In the Ancient Near East covenants were contracts. They were commonly marked by:

Contracts between human partners form the basis for understanding God's relationship with his people: Abraham Gen 15:1ff.; Israel Ex 19-20; David Ps 89:4. Israel's unfaithfulness led prophets to look forward to a New Covenant, an idea of importance to the New Testament; whose Greek name kaine diatheke means New Covenant.

In Amos the word, berit (covenant) itself is used speaking of a human treaty, a covenant of brothers or of kinship (1:9). However Amos makes use of the exodus and election traditions and lists punishments (4:6-11) which many authors notice are similar to the covenant punishments found in Lev 26:16ff. for example.

This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,

© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.