The Palestinian Covenant: Weaknesses

To start with, the way Pentecost writes in his books (Thy Kingdom Come: Tracing God’s Kingdom Program and Covenant Promises Throughout History and Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology) he makes it seem as thought the Palestinian covenant is literally confined to Deuteronomy 30:1-10. Although I consider it the heart of the prediction of God restoring Israel and the people to their promised land, I would consider 29:1 the start of the Palestinian covenant.

Furthermore, when Pentecost affirms Chafer’s key points of the Palestinian covenant, I start to wonder about a few things. With his first point, I can see the connection to his statement of Israel being “plucked off the land for its unfaithfulness” with Deut. 28:63-68, but not 30:1-3. I would match 30:1-3 only with the second point he makes of Israel’s repentance; not both points. The The Ryrie NAS Study Bible Genuine Leather Black Red Letter (Ryrie Study Bibles 2012) views it this way “A prediction of the regathering of Israel from all the nations to which she was scattered. This regathering will occur at the second coming of Christ (v. 3; cf. Mark 13:26-27)”[1]

Then the last point Pentecost affirms from Chafer is a dilemma to me. Chafer says Duet. 30:9 is Israel receiving her “full” blessing. The word “full” troubles me here. The full blessing of what exactly? And what makes it full? The Ryrie Study Bible has only this commentary on the verse: “prosperity in the land (cf. Amos 9:11-15).”[2] The commentary of the Amos text then explains “the millennial kingdom will be characterized by fertility (v. 13), prosperity (v. 14), and security (v. 15), with Israel permanently possessing the land promised in Gen. 15:18-21.”[3] This helps me understand that Duet. 30:9 shows the fulfillment of the land blessing of the Abrahamic covenant, but Pentecost and Chafer do not make this clear with the statement used above. Does he mean the full blessing of the Palestinian covenant is the possession and prosperity of the promised land (i.e. partial fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant)? If so, then it is a strong point; but he was not specific enough for me to fully understand the claim.

In Pentecost making a strong point about the conditionality of the Palestinian covenant, I think he also makes a weak point of it being its own covenant. I have quoted him in this blog series saying “it is merely amplification and enlargement of parts of the Abrahamic covenant.” If that is the case, why should it be considered its own covenant? This statement can make his claims seem contradicting. Yet, if the two covenants are separate, but tied together in similar purpose, he makes a strong point when essentially saying that because the Abrahamic covenant is unconditional, then the Palestinian covenant must also be unconditional.[4]

Pentecost again makes a great point regarding the conditionality of the covenant by pointing out that God must bring the conversion of the nation not just because of Duet 30, but also because of passages such as Rom.11:26-27. Although this point is strong, what I find weak is this text seems to be referencing the New covenant.[5]

[1] Ibid. 236.

[2] Ibid. 1072.

[3] Ibid. 1072.

[4] J. Dwight Pentecost, Thy Kingdom Come: Tracing God’s Kingdom Program and Covenant Promises Throughout History, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1995), 105.

[5] John F. Walvoord, and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty 2 Volumes Old & New Testament, (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1985).

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