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Covenants in the Bible

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A "covenantal" understanding of creation,[1] or the idea of a "covenant of creation,"[2][3][4] appears in world mythology in varied iterations.[5][6][7] Some conceptualize it as the "ancient" or "eternal covenant" (בְּרִית עוֹלָם) of Hebrew myth, but which they believe was established at earth's foundation between the Deity and humankind; these ancient bonds, by the lights of their scholarship, are referenced in the Hebrew Bible (Gen 9:16; Num 25:13; Isa 24:5; Ezek 37:26; Heb 13:20)[8][9][10] and in Jewish mystical traditions.[11][12] Others recognize its appearance in many extra-biblical texts (i.e., non-canonical books, such as Jubilees, the Damascus Covenant, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, or the large corpus of Enochic literature in its Ethiopic, Slavonic, Greek, Aramaic or Middle-Persian translations or permutations, wherein it appears as both the "eternal covenant" and as the "Great Oath" that binds the forces of creation; see 1 En 41, 69; 99:2).[13][14][15] In recent decades it has acquired, among scholars and students of ancient Near Eastern mythology; biblical or other religious cosmologies (extra-canonical, pseudepigraphical, apocryphal); comparative religion, mythology and theology; Creationism; Creation-myth cosmogony; and Creation-covenant studies,[4][16][17] the name, "creation covenant" or "cosmic covenant."[3][8][9][18]

The idea of the cosmic oath or covenant was integral to the great creation mythologies of the ancient world.[1][3][19] Whereas, for the peoples of ancient Semitic lands it was the bᵉrīth ʿolam ('ancient, everlasting, or eternal covenant'),[8][20][21] those of the ancient Near East dwelling in the "Land of the Two Rivers" (as attested in their Babylonian epic Erra) referred to just such a binding oath of creation,[3][6][22] but they called it — as did Ezekiel who dwelt among them in exile (Ezek 34:25, 37:26) — the "covenant of peace."[1][23]

It was by this "ancient," "everlasting" or "peace" covenant — perceived by some scholars as the proto-oath to the Edenic, Noachic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Davidic covenants of biblical tradition, which, they suggest, subsumes them all [4][8][24][17] — that the created cosmos of the gods and all of nature were held in a balanced state of harmony, fertility, and cosmic order through humanity's compliance with heavenly law.[3][20] When that eternal oath was broken,[13][25] through humankind's unwise use of agency or free will, chaos, infertility, destruction, desolation, and a withering of creation ensued.[3][15][26]

Eternal covenant and creation myth[edit]

The Earth-genesis concept of the "covenant of creation" as found in several Near Eastern mythologies was known to the ancient Hebrews as an everlasting (eternal) covenant with the Creator-deity (a designation that occurs fourteen times in the Hebrew Bible in its full bᵉrīth ʿolam form).[9][20] Sharing as it does striking parallels with many different kinds of mythological texts outside the bible, the Hebrew version of the creation covenant appears conceptually for some scholars as the extra-canonical precursor to the bible's other conventionally recognized covenants.[8][15] Some believe it originally to have been (antecedent, that is, to the pre- and post-exilic Deuteronomistic redaction of biblical sources)[27][28] a part of the Edenic covenant with Adam and Eve and their posterity (Genesis 1:28-30), whereby God gave to humankind dominion over the earth and its creatures and issued to all the mandate to procreate.[3][4][9][16]

The belief that the great oath was concurrent with (perhaps even Pre-existent to) earth's Creation or the foundations of Eden, or a part of the covenant with humanity's 'primeval parents,' stems from the reasoning that the ancient covenant was, according to Brown (1996), "cast in altogether universal, cosmic terms ... the scope of the [eternal] covenant extends far beyond Noah and his family"[8][16][4] — and, by extension, beyond Abraham, Moses, and David as well.[3][24][17] Indeed, the concept of cosmic order and the idea of an intimate reciprocal bond or covenant between heaven and earth was widespread throughout the ancient world.[3][19] In a biblical context, however, because the book of Genesis suffered severe Deuteronomic priestly redaction during both the pre- and post-exilic periods, as is now acknowledged by scholarly consensus (with substantial evidence of corruption in the Hebrew and Greek texts)[29] there is much that may have, therefore, changed or been removed from the original sources.[27][28] As such, the manner in which the everlasting covenant originally may have preceded or been a part of the Edenic covenant remains unclear.[20][15]

Broader in scope, perhaps, than the biblical covenants that some believe proceed from it,[1][4][8][16] this "eternal" covenant of creation was, by the lights of many ancient non-biblical (pseudepigraphic, apocryphal, or otherwise non-canonical) texts,[2][30][31] an all-encompassing or universal covenant that was held fundamental, even "innate",[20][10] to all of creation.[3][9][17][24] Other treaties and covenants that followed, which emerge in the ancient texts, reveal additionally for some scholars origination from a single Near Eastern tradition, from "one basic ancient Near East covenant form that all ancient covenants, including Israelite covenants, are patterned after."[32]

George Mendenhall's important scholarship of the 1950s maintained that the Deity's relationship to humankind was intrinsically covenant-based. From the very beginning, he said, "the relationship between God and man" has always been "established by covenant."[2] Theologian Meredith Kline explained that the "covenant-making process" was implicit in the Creation of the world, when the first Man was made in the divine image: "There was no original non-covenantal order of mere nature on which the covenant was superimposed. Covenantal commitments were given by the Creator in the very act of endowing the man-creature with the mantle of divine likeness."[17] The covenant relationship in the ancient world was, moreover, wrote Dennis McCarthy, always a two-way relationship involving two contracting parties: covenants, oaths, treaties — be they secular or religious — "always involved bilateral obligations, whether these were stated or not,"[33][34] to which was yoked also the traditional oath-components of the "blessing" and "curse."[35][36] In the biblical manifestation of what might be viewed as a "creation covenant,"[9] the Creator blocked the way to the Tree of Life, signifying for humankind a forfeiture of life-giving fellowship with the divine — that is, a "curse" replaced the "blessing", in terms of both privilege and covenantal relationship.[4][25]

Accordingly, and as a similar type of creation-covenant dichotomy finds a place among the world's most ancient mythologies[6][7] — one linking Heaven and Earth[19][24][37] — some scholars maintain that the "everlasting" covenant, too, was a "divinely willed order harmoniously linking heaven and earth ... [which] was established at creation,[20] when the cosmic elements were fixed and bound to maintain the order."[3][10][13][17] Primeval in its essence, more ancient perhaps than its biblical counterparts bearing personal or group affiliation,[9][12] its covenantal scope and purpose shared an affinity with "Creation" myths of other cultures, in that it was, at least in its original appearance at Creation, universal and transcendent.[17]

The bᵉrīth ʿolam, as Isaiah declared in his pronouncement upon all nations (Isa 24), was "binding on all humanity" and its violation brought "ruin, not only on the human inhabitants of the earth but also on the whole ecological system."[20] Its breach resulted in "the corruption of man's moral instinct, and the obliteration of the innate awareness of the primordial principles [governing the natural universe that are] necessary for continued peace between creation and the Creator."[20][13] Isaiah's oracle was, in essence, as some believe,[4][20] an eschatalogical delineation of Creation's loss of blessing to the usurpatory curse, as that cyclical phenomenon would continue to play itself out in succeeding dispensations.[3][16][17] The great binding oath called "everlasting" defined itself, these scholars maintain, as a primordial or "preexisting" covenant in its own subsequent renewals or partial renewals in ancillary covenants that were divinely contracted with all of humanity or with specific individuals and/or groups (i.e., with Noah, as God's renewed "covenant of peace" [bᵉrīth sӑlom Isa 54:10] with humankind [1 En 93:4]; renewed again as an "ancient" [בְּרִית] though not a universal covenant with Abraham "the father of many nations"; and, for the early Christians, with their 'elect' body in Christ, as the covenant kainos)[23][8]

