Inter-covenantal Truth and Relevance: Leviticus 26 and the Biblical Covenants

William Barrick | May 24, 2010

Leviticus 26 provides a key to advancing the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants by showing how the two relate to each other. The parenthetical nature of the chapter shows its inter-covenantal character in six areas: (1) covenant, (2) law, (3) Yahweh, (4) promise, (5) repentance, and (6) revelation. The word for “covenant” used therein always relates to God’s sovereignty and His binding relationship to Israel, sometimes in relation to the Abrahamic Covenant, sometimes in relation to the Mosaic Covenant, and sometimes in relation to a possible future Deuteronomic Covenant. The use of law in Leviticus 26 supplements the use of covenant by reflecting the wisdom and moral character of the covenant-giver and by focusing on His absolute authority. Yahweh, the covenant-maker, is God who identifies Himself with both the Mosaic and the Abrahamic covenants. In the chapter promise includes both the promise to bless under the Abrahamic covenant and the promise to curse under the Mosaic covenant. Though the word for repentance does not occur in the chapter, the concept of repentance is entailed in the promise of Israel’s return from captivity. The word “law” implies a necessity of communicating the law-giver’s standards in written form for the benefit of future generations. Though the NT cites Leviticus 26 only once, the concepts involved in the chapter permeate many parts of the NT. By synthesizing the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants, it offers a taste of promise tempered by precept in telling God’s people how to live.

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William Barrick Faculty Associate, Old Testament B.A., Denver Baptist Bible College M.Div., San Francisco Baptist Theological Seminary Th.M., San Francisco Baptist Theological Seminary Th.D., Grace Theological Seminary Before joining The Master's Seminary faculty in 1997, Dr. Barrick served with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE). In 1981 he and his family moved to Bangladesh. In that ministry Dr. Barrick served as the Exegetical Consultant for Bible translation projects, theological consultant for the Literature Division, and adjunct faculty member of the Baptist Bible Institute of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Theological Seminary, and Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary Extension Program (Singapore). Prior to joining ABWE in 1979, Dr. Barrick had been Professor and Chairman of the Old Testament Department at Denver Baptist Theological Seminary from 1972 to 1978. Beyond his teaching and Bible translation work, Dr. Barrick has been active in a variety of ministries including three years as Director of Church Planting in Chittagong, Bangladesh. He has also had a varied writing ministry from scholarly journals to adult Sunday School materials. Dr. Barrick has been writing in the areas of Bible and theology for forty years. His writings range from adult Sunday school materials, in-house library publications, and newspaper editorials to technical journal articles in English and a commentary on the book of Daniel in Bengali. In addition, as a result of his fifteen years of Bible translation ministry in Bangladesh, he has participated in the production of Bibles, New Testaments, and Bible sections in six different languages. While in Bangladesh he participated in the editing of over twenty books and tracts, including a Bengali translation of Unger's Bible Handbook. During his doctoral studies he worked as a phototypesetter and proofreader for the first fascicle of The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and a number of other major volumes. Dr. Barrick has been involved in writing or contributing to 26 books, and has authored over 125 periodical articles and book reviews. Currently he is the OT editor for the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (Logos) and will be writing the Genesis commentary in that series. He has also contributed the essay, “A Historical Adam, Young-Earth Creation View” in the recently released book Four Views on the Historical Adam (Zondervan, 2013). Dr. Barrick has been married to his wife Barbara for 48 years. They have four married children and fourteen grandchildren. He is currently Faculty Associate and Director of Th.D. Studies at The Master's Seminary.

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