Deuteronomic Covenant

by Paul George


Deuteronomy 28:1-29

God established the Deuteronomic Covenant with the nation of Israel after the establishment of the Mosaic Covenant, and it was separate from the Mosaic Covenant. Deuteronomy 29:1 states, “These are the words of the covenant, which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb.” Note: Moses said with the sons of Israel and not the descendants of Abraham. A comparison of Exodus 19 and 20 with Deuteronomy 5 indicates that Horeb and Sinai are two different names for the same mountain, the mountain where God established the Mosaic Covenant with Israel.

In preparation for the establishment of the Deuteronomic Covenant, God made promises of blessing and cursing to the nation of Israel. In Deuteronomy 28:1-14 God promised that if Israel obeyed the Mosaic Law, He would bless the nation abundantly and make it the head nation of the world. But then God warned that if Israel disobeyed the Mosaic Law, He would curse the nation abundantly with such things as drought, famine, pestilence, foreign oppression, captivity, and worldwide dispersion (Deuteronomy 28:15-68).

God established the Deuteronomic Covenant at the end of Israel’s 40 years of wilderness wondering, just a short time before the nation was to enter Canaan (Deuteronomy 29:5-8). The place of its establishment was the land of Moab (Deuteronomy 29:1), east of the Dead Sea across from the land of Canaan. The parties of the covenant were God, the new generation of the people of Israel that was to enter Canaan, and succeeding generations of the nation. In Deuteronomy 29:14-15 Moses said to Israel, “Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here today.” As a new generation was about to begin a new chapter in Israel’s history, it had to be reminded in a solemn way of Israel’s special covenant relationship with Jehovah. This reminder appears to have been the purpose of the Deuteronomic Covenant.

The Promises of the Covenant

Moses indicated that these promises would be fulfilled when all the blessings and curses promised in Deuteronomy 28 have been fulfilled and when Israel truly returns to God and obeys Him (Deuteronomy 30:1-2).

First, God promised to gather the scattered Israelites from all over the world (Deuteronomy 30:3-4).

Second, God promised to restore the Israelites to the land of their ancestors (Deuteronomy 30:5).

Third, God promised to regenerate the Israelites of that future time and their descendants, thereby causing them to love Him totally (Deuteronomy 30:6).

Fourth, God promised to judge Israel’s enemies (Deuteronomy 30:7).

Fifth, God promised that the Israelites of that future time would obey Him (Deuteronomy 30:8).

Sixth, God promised to prosper those future Israelites greatly (Deuteronomy 30:9).

Centuries after God made these promises of the Deuteronomic Covenant to Israel; He repeated a number of them to later generations of Israelites through the Prophets Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:36-44) and Ezekiel (36:22-38).

Before applying the promises in the Deuteronomic Covenant, the following should be noted: God made these promises to a national group that He later scattered using the enemies of Israel (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; 29:24-29; 30:1, 3). God made these promises to the literally nation of Israel, the sons of Jacob, and they are to be literally fulfilled with Israel.

Second, God always leaves the way open for unfaithful Israel to return to Him, He never has and never will permanently end His relationship with Israel.

Third, the final fulfillment of these promises is still in the future. Moses indicates this when he said the fulfillment of the promise will not take place until all the curses of Deuteronomy have been completed and Israel truly returns to the Lord and obey Him (Deuteronomy 30:1-3). All the sons of Israel have not returned to Israel as a nation and are not now obeying Him. The problems that Israel are experiencing in the Middle East and the anti-Semitism in many places in the world, including the United States, is evidence that all the curses of Deuteronomy have not been completed.

Fourth, the nations can join together in their fight to prevent the fulfillment of the promises of Deuteronomy 28, the fact God intends to fulfill these promises with Israel when all the curses are completed all the sons of Jacob will return to the land God promised Jacob He would give to his descendants. God has severely chastised the sons of Jacob for centuries because of their unfaithfulness to Him, but He will never destroy His chosen people. The world needs to wake up, Christians need to wake up, God is doing something thought impossible a hundred years ago.

Fifth, the fact God promised to restore Israel to the land He promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their descendants would possess when the curses of Deuteronomy have been completed proves Israel’s right to possess the land man has foolish called Palestine. Even though the sons of Jacob have been scattered among the nations because of their disobedience they have never lost their inheritance.

In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul told the Roman Christians, a “partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come; and so all Israel will be saved just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob’” (Romans 11:25-26). According to the Apostle Paul, even though the people of Israel are enemies of the gospel during this present age, based on God’s sovereign choice He continues to love Israel for the sake of their fathers to whom He made covenant commitments.

God’s past calling of Israel to be a special people to Him is irrevocable, He will be merciful to them in the future (Romans 11:28-32).

Regardless of what man may think or say, the promises of the Deuteronomic Covenant will be fulfilled when Jesus returns to earth after the end of the future Tribulation period. The Tribulation period will be the last and most terrible part of the curses of Deuteronomy 28. It will be God’s instrument to break Israel’s rebellion and bring the nation back to Him.

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