Isaiah 24 — an "ancient covenant" oracle that the prophet proclaimed or directed to all nations — is a prime biblical example (mirrored at many points by the pre-Diluvial, non-biblical texts of 1 Enoch and Jubilees) of what some scholars view as creation's eternal-covenant "cycle" of 1) established covenant & prosperity 2) pride, corruption & rebellion 3) broken covenant, curse & chaos 4) judgement & punishment 5) covenant renewal, fertility & triumph:[3][24] As per the Isaiah pericope, because of mortal sin, whereby humankind has "transgressed" the law, "violated" order, and "broken the eternal covenant," the heavens "languish" and the defiled Earth "mourns", for she has become polluted, "sick and withered," and a "curse" (ʾalah) now "devours" and afflicts her "guilty inhabitants" and her "ruined cities" (24:4-13). And yet, a righteous chorus is heard rising from the west, praising Yahweh. Soon, voices from every quarter are summoned to join in the hymns of praise (24:14-16). But the scene forthwith changes to one of treachery, judgement, and punishment of the "rebellious ones," for cosmic disorder and chaos ensue in flood, tumult and earthquake, until the collective "rebel" has "fallen, no more to rise" (24:16-20). Finally, the mighty hosts of Heaven (stars, luminaries) and of Earth (her kings, proud sons) are punished, "bound" and "imprisoned" in the pit, while Yahweh's righteous "elders" — His "holy ones" and "covenant-witnesses" — reign with Him as "sacral kings" in glory "on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem" (24:21-23; the intervening voices rising from the west in faithful praise seem to reflect, for Murray, a sort of "intermission" in the drama — a "turning-point before sentence is passed").[3]

Creation's covenant in extra-canonical texts[edit]

But beyond the Bible, the mythologies of Egypt and Mesopotamia, too,[30] and certain extra-canonical myths — such as those found in the apocryphal Prayer of Manasseh,[3] in the Judeo-Christian Enochic traditions,[13][18] or in pseudepigraphic works such as Jubilees,[38] which tell of events that pre-date Noah's Deluge and which extend into creation's primordial past — revolve around this binding "cosmic" contract,[8][9] by which rules (ḥuqqot) are set for creation and a boundary (gӗbul) is set upon chaos: which is the collective embodiment (the primeval monster)[26] of the utterly disruptive, disordered, and destructive adversarial forces that persist throughout the cosmos (see Job 38:8-11; Ps 74:13-17, 104:9; Prov 8:29; Jer 5:22-23).[3][15]

In many of these ancient traditions, even the movement of the heavens and of the seasons were bound up with the creation covenant, as reflected in the "early and fundamental association between the covenant formulary and concern for maintenance of the proper calendar" — so that "sin against the calendar could be considered as nothing less than a breach of the covenant."[38][36] The Enochic solar calendar of the Astronomy Book (1 Enoch) and of Jubilees[13][14] was, for example, understood to reflect "the cosmic order that God instituted at creation and that he intended as the proper vehicle for regulating Israel's socio-religious life."[39][15] Alternately, cosmic judgments followed "the days of the sinners" (1 En 80) when, as a sign that the covenantal statutes were not obeyed, the moon and stars altered their courses and the pestilence of famine, idolatry, disease, and war afflicted the offending nations (1 En 80:2-8;[40] see note for references to what is stated explicitly in a great many biblical passages also).[41] Because of earthly rebellion, murder, and mass fornication by which "they spoiled their seed" — so a Genesis midrash attests — "the Holy One ... upset unto them the order of the world" (Gen Rab 32:7).[26] Within the Mesopotamian and Egyptian traditions, chaos and infertility reigned.[30][19] All of nature by humankind's trespass was altered, including the ordained courses of the heavens. In 1 Enoch, the Deity in retribution went even further by making secret, heavenly Wisdom — but also saving Knowledge, which was now fully discordant with humanity's idolatrous, arrogant will — utterly inaccessible, sealing it off from all inquisition or contemplation by the wicked:

And the entire law of the stars will be closed to the sinners, and the thoughts of those who dwell upon the earth will go astray over them, and they will turn from all their ways [Heaven-sanctioned courses] and will go astray, and will think them[selves] gods ... (1 Enoch 80:7)

Cosmic order that was manifest in a culture's general stability, fertility, prosperity and peace — but now in the pestilential shadow of rebellion, covenant-curse, and chaos because creation's boundaries[42] were violated[13] — could only be restored through penitence ("Rend your hearts, and not your garments" - Joel 2:13) and by "the eschatological transformation of the earth" through renewed compliance with creation's covenant (1 En 90:18-36: see note for biblical references of this earthly restoration and renewal of the creation).[43] The book of Hebrews also emphasizes the ancient universal nature of covenant, for it "presupposes a notion of 'cosmic covenant' similar to that found in Enochic Judaism."[39][14]

In the 'Similitudes' of 1 Enoch, the ancient idea of oath-taking, as Gabriele Boccaccini affirms, is given "a broader, cosmic dimension. The entire universe is sustained by an oath. God sent an [arch]angel to reveal the oath ... 'By it the earth is founded upon the water ... and forever! By that oath, the sea was created ... and forever! And by that oath the depths are made firm ... and forever! By the same oath the sun and moon complete their courses of travel ... and forever! And by the same oath the stars complete their courses of travel ... and forever! ... This oath has become dominant over them; they are preserved by it and their paths are preserved by it (so that) their courses of travel do not perish' (1 En 69) ..."[14] A fundamental comprehension of these ancient universal bonds of creation, as Murray and Batto maintain, is central to achieving an accurate, holistic understanding of the Bible's covenantal landscape and of God's purposes for humankind and for the earth.[3][24]

The expansive tradition of the now well-known Enochic literature — in its varied Ethiopic (1 Enoch), Slavonic (2 Enoch), Hebrew (3 Enoch), Greek, Aramaic (Qumran Book of Giants) and Middle-Persian (Manichaean Book of Giants) iterations — is one of the most important of all of the extra-biblical "covenant" traditions.[13][15] Once held sacred by certain sectarian adherents of Second Temple Judaism[14] and even deemed canonical by the early Christians,[44] the Enochic literature, by its archetypal image of "cosmic oath-taking" (with its attendant safeguarding or betrayal of the cosmic "Secrets" — Wisdom's "mysteries"),[13] prefigures or typologically foreshadows, some believe, the various other biblical covenants that God makes with humankind.[8][18]

Fallen angels, broken oaths & heavenly ascents[edit]

