The Edenic covenant - What is it?The Edenic covenant is one of many covenants between God and man in the Bible. The Edenic covenant specifically refers to the covenant made between God and Adam in Genesis. The Edenic covenant was a bilateral or conditional covenant, that is, there was responsibility on both sides. Adam was responsible to obey, and God would bless him with life. If Adam disobeyed, and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, death would be the result (Genesis 2:16–17). Adam's life was conditional on his obedience.
We all know how the story goes: Adam disobeyed and broke the Edenic covenant, receiving the punishment of death. He did not die immediately, but he and Eve inherited death, and then passed it on to all their offspring, and death continues to this day to be the wages of sin (Proverbs 10:16; Romans 6:23). The Edenic covenant is not specifically called a "covenant" in the Bible, but most scholars see it as one of the significant covenants between man and God, along with the Abrahamic covenant (an unconditional covenant where God promised to bless Abraham and his descendants forever), the Mosaic covenant (a conditional covenant which involved the delivery of God's Law to Moses), the Noahic covenant, and the Davidic covenant.
The Edenic covenant had a second part, which is often called the Covenant of Redemption. As God was informing Adam and Eve about the curses their sin had brought them, He revealed an unconditional covenant in His curse upon the Serpent when He said: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15). At first glance, this sounds like a basic description of the life of a snake. Men do not like snakes, and often kill them; snakes often bite men on the feet and legs because of their proximity to the ground. But hiding in this curse is a covenant to men.
The word "offspring" can mean a single offspring, or many (Galatians 3:16). The word "offspring" here can refer to Christ, with the snake representing Satan. According to this interpretation, God is foretelling that Satan will inflict minor damage upon Christ, by triumphing over Him in the crucifixion, and therefore "strike his heel." But the triumph will be temporary. In the end, Christ will rise and deliver a fatal blow to Satan and his kingdom, and the snake's head will be crushed (Romans 16:20). The first sin of man was punished, but God already had a plan in place for redemption and salvation through Christ (Ephesians 1:7).
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