Eschatological Problems VI: The Fulfillment Of The Abrahamic Covenant -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 102:405 (Jan 1945)
Article: Eschatological Problems VI: The Fulfillment Of The Abrahamic Covenant
Author: John F. Walvoord


Eschatological Problems VI:
The Fulfillment Of The Abrahamic Covenant

John F. Walvoord

One of the outstanding covenants of the Scriptures is the covenant of God with Abraham. Its provisions not only condition the immediate life and blessing of Abraham himself but they constitute the key to the subsequent history of Israel and God’s purpose in relation to the saints. From the standpoint of eschatology, the Abrahamic covenant is important for many reasons, but it is crucial in its evidence regarding God’s purpose for Israel. It is the purpose of the present article to inquire particularly into the contribution of this covenant in relation to unfulfilled prophecy. To this end, a brief consideration must be given to such portions of the covenant as have already been fulfilled.

Analysis of the Covenant

The provisions of the Abrahamic covenant are outlined in their main factors in Genesis 12:2, 3, “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” As many writers have indicated, this covenant includes seven provisions: (1) the promise of a great nation through Abraham; (2) personal blessing on Abraham; (3) the name of Abraham shall be great; (4) Abraham is to be a blessing to others; (5) blessing will rest on those blessing Abraham; (6) a curse will rest on those who curse Abraham; (7) all nations of the earth will be blessed through Abraham.

Four things stand out in the original covenant: (1) the national promises given to Israel; (2) the personal promises given to Abraham; (3) the principle of blessing or cursing upon nations other than Israel based on their attitude toward

Abraham and his seed; (4) the promise of universal blessing through Abraham, fulfilled through Christ.

The Abrahamic covenant was subject to enlargement and increased detail in subsequent revelations of Scripture. In Genesis 13:14–17, Abraham is promised title to “all the land which thou seest,” “forever,” and the promise concerning his seed is amplified in that he is promised seed comparable in number to the dust of the earth. In Genesis 15:1–7, the line of the seed is designated as through Abraham rather than Eliezer, his servant, and the promise of the land is reiterated. In Genesis 17:1–18, further important provisions are mad...

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