Enoch, son of Jared, was an ancient patriarch and prophet who lived during Earth's first "dispensations" — even while Adam, the First Man, was yet alive.[13] The oral or written traditions about Enoch and his time which have condensed in the diverse manifestations of Near Eastern sacred literature re-discovered in modern times (including Middle-Persian texts that significantly contribute to, and intimately connect with, Enoch's story),[30][45] speak of this "eternal covenant" or agreement by which God's creation maintains not only harmony, but also prosperity amidst the chaos of the cosmos (see 1 En 2:1, 5:2).[3][1]

As a prophetic visionary, Enoch experiences the well-attested tradition of the "throne theophany" or "heavenly ascent"[46][47][48] (such as is found in Isaiah or Daniel,[49] or in the Ezekiel[50] and Johannine traditions,[51] or those of Levi[52] and Moses)[53] whereby he becomes an observer-member of the "heavenly council" (sôd) that governs the affairs of men on the earth and which is presided over by "the Lord of Spirits".[54] Enoch is made a "heavenly scribe" and commissioned by the council to be a messenger and an agent of judgement in the manner of the ancient prophets and seers (ultimately, he is given, too, that godly title of supreme Wisdom and high priesthood, "Metatron").[54][18]

Enoch's warning voice is raised against all of Earth's inhabitants, particularly against the 'fallen angels' (see the Book of Giants) who, by their blasphemous treachery and violence, refuse to abide by the universally binding covenant as it was first entrusted to the archangel Michael (see 1 En 5:4-9; 1 En 6-10; note especially 69:13-15, wherein Michael is entrusted with the cosmic oath containing the "Hidden Name" through which the whole universe is created and sustained: see below, "The Creation Oath or Covenant in 1 Enoch").[11] Indeed, as VanderKam observes, within the Enoch story is found "a strong accent on transgressing boundaries[42] that God had put in place at the creation."[13]

The Enochic concept of the cosmic oath — the binding law "by which natural phenomena are governed"[13] — emphasized that anything that departed from this order was seen to be a "deviation" from the divine plan. But the eternal covenant that the ancient oath-breakers were seen to violate in 1 Enoch 99:2 was, nevertheless, "based on Enochic, not Mosaic, Law and [therefore] 'cosmic' in scope," suggesting that such universal application, ultimately, extended God's offering of salvation to all people who would accept it.[39]

Earthly destruction and renewal[edit]

The cosmic covenant, as that "great oath that binds the forces of creation" and keeps "all the heavenly bodies [and powers safely] ... on their courses," secures creation's order as it holds the heavens and earth secure. Enoch, like all the prophets of God who enjoyed access to the affairs and divine councils of heaven, claimed direct revelation and, by implication to uphold the eternal covenant — even as the enemies of the elect of God chose to pervert it.[18][13]

The great apostasy from God's law and covenant as manifest in 1 Enoch was the terrible advent of Enoch's day, about which the ancient oracle tried desperately to warn the earth's inhabitants, but his cries of doom went unheeded (see the Book of Giants).[13] The fate and "curse" of the wicked (who, it was repeatedly emphasized, were to "have no peace," for they had abandoned "the high heaven and the holy eternal covenant")[55][14] was therefore sealed in the catastrophic Deluge, which was necessary for Earth's cleansing from her perverse defilement and for the restoration, or renewal, of the creation.[25][15] Spurning the insidious evil and rampant corruption that overtook their world,[56] the righteous and the wise among humankind continued to lift their voices to heaven in praise of, and in fealty to, the cosmic Creator of heaven and earth:

The Creation Oath or Covenant in 1 Enoch (69:16-21, 25)

And they are strong [true and faithful] through His oath:
And the heaven was suspended before the world was created [in pre-existence],
And for ever.
And through it [the creation oath or covenant] the earth was founded upon the water,
And from the secret recesses of the mountains [the treasuries of the heavenly Temple] come beautiful waters,
From the creation [foundation] of the world and unto eternity.
And through that oath the sea was created,
And as its [earthly temple] foundation He set for it the sand against the time of (its) anger [set its foundation, boundary firm],[42]
And it dare not pass beyond it [in order to stay true to its covenant] from the creation of the world unto eternity.
And through that oath are the depths made fast [or safely secure],
And abide and stir not from their place [in undeviating course] from eternity to eternity.
And through that oath the sun and moon complete [are faithful to] their course [the measure of their creation],
And deviate not from their ordinance [covenant] from eternity to eternity.
And through that oath the stars [angels, sons of God] complete [are faithful to] their course [the measure of their creation],
And He [the Son of Man, Lord of Creation] calls them by their names,
And they [His submissive works or creations] answer Him from eternity to eternity ...
And they are strong [true and faithful] through His oath:
And ... abide and stir not from their place [in undeviating course] from eternity to eternity.
And through that oath [they] complete [are faithful to] their course [the measure of their creation],
... And deviate not from their ordinance [covenant] from eternity to eternity ...
And this oath [and covenant] is mighty over them,
And through it [they are preserved and] their paths are preserved [protected],
And their course [the measure and purpose of their creation] is not destroyed ...

By just such "creation hymns" or psalms did the 'faithful' within all spheres of the natural order, in a spirit of cosmic covenant-making, ritually praise and acknowledge their Creator for the measure and promise of their existence and to secure His promised protection from chaos and destruction.[12][57][58][59]

Loyal, heaven-directed praises that extolled the divine covenant of creation and which petitioned for earthly prosperity against the threat of chaos were not limited to Semitic voices, however.

Cosmic balance and disorder in Babylon[edit]

Creation's covenant was known also among the Babylonians,[5] as might equally be said among the Egyptians,[7] the Hittites, and other ancient peoples,[19] who perceived the contract between Heaven and Earth as a "sacred marriage." Always made in the presence of (or "before") the Deity,[37][34] their ritual-covenant transactions called forth entities of both Heaven and Earth to solemnly stand as "witnesses" in similitude of the holy oath.[19]

The Neo-Assyrian oracle referred to as adû demonstrates "specific covenant terminology" to the ancient cosmic "year-rite" oath between the kings of earth and Heaven[60][61] — a divine-election motif pervasive throughout the ancient world.[25] Significantly, a seventh century B.C. Phoenician amulet attests to an "eternal covenant" between the god Ashur and "us," appealing to the "council of holy ones" as it enshrines the ritual performed "with a covenant of the Heavens and Eternal Earth."[31][3]

The people of Mesopotamia called their primordial 'creation' oath the "covenant of peace,"[1] and it was known at least as early as the Neo-Babylonian epic of Erra, a story contemporary with the establishment of the first Solomonic Temple at Jerusalem. It can also be seen in the sacred Sumerian "marriage of heaven and earth" (or that of the Egyptian "earth and sky") mythologies,[62] wherein there is, as the Inanna 'Queen of Heaven' epic proclaims, a cosmic covenantal union of "heaven and earth, mortal and divine ... and a new year has begun."[63][64]

These Near Eastern kingdoms took their heaven-earth vows in similar covenantal fashion as is put forth in biblical Hosea 2 — wherein the holy bonds of matrimonial order between the heavenly Yahweh and His earthly 'bride' (whereby He remembers and blesses His "beloved"), with contrasting alternatives of divorce and disorder (see also Hosea 4), are of a cosmic or eternal nature. Yahweh's solemn love-vow in Hosea is not the covenant that issued from Sinai.[3]

