Two Covenants

“As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him. . .. But I will establish My covenant with Isaac.”
GENESIS 17:20-21
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Two Covenants
This text proves that besides the covenant of circumcision there is another, which pertains to Isaac alone and not, like the covenant of circumcision, to Ishmael also. What, then, shall we say was the nature of this covenant? It was obviously the promise concerning Christ, which Abraham understood well. And this is what I have stated, namely, that God always mixes and includes spiritual and eternal blessings with the physical blessings. The physical blessing is associated with a name, namely, that all the descendants of Abraham should be circumcised; but this second covenant is not associated with a name, nor is it marked by any definite work. Yet it is a spiritual covenant concerning the future Savior. . .. The covenant of circumcision is given for our performance before the Law of Moses and is established for a definite people, in a definite land, and for a definite time, namely, while the generations of Abraham are in existence. The covenant of Isaac, however, is not given for our performance; it is entirely free, without a name, without a time, and yet from the seed of Isaac, lest one look for the blessing from another source. . .. Thus this passage deals with the promise concerning Christ, which goes beyond Abraham's wishes and request.
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