presence of His glory. It applied to time (Ex 20:8-12), space (Ex 19:23), objects (Ex 28:4-43) and people (Ex 40:12-15).

In requiring the nation of Israel to repeatedly conduct the substitutionary sacrifice of animals for the atonement if sin, God taught what sin was (Rom 7:7) and the atonement of sin set His people apart so that they would be His own possession (Lev 20:26).


Without knowledge of the Law, we would not know of any of this and understand its significance later…


To learn more, see:

Divine Covenants… the Law…

How and why the Mosaic Covenant is essential to the Abrahamic Covenant



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Providing His Son to Atone for Mankind's Sins

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