Like the Ethiopic Enoch, or the Aramaic and Middle-Persian Enochic stories of the Book of Giants, the Erra epic warned against the perils of aggression that can disrupt the cosmic balance and an ordered serenity of creation — "the equilibrium of heaven and earth," as the myth itself describes the ordered state of nature for which humankind covenants with God to preserve and to sustain.[3] As shown in its Babylonian iteration,[22] and just as the Judeo-Christian Enoch cycle demonstrates,[13][18] that delicate balance is threatened by disorder and renewed chaos when the universal 'oath and covenant' is breached by beings both divine and mundane.[56][45]

For the Near Eastern ancients, it was through sacred liturgy and ritual[19][58][37] that that cosmic disorder was controlled,[26][15] and by which a "right order" was reaffirmed in the cosmos and on earth,[3][17] in oath-bound agreements between the Deity and man.[65] Scholars agree that the primacy of the 'cosmic' temple tradition has its "strongest antecedents in the long-established Near Eastern beliefs about temples and mountains as the meeting place between heaven and earth"[39][66] — the 'cosmic' temple was the earthly-heavenly nexus, the point of their convergence.[37]

Ancient Near Eastern temples were seen by their peoples as the loci of cosmic covenant-making and universal order (e.g., concepts fully embodied in the Egyptian goddess Ma'at or in the Creation-god Ptah who by his Word ordered the world into existence),[7] founded upon a cosmogony by which their respective cults perceived them as the cosmic center (the omphalos 'naval') of the universe,[37] where was manifest the presence of the Deity who would nourish the creation.[19] The Babylonian god Marduk after vanquishing the powers of Chaos (in the epic Enuma elish)[6][22] built his seven-tiered temple-tower at Babylon and called it "the house of the foundation of heaven and earth."[37] The conjugal knot of heaven and earth restores cosmic harmony after the war with Chaos, promising fertility upon the earth.

Presided over by the king (responsible for societal harmony as the gods maintained cosmic balance),[60] temple rituals aimed to combat and conquer hostile powers and to affirm and maintain right or divine order, both cosmic and earthly;[19][67][68] the proper functioning of the temple and its cult was the "guarantee of well-being on earth."[3][69][70] Fundamentally for the ancients, it was by imitation (through symbolic ritual performance) of the Deity's creative acts that cosmic and social order were protected against the intrusion and contagion of chaos by human sin and corruption. Simultaneously these solemn ritual performances effectively reinforced the orderly distinctions between the 'sacred' and the 'profane'.[65][71]

The making of the cosmic covenant itself was "an unprecedented, creative act to which all of creation" bore witness.[3][15][32][62] Among the Hittites, in a suzerainty appeal to the heavenly powers or divine beings with charge over the universe, eternal Justice convened among the witnesses of Heaven and Earth in the heavenly court or divine assembly.[19][31] There, the mountains, the very foundations of the earth, and other elements of the natural and celestial realms, were called forth as witnesses to the cosmic oath: "the mountains, the rivers, the springs, the great sea, heaven and earth, the winds and clouds — let these be witness to this treaty and to this oath."[15] In Judeo-Christian traditions, these same solemn witnesses of heaven and earth were summoned by the divine powers for the establishment and lawful maintenance of God's cosmic covenantal order (2 En 1:1; see note for biblical references to heaven-earth witnesses).[72][73]

Like the inhabitants of Canaan's highlands, the other peoples of the ancient Near East viewed the "cosmic" or everlasting "peace" covenant to be inextricably connected with the creation[1][2][20] — a "higher revelation of cosmic order" which God (or the gods) delivered "directly" to their appointed messengers,[39][37] often in an act of mercy by which the mortal races might fend off not only divine judgement, but also the destructive forces of disorder and chaos.[3][19][26]

Pre-Creation promises outside time[edit]

Creating by binding the forces of creation is a very ancient idea.[24][21] It is "more ancient than the account we read in Genesis ... and one which was widely known among ancient peoples. They believed in a cosmic or eternal covenant which kept all things in harmony, in accordance with the divine plan. To break [heper 'annul'] this covenant was to release forces which could destroy the creation."[18][3]

The 'binding' sense of an agreement between two parties (in the manner of the covenant at Sinai), which relates its Hebrew word (ḥbr) to that of 'covenant' (bᵉrīth), can also be applied to destructive (chaotic) forces.[26][12] The Hebrew word for covenant is also very similar to the word, create. The resulting sequence of covenant—bind—create is an important one for an accurate understanding of the cosmic or universal picture of creation, not only in its biblical forms, but also in its many extra-canonical manifestations, such as in Jubilees, or in the extensive Enochic literature (see 1 En 41:5-6, whereat, "according to the commandment of the Lord of Spirits," the heavenly bodies in "their stately orbit ... keep faith with each other, in accordance with the oath by which they are bound together").[15]

"Closely linked to this oath is the 'Name' or the 'Secret Name'[11][62] which was the means of enforcing and maintaining the [eternal] covenant/oath. The Name [which was central to the Deity's primordial plan] had been named before the Creation [in pre-existence or premortality], presumably to make the Creation possible":[18]

And at that hour [the] Son of Man was named
In the presence of the Lord of Spirits,
And His name before the Head of Days.

Yea, before the sun and the signs were created,
Before the stars of the heaven were made,
His name was named before the Lord of Spirits.

He will be a Staff to the righteous and the holy,
That they may lean on Him and not fall,
And He (will be) the Light of the nations ... (1 Enoch 48:2-4)

The Son of Man and final Judgement[edit]

The Enochic 'Son of Man'[74] as "the heavenly counterpart of earthly figures[75][61] was Part of the created order of things (see Daniel 7:13; Matt 8:20, 16:28, 25:31, 34; Mark 8:38, 14:61-62; Luke 9:58, 12:8; John 5:27, 8:16, 12:47; Rev 1:13, 14:14) ... The Means of restoring the creation [after defilement] was provided in the original plan [of salvation] which was outside time ... This [holy] Name [gave the eternal oath its] force and strength ... The climax of the last vision of Judgement in the Similitudes [of 1 Enoch] is the revealing of the 'Name' of the Son of Man [— the] revelation of His identity ... [His is] an especially powerful Name[11] with which to bind the oath and thus which restores the creation to its original state, as it had been before the incursion of evil."[18] Both the Prayer of Manasseh and Jubilees rejoice in the "glorious" Name that binds the everlasting covenant of creation:

Who made heaven and earth with all their order,
Who fettered the sea by thy word of command,
Who enclosed the deep and sealed it with thy fearsome and glorious Name ... (Manasseh 3)

And now I will make thee swear a great oath (for there is no oath greater) by the Name, glorious and honoured and great and splendid and wonderful, [the Name of him] who created the heavens and the earth and all things together — that thou wilt fear him and worship him ... (Jub 36:7)

A Samaritan midrash attests also to the eternal covenant's "glorious" Name:

It is a Glorious Name that fills the whole of creation.
By it, the world is bound together, and all the
covenants with the righteous are bound by it for ever.
I shall not forget it as long as the world exists.
Since thou art found to be in the hands of the Most High
of the whole world [i.e., a worthy, qualified initiate of
the covenant], I have revealed to thee my Great Name ... (Memar Marqa)

