Although this covenant is within the fifth book of Moses, Deuteronomy 29:1 clearly shows that the Land Covenant is distinct from the Mosaic Covenant:
‘These are the words of the covenant which Jehovah commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.’
A. The Participants in the Covenant:
This covenant was made between God and Israel, the same two parties as the Mosaic Covenant.
B. The Provisions of the Covenant:
Eight provisions can be gleaned from this passage.
First, Moses spoke prophetically of Israel’s coming disobedience to the Mosaic Law and her subsequent scattering over the entire world Deuteronomy 29:2-30:1. All remaining provisions speak of various facets of Israel’s final restoration.
Secondly, Israel will repent in Deut. 30:2: ‘… and shall return unto Jehovah your God, to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul; …’
Thirdly, the Messiah will return in verse 3a: ‘… that then Jehovah your God will turn your captivity, …’
Fourthly, Israel will be regathered in verses 3b-4: ‘… and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the peoples, whither Jehovah your God has scattered you. If any of your outcasts be in the uttermost parts of heaven, from thence will Jehovah your God gather you: …’
Fifth, Israel will possess the Promised Land in verse 5: ‘… and Jehovah your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and he will do you good, and multiply you above your fathers.’
Sixth, Israel will be regenerated in verse 6: ‘And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.’
Seventh, the enemies of Israel will be judged in verse 7: ‘And Jehovah your God will put all these curses upon your enemies, and on them that hate you, that persecuted you.’
Eighth, Israel will receive full blessing; specifically, the blessings of the Messianic Age in verses 8-20.
C. The Importance of the Covenant:
The special importance of the Land Covenant is that it reaffirms the title deed to the Land as belonging to Israel. Although she would prove unfaithful and disobedient, the right to the Land would never be taken from her. Furthermore, it shows that the conditional Mosaic Covenant did not lay aside the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant. It might be taken by some that the Mosaic Covenant displaced the Abrahamic Covenant, but the Land Covenant shows that this is not true. The Land Covenant is an enlargement of the original Abrahamic Covenant. It amplifies the Land aspect and emphasizes the promise of the Land to God’s earthly Jewish people in spite of their unbelief. The Abrahamic Covenant teaches that ownership of the Land is unconditional while the Land Covenant teaches that the enjoyment of the Land is conditioned on obedience.
D. The Confirmation of the Covenant: Ezekiel 16:1-63:
The Land Covenant received its confirmation centuries later in Ezekiel 16:1-63. In this very important passage concerning God’s relationship to Israel, God recounts His love of Israel in her infancy in verses 1-7. Later, in verses 8-14 Israel was chosen by God and became related to Jehovah by marriage and hence became the Wife of Jehovah. However, Israel played the harlot and was guilty of spiritual adultery by means of idolatry in verses 15-34; therefore, it was necessary to punish her by means of dispersion in verses 35-52. This dispersion is not final, for there would be a future restoration on the basis of the Land Covenant in verses 53-63. They were guilty of violating the Mosaic Covenant in verses 53-59, but God will remember the covenant made with Israel in her youth in verse 60a and will establish an everlasting covenant, the New Covenant in verse 60b and this will result in Israel’s national salvation in verses 61-63.
E. The Status of the Covenant:
The Land Covenant, being an unconditional covenant, is still very much in effect.
Taken from ‘The Word of God: Its Nature and Content’ – For the following versions of this book please click on Paperback; ePub (for iPad) and Mobi (for Kindle)