What is the Adamic covenant?Question: "What is the Adamic covenant?"
Answer: The Adamic Covenant can be thought of in two parts: the Edenic Covenant (innocence) and the Adamic Covenant (grace). The Edenic Covenant is found in Genesis 1:26-30; 2:16-17. The details of this covenant include the following:
Mankind (male and female) created in God’s image.
Mankind’s dominion (rule) over the animal kingdom.
Divine directive for mankind to reproduce and inhabit the entire Earth.
Mankind to be vegetarian (eating of meat established in the Noahic covenant: Genesis 9:3).
Eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil forbidden (with death as the stated penalty).
The Adamic Covenant is found in Genesis 3:16-19. As the result of Adam’s sin, the following curses were pronounced:
Enmity between Satan and Eve and her descendants.
Painful childbirth for women.
The soil cursed.
Introduction of thorns and thistles.
Survival to be a struggle.
Death will be the inescapable fate of all living things.
Although these curses are severe and inescapable, a wonderful promise of grace was also included in the Adamic Covenant. Genesis 3:15 is often referred to as the “Proto-Gospel” or “First Gospel.” Speaking to Satan, God says, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, / And between your seed and her seed; / He shall bruise you on the head, / And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
Here God promises that one born of a woman would be wounded in the process of destroying Satan. The “seed” of the woman who would crush the Serpent’s head is none other than Jesus Christ (see Galatians 4:4 and 1 John 3:8). Even in the midst of the curse, God’s gracious provision of salvation shines through.
Recommended Resource: The Moody Handbook of Theology by Paul Enns
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Questions about Theology
What is the Adamic covenant?