In Enoch's heavenly experience of theophany and cosmic journeys with the archangels, his visions end with the Son of Man passing Judgement upon the righteous, but also upon the original extra-mortal fallen angels (referred to by Hanson in what he calls the "heavenly rebellion" of "astral deities")[56] as well as upon the unrepentant fallen angels of mortality (the "anthropomorphic" counterpart to heaven's fallen astral-host)[56] who had corrupted the earth — binding them (and slaying the great Leviathan),[26] so that evil, chaos and disorder pass away forever (see Isa 14:15, 24:21-22, 27:1).[13][76] These 'fallen angels' referenced in 1 Enoch were the "Watchers" ("divine beings ... degraded to the rank of mortals")[56] and their half-breed "giant" sons of antiquity whose knowledge of God and of His "Mystery of Wisdom" had been full before their perversion of it into a "Mystery of Wickedness".[13][18]

A cosmic prelude to biblical covenants[edit]

The concept of covenant is central to an accurate understanding of the Bible.[4][16] The very names by which the Bible's two parts are known, the "Old Testament" and "New Testament", literally mean Old Covenant and New Covenant. The ancient idea of a cosmic or eternal covenant of Creation as understood by the peoples of antiquity provides a solid foundation, some believe, for more fully understanding the other covenantal traditions as contained within the Bible[4][9][17] — those covenants which God made with the great figures of the Old Testament (Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David), as these are outlined in the religious history of Israel.[8][15] The biblical covenants also provide the framework for Christian "covenant theology".

The Noachic covenant (Gen 8:1, 17, 20-22; 9:8-17) — wherein God remembers and blesses His creation as it complies with right order (Gen 8:1, 17; 9:1) — was a renewal, some scholars believe, of the "everlasting" or eternal covenant first established in Eden,[8][20][23] and it applied to all living creatures.[4][24] God promised never again to destroy all life on Earth by flood (9:11–17). For their part, Noah and the generations of his posterity were required never to shed blood, nor to consume it (as the Watchers and giants of Enoch's day had done).[13][15]

In God's covenant with Abraham, multiple promised lands were given to his innumerable descendants (Gen 15:18-21; 17:1-9, 19; 22:15-18; 26:2-4, 24; 28; 35:9-13; Gal 3), with special 'gathering' and leadership roles assigned to the descendants of Joseph and his son Ephraim (Gen 48 and 50; Deut 33:17; 1 Chron 5:1-2; Ps 80:2; Isa 11:13; Jer 31:6, 9; Ezek 37:15-19; Zech 10:6-12), and circumcision marking them as a peculiar people set apart (Gen 17:10-13).

The Mosaic covenant was made with Moses and the Israelite people at Horeb-Sinai (Exod 19–24).[53] The blood of sacrificial oxen was thereafter sprinkled on the altar and on the people to seal the covenant. Beyond its central religious purpose, the Mosaic covenant was also political.[15] It established Israel as a holy nation, God's special possession (Exod 19:5-6), with its chosen guardian-angel and shepherd, Yahweh, the Son of El-Elyon.[77]

The royal Davidic covenant made with King David (2 Sam 7) promised to establish his dynasty forever (see Ps 89; Jer 33:20-26) while acknowledging that its original royal-covenant promises had been given to the ancestor of the whole nation, Abraham.[78][79] The tablets of the Ten Commandments were kept in the Ark of the Covenant, and this became the symbol of the Israelite nation, and of God's presence with His people.[66][80] Thus when King David wanted to establish Jerusalem as his own capital city he brought the Ark there (2 Sam 6).

"It is this picture of the covenant which colours most of our thinking about covenant in the Old Testament," wrote biblical scholar Margaret Barker, past president of the Society for Old Testament Study. "And in the expression 'Law and Gospel' it represents the old covenant of the law [of Moses] in contrast with the new covenant of the gospel [of Jesus Christ]. But older than the Mosaic covenant was the royal covenant [of Abraham extended through David], which promised stability to the royal house."[18] Older still than all of these was the everlasting covenant,[20] the ancient, eternal, or perpetual covenant,[8] or what some conceive to have been the creation or cosmic covenant,[3][9][13][18] inclusive of and binding upon the whole of creation.[2][4][17]


Covenant (creation, cosmic)[edit]

This article "Covenants in the Bible" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Covenants in the Bible. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Batto, Bernard F. (1987). "The Covenant of Peace: A Neglected Ancient Near Eastern Motif". Catholic Biblical Quarterly. 49 (2). Washington, DC. pp. 187–211. JSTOR 43717407.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Mendenhall, George E. (1955). Law and Covenant in Israel and the Ancient Near East. Pittsburg, Pennsylvania: Biblical Colloquium. Search this book on
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 Murray, Robert (2007) [1992]. The Cosmic Covenant: Biblical Themes of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation. Piscataway, New Jersey: Gorgias Press. Originally published by Sheed & Ward: London. ISBN 978-1593337476. Search this book on
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Gentry, Peter J.; Wellum, Stephen J. (2012). Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway. ISBN 978-1433514647. Search this book on
  5. 5.0 5.1 Clifford, Richard J. (1994). Creation Accounts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible. Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association. ISBN 978-0915170258. Search this book on
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Heidel, Alexander (1963) [1951]. The Babylonian Genesis: The Story of Creation (2nd ed.). Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-1540960214. Search this book on
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Allen, James P. (1988). Genesis in Egypt: The Philosophy of Ancient Egyptian Creation Accounts. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0912532141. Search this book on
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 Brown, William P. (1996). "The Character of Covenant in the Old Testament: A Theocentric Probe". The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics. 16. Washington, DC. pp. 283–293. JSTOR 23559720. See also Brown's The Ethos of the Cosmos: The Genesis of Moral Imagination in the Bible (Eerdmans, 1999); Brown perceives the bible's 'everlasting oath' — the nature of which he calls "cosmic" — as a covenant established at Creation and which the Deity thereafter renewed with humankind; he suggests that its Hebrew name bᵉrīth ʿolam should be understood as the "perpetual covenant," which is also a valid translation
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 Miller, Patrick D. (2000). Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press. "Creation and Covenant," pp. 470-491. ISBN 978-1841271422. Search this book on
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Old Testament scholar John Oswalt observes that while the "eternal covenant" may reference other covenants, "its broader reference is to the implicit covenant between Creator and creature, in which the Creator promises life in return for the creature’s living according to the norms laid down at Creation." The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 1-39 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1986), p. 446.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Orlov, Andrei A. (2017). Chapter 1: Antecedents and Influences — Mediators of the Name: "The Angel of the Lord as the Mediator of the Name," "Moses as the Mediator of the Name," "High Priest as the Mediator of the Name," "Archangel Michael as the Mediator of the Name," "Shemihazah as [Apostate] Mediator of the Name," and "The Son of Man as the Mediator of the Name," in Yahoel and Metatron: Aural Apocalypticism and the Origins of Early Jewish Mysticism. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck. pp. 9-60. ISBN 978-3161554476 Search this book on .
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Reventlow, Henning Graf; Hoffman, Yair, eds. (2002). Creation in Jewish and Christian Tradition. London, England: Sheffield Academic Press. ISBN 978-1841271620. Search this book on See Reventlow's "Creation as a Topic in Biblical Theology," pp. 153-171, and Bilha Nitzan's "The Idea of Creation and Its Implications in Qumran Literature," pp. 241-264
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.14 13.15 13.16 13.17 13.18 VanderKam, James C. (2008) [1995]. Enoch: A Man for All Generations. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1570037962. Search this book on See also the author's Enoch and the Growth of an Apocalyptic Tradition. Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association of America. 1984. Search this book on
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Boccaccini, Gabriele (1998). Beyond the Essene Hypothesis: The Parting of the Ways between Qumran and Enochic Judaism. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0802843609. Search this book on
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 15.11 15.12 15.13 15.14 Barker, Margaret. (2005) [1987]. "The Book of Enoch," in The Older Testament: The Survival of Themes from the Ancient Royal Cult in Sectarian Judaism and Early Christianity. London: SPCK; Sheffield Phoenix Press. ISBN 978-1905048199 Search this book on .
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Dumbrell, William J. (2013) [1984]. Covenant and Creation: An Old Testament Covenant Theology. Milton Keynes, England: Paternoster Press. Dumbrell calls attention to Genesis (chs. 6, 9) and its construction of hēqim bӗrit, which suggests that God is upholding a pre-existing commitment to Noah and his posterity, rather than initiating a new one. The language of the pericope, per his argument, strongly indicates an earlier covenant between God and creation, or with God and humankind at the Creation. That renewal of creation's covenant, the author says, confirms or upholds its preexistent oath with its loving Creator, who promises to preserve and safeguard, and to judiciously rule over all that He has made — inclusive of the blessings and ordinances that He established with Adam and Eve and their posterity, a covenantal renewal that transfers those same blessings to Noah and his descendants. ISBN 978-1842278253. Search this book on
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 Kline, Meredith (2006). Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock. ISBN 978-1597525640. Search this book on
  18. 18.00 18.01 18.02 18.03 18.04 18.05 18.06 18.07 18.08 18.09 18.10 18.11 Barker, Margaret. (2005) [1988]. "The Cosmic Covenant" and "The Origin of Evil," in The Lost Prophet: The Book of Enoch and Its Influence on Christianity. London: SPCK; Sheffield Phoenix Press. ISBN 978-1905048199 Search this book on ..
  19. 19.00 19.01 19.02 19.03 19.04 19.05 19.06 19.07 19.08 19.09 19.10 Ragavan, Deena, ed. (2013). Heaven on Earth: Temples, Ritual, and Cosmic Symbolism in the Ancient World. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Oriental Institute . ISBN 978-1885923967. Search this book on See also Walter Harrelson, "The Significance of Cosmology in the Ancient Near East," in H. T. Frank and W. L. Reed, eds., Translating & Understanding the Old Testament. 1970. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press.
  20. 20.00 20.01 20.02 20.03 20.04 20.05 20.06 20.07 20.08 20.09 20.10 20.11 Berekiah, Olugbemiro O. (2012). "A Tradition-critical Analysis of בְרִית עוֹלָם (bᵉrīth ʿolam - Everlasting Covenant) in Isaiah 24:5 and its Implication for Maintaining Ecological Balance". Insight: Journal of Religious Studies. 8. Ogun State, Nigeria. pp. 31–36.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Lopez, René (2003). "Israelite Covenants in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Covenants (Pt 1)". CTS Journal. 9 (4). pp. 92–111.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Dalley, Stephanie, ed. (2009) [1989]. Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199538362. Search this book on
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Kainos (Heb 8:8) — the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew chadash (Jer 31:31) — means "to renew, repair". Kainos ("new" in quality, not necessarily in time) is employed in seven of its eight occurrences at which "new covenant" appears within the New Testament (Matt 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; 2 Cor 3:6; Heb 8:13; 9:15). Old Testament scholar R. W. Klein (Israel in Exile [2002/1979] Sigler/Fortress Press) explained that "Ezekiel, a contemporary of Jeremiah, spoke of a ... renewed, everlasting covenant (Ezek 16:59-63, 34:25-30, 37:26), a covenant of peace that would lead to security and prosperity." Dr. Joseph Nally observed that, as opposed to the Greek neos, the use of the term kainos means "there was a preexisting covenant to which Jesus gave a qualitative difference ... The eternal covenant became renewed in Christ" — who, while in His own ministry He fully honoured and kept the old Mosaic law, declared (Matt 5:17) that He had come not to "destroy" but to "fulfil" it. The practice of that law, as a preparatory institution for living more exalted principles, however, had become corrupt through apostasy. Christ's mission renewed but also qualified God's eternal covenant with the new terms of His gospel, which constituted a higher law of righteous conduct and observance ("The Re-Newed or New Covenant?").
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 24.6 24.7 Batto, Bernard F. (2013). In the Beginning: Essays on Creation Motifs in the Bible and the Ancient Near East. University Park, Pennsylvania: Eisenbrauns. ISBN 978-1575062679. Search this book on
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Keel, Othmar; Schroer, Silvia (2015). Creation: Biblical Theologies in the Context of the Ancient Near East. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns. ISBN 978-1575060934. Search this book on
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 26.6 Patai, Raphael (1967) [1947]. Man and Temple: in Ancient Jewish Myth and Ritual. Brooklyn, New York: KTAV Publishing House. Originally published by Thomas Nelson and Sons. See especially Chapter Five: "Sins and Calamities". Search this book on
  27. 27.0 27.1 Weinfeld, Moshe (2014) [1972]. Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School. University Park, Pennsylvania: Eisenbrauns. ISBN 978-1575063188. Search this book on
  28. 28.0 28.1 Friedman, Richard Elliott. (1981). The Exile and Biblical Narrative: The Formation of the Deuteronomistic and Priestly Works. Harvard Semitic Monographs Series, number 22. Chico, California: Scholars Press. ISBN 978-0891304579 Search this book on .
  29. A theological concept such as covenant, as Walther Eichrodt importantly observed, may be present, though the technical terminology for that concept is absent (as in manifest cases of Deuteronomic corruption of ancient source material): "The crucial point is not — as an all too naïve criticism seems to think — the occurrence or absence of the Hebrew word." Theology of the Old Testament, trans. J. A. Baker (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1961), 1:17-18. So that, simply because an actual word or phrase does not appear in the bible, as Gentry and Wellum (2012) affirm, betrays an argument that lacks theological precision and reflection: "The absence of the word for 'covenant' (bᵉrīth) in Genesis 1-3, then, is no argument at all against the notion that a divine-human covenant is established at creation, if exegesis can demonstrate that the idea is there." The components of the ancient covenant between God and Man are, according to the authors, demonstrably there, for they emerge exegetically from the text of Genesis 1-2 (in, for example, the pericope's covenant-oath components of "blessing" and "curse").
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Pritchard, James B., ed. (1969) [1955]. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (3rd ed.). Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691035031. Search this book on
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Walton, John H. (2018) [2006]. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament (2nd ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1540960214. Search this book on
  32. 32.0 32.1 Lopez, René (2004). "Israelite Covenants in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Covenants (Pt 2)". CTS Journal. 10 (1). pp. 72–106.
  33. McCarthy, Dennis J. (1978). Treaty and Covenant: A Study in Form in the Ancient Oriental Documents and in the Old Testament. Rome, Italy: Biblical Institute Press. ISBN 978-8876530210. Search this book on
  34. 34.0 34.1 Kitchen, Kenneth A.; Lawrence, Paul J. N. (2012). Treaty, Law and Covenant in the Ancient Near East. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3447067263. Search this book on
  35. Hillers, Delbert R. (1964). Treaty-Curses and the Old Testament Prophets. Rome, Italy: Pontifical Biblical Institute. Search this book on See also Hillers' Covenant: The History of a Biblical Idea. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. 1969. Search this book on
  36. 36.0 36.1 Baltzer, Klaus (1971). The Covenant Formulary in Old Testament, Jewish and Early Christian Writings. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press; Oxford, England: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 978-0800600402. Search this book on
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 37.5 37.6 Keel, Othmar (1997) [1972]. Symbolism of the Biblical World: Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Book of Psalms. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns. Originally published by Benzinger Verlag; first English publication by Seabury Press in 1978. ISBN 978-1575060149. Search this book on
  38. 38.0 38.1 Scott, James M. (2005). On Earth As In Heaven: The Restoration of Sacred Time and Sacred Space in the Book of Jubilees. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill Publishers. ISBN 978-9004137967. Search this book on
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 Walker, Jeffrey P. (2006). The "Cosmic Covenant" in the Letter to the Hebrews. Master's Theses 58. Barrien Springs, Michigan: Andrews University.
  40. Sacred festivals not performed properly or according to the correct day of the sacred Israelite calendar were deemed invalid or "a ritual not effective. A substantial section of the Book of Enoch describes how the angel Uriel revealed the true ordering of the heavens to the Seer. Those who introduced a new calendar had acted contrary to the divine order of creation [contrary to the creation oath or covenant]. The seasons would go astray and the crops would not grow: 'And in the days of the sinners the years shall be shortened and the moon shall alter her order and not appear at her time' (1 Enoch 80:2, 4). The Book of Jubilees, a rewriting of Genesis in the second century BC, warned of a time when Israel would commit a great sin: 'And they will go astray as to new moons and sabbaths and festivals and jubilees and ordinances' (Jub 1:14)' - Margaret Barker, The Gate of Heaven (2008/1991, London: Sheffield Phoenix Press/SPCK), p. 12. In other words, by not "keeping" its correct-calendar festivals, Israel was, in this sense, forcing creation out of its covenant-prescribed boundaries, symbolically forcing the heavenly bodies out of their oath-bound courses — courses that they, then, were not able to "keep" in order to fulfill the measure of their creation, the result being a rupture or a breaking of the cosmic covenant and a God-ordained curse upon Israel.
  41. CURSES: Lev 18:24-28, 26:16, 19-20; Deut 11:16-17, 28:15-24, 30, 38-44; Ps 82:5; Prov 30:21-23; Isa 24:4-6, 10-12, 28:15-17, 32:9-11, 13-14 33:7-9; Jer 4:23-27, 12:4, 10-11, 5:23-25; 14:1-6, 23:10; Hos 4:1-3, 9-10; Joel 1:1-20, 2:2-9, 11, 13, 28; Amos 4:9, 5:11; Micah 6:14-15; Zeph 1:2-6, 13; Hag 1:4, 6, 9-11, 2:17; Zech 5:3.
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 The great Paris Magical Papyrus of the fourth century gives a fascinating glimpse into the divine 'boundaries' as were set for the creation at Creation, in an inscription of an ordinal 'curse' aimed to exorcise demonic spirits, recalling at once 1 Enoch's archangel-entrusted "Creation oath" and the rebellious Watcher-son figures of the Enochic Book of Giants. Upon the papyrus is recorded what is purported to be an ancient Hebrew prayer meant to exorcise demons in the holy name of "the god of the Hebrews ... the One who burned up the stubborn giants with lightning, whom the Heaven of heaven praises ... by the One who put the mountains [boundaries] around the sea [or] a wall of sand and commanded the sea not to overflow. The abyss obeyed, and you obey, every daimonic spirit ..." Similar 'boundaries' were set against continued access to the secret Mysteries of Heaven, directed towards the Semihazah-led Watchers who, by 'secret oath' upon Mount Hermon, had blasphemed in treachery by divulging and preaching that holy Wisdom to profane ears. This explains in part the numerous ancient 'incantation bowls' discovered in Mesopotamia, an example of which, by its inscription, was meant, again, to exorcise demons with a curse of "Leviathan the dragon ... I am bringing down the decree of heaven upon you and the ban which I brought on Mount Hermon and Leviathan the monster ... I am binding you with the bond with which the heavens and the earth have been bound [Creation's oath or covenant], wherewith I seal you ... unto the great day of Judgement and unto the great hour of Salvation ..." (Murray [2007/1992], pp. 91-92; see 4 Ezra 6:49-52).
  43. BLESSINGS: Lev 26:3-5; Deut 8:18, 11:13-15, 26:15, 28:2, 4-5, 8, 11-12; 45; Ps 65:10-13, 72, 128:2, 135:6-7; Ezek 36:29-30; Hos 2:18, 23; Joel 2:12-27, 3; Amos 9:14; Hag 2:19; Mal 3:10-11.
  44. Charles, R. H. (1913). [1906]. The Book of Enoch. London: Oxford University Press. pp. ix (note 1), 305. Centenary Edition by Weiser Books. ISBN 978-1578635238 Search this book on .
  45. 45.0 45.1 Reeves, John C. (1992). Jewish Lore in Manichaean Cosmogony: Studies in the Book of Giants Traditions. Cincinnati, Ohio: Hebrew Union College Press. ISBN 978-0878204137 Search this book on .
  46. Himmelfarb, Martha (1993). Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 38–46. ISBN 978-0195082036. Search this book on
  47. Rowland, Christopher C. (2002) [1982]. The Open Heaven: A Study of Apocalyptic in Judaism and Early Christianity. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock. Originally published by Crossroad: New York. ISBN 978-1592440122. Search this book on
  48. Scholem, Gershom (2015) [1960]. Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary Press. ISBN 978-0873341783. Search this book on
  49. Collins, John J. (2016) [1984]. The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. Originally published by Crossroad: New York. ISBN 978-0802872791. Search this book on
  50. Scholem, Gershom (1995) [1946]. Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism. New York: Schocken Books. Originally published in Berlin, Germany, Schocken was acquired by Random House in 1987. ISBN 978-0805210422. Search this book on
  51. Ashton, John, ed. (2014). Revealed Wisdom: Studies in Apocalyptic in honour of Christopher Rowland. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill Publishers. ISBN 978-9004272040. Search this book on
  52. Kugler, Robert A. (1996). From Patriarch to Priest: The Levi-Priestly Tradition From Aramaic Levi to Testament of Levi. Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press. ISBN 978-0788501777. Search this book on
  53. 53.0 53.1 Meeks, Wayne A. (2017) [1967]. The Prophet-King: Moses Traditions and the Johannine Christology. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock. Originally published by E. J. Brill Publishers. ISBN 978-1498288842. Search this book on
  54. 54.0 54.1 Orlov, Andrei A. (2005). The Enoch-Metatron Tradition. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck. ISBN 978-3161485442. Search this book on
  55. 1 Enoch 12:5-6; 94:6; 98:11, 15; 99:13; 101:3; 102:3; 103:8; VanderKam (2008/1995), pp. 44 note 21; 45.
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 56.3 56.4 Hanson, Paul (1977). "Rebellion in Heaven, Azazel, and Euhemeristic Heroes in 1 Enoch 6-11". Journal of Biblical Literature. 96 (2). Atlanta, Georgia. pp. 195–233. JSTOR 3265878.
  57. Eliade, Mircea (2018) [1954]. The Myth of the Eternal Return: Cosmos and History. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Originally published by the Bollingen Foundation: Bollingen, Switzerland. ISBN 978-0691182971. Search this book on
  58. 58.0 58.1 Mowinckel, Sigmund (2004) [1962]. The Psalms in Israel's Worship. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. Originally published by Blackwell's: Oxford, England. ISBN 978-0802828163. Search this book on
  59. Particularly germane to the covenantal idea of controlling disorder by establishing order through praises of supplication and sacred ritual were the Qumran texts, War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness, a direct descendant of ancient holy-war texts as these were applied not only to human foes, but also to combating evil in the cosmic and angelic spheres; and Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, a psalmic vision of holy angelic concourses in unceasing liturgy before the throne of God that strikingly anticipates the vision of the heavenly Temple in Judaism's mystical-ascent literature. Compare 1 En 39:12, Isa 6:3, Mos 1:39. See Vermes, Géza (tr.) (2012) [1962]. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (7th ed.). New York: Penguin Books. Originally published by The Heritage Press: New York. ISBN 978-1625648761. Search this book on ; but also, Charlesworth, James H. (2014). The Qumran Psalter: The Thanksgiving Hymns among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock. ISBN 978-1625648761. Search this book on
  60. 60.0 60.1 Frankfort, Henri (1978) [1948]. Kingship and the Gods. A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0226260112. Search this book on
  61. 61.0 61.1 Flynn, Shawn W. (2013). YHWH Is King: The Development of Divine Kingship in Ancient Israel. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill Publishers. ISBN 978-9004263031. Search this book on
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 Related to Creation's mythical binding of Heaven and Earth in Egypt is the myth of Amon-Ra and Isis wherein, to affect an act of healing, Ra speaks to Isis his own hidden or Secret "Name of Power", but also the Secret Names of the Creation, of Heaven and Earth, with oath-bound assurance from the goddess that his Secret Name would never be revealed, save only to the god Horus: "Isis swore the oath, and the Secret Name passed from Ra’s heart into hers." Bound to that oath, as was typical of the ancient covenant, were 'blessings' and 'curses'. From these myths follow the "great oaths" of important treaties and covenants made in ancient Egypt, always established before "witnesses" through utterance of the covenantal phrase, by the "Oath of the Lord" of the royal-court, or, in appeals to higher powers, by the sacred "Oath of the God" of the Egyptian Temple-cult. See Wilson, John A. (1948). "The Oath in Ancient Egypt," Journal of Near Eastern Studies. 7 (3). pp. 129-156.
  63. Wolkstein, Diane; Kramer, Samuel Noah (1983). Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 978-0060908546. Search this book on
  64. Steinkeller, Piotr (1999). "On Rulers, Priests, and Sacred Marriage: Tracing the Evolution of Early Sumerian Kingship". Priests and Officials in the Ancient Near East. Heidelberg, Germany: Universitätsverlag C. Winter. Kazuko Watanabe, ed. pp. 103–137. ISBN 978-3825305338.
  65. 65.0 65.1 Eliade, Mircea (1987) [1959]. The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Originally published by Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag: Germany. ISBN 978-0156792011. Search this book on
  66. 66.0 66.1 Clifford, Richard J. (2010) [1972]. The Cosmic Mountain in Canaan and the Old Testament. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock. Originally published by Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts. ISBN 978-1608997176. Search this book on
  67. Engnell, Ivan (1967) [1943]. Studies in Divine Kingship in the Ancient Near East (2nd ed.). Oxford, England: Basil Blackwell. Search this book on
  68. Day, John, ed. (2013) [1998]. King and Messiah in Israel and the Ancient Near East. New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark. Originally published by Sheffield Academic Press: Sheffield, England. ISBN 978-0567574343. Search this book on
  69. Ahlström, Gösta Werner (2014) [1971]. Joel and the Temple Cult of Jerusalem. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill Publishers. ISBN 978-9004026209. Search this book on
  70. Hundley, Michael B. (2013). Gods in Dwellings: Temples and Divine Presence in the Ancient Near East. Atlanta, Georgia: Society of Biblical Literature. ISBN 978-1589839182. Search this book on
  71. The "ritual performance" of the ancient temple-cult of the Zadokite priesthood in Israelite tradition, for example, was "the primary means for symbolically re-enacting God's ordering of the cosmos." The entire cultus was infused with "creation theology, and the Jerusalem Temple itself was seen as a visual representation of the cosmos intended to remind worshipers that it was the divinely ordained location where cosmos and social order were maintained" — the temple was seen as "the center of cosmic stability" (Walker). The ancient historian Josephus, moreover, referred to the cultic liturgy and ritual that pivoted on the eternal covenant as "the cosmic worship" (Jewish Antiquities 3.7.7). The Zadokite temple service hinged upon the everlasting covenant, and it "preserved all other orders of being from collapse. Upon [its loyal priestly service, led by the nation's representative High Priest], the people of Israel, the land of Israel, and ultimately, the entire cosmos and its population all depended" (Martin S. Jaffee, Early Judaism. 2005. 2nd Ed. Bethesda, Maryland: CDL Press). See also William J. Hamblin and David Rolph Seely, Solomon's Temple: Myth and History. 2007. London: Thames & Hudson; and Deborah W. Rooke, Zadok's Heirs: The Role and Development of the High Priesthood in Ancient Israel. 2000. Oxford University.
  72. WITNESSES: Deut 4:26, 30:19-20, 31:28, 32:1; Job 20:27; Ps 50:4-6; Isa 1:1-6, 19; Jer 2:4, 9, 51:25; Hos 4:1-3; Mic 6:1-2.
  73. In Enochic Judaism, moreover, in accord with Jubilees (see, for example, 2:21), God had, in a covenantal kind of premortal determinism "since creation ... selected the Jews as a special people above all nations, and separated them from the other nations as a holy people" — a special "separation" that owed itself to "the order of creation." See Boccaccini (1998), Chapter 4: "The Formative Stage: The Book of Jubilees".
  74. Boccaccini, Gabriele, ed. (2007). Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man: Revisiting the Book of Parables. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0802803771. Search this book on
  75. Orlov, Andrei A. (2017). The Greatest Mirror: Heavenly Counterparts in the Jewish Pseudepigrapha. Albany: State University of New York (SUNY Press). ISBN 978-1438466910. Search this book on
  76. Waddell, James A. (2013). The Messiah: A Comparative Study of the Enochic Son of Man and the Pauline Kyrios. New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark. ISBN 978-0567561152. Search this book on
  77. Barker, Margaret (1992). The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press. Originally published by SPCK: London, England. ISBN 978-0664253950. Search this book on
  78. Johnson, Aubrey R. (2006) [1955]. Sacral Kingship in Ancient Israel. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock. ISBN 978-1597528979. Search this book on [Originally published by the University of Wales Press. See also, by the same Welsh press, Johnson's The Cultic Prophet in Ancient Israel (1962/1944) and The Cultic Prophet and Israel's Psalmody (1979): Cardiff, Wales]
  79. Pomykala, Kenneth E. (1995). The Davidic Dynasty Tradition in Early Judaism: Its History and Significance for Messianism. Atlanta, Georgia: Society of Biblical Literature. ISBN 978-0788500695. Search this book on
  80. Eaton, John H. (1976). Kingship and the Psalms. London, England: SCM Press. ISBN 978-0840130822. Search this book on