What is the Relationship Between Each of the Four Main Covenants? Part 3: Davidic Covenant

The Lexham Bible Dictionary defines the Davidic Covenant as “the promise made by Yahweh that He would establish for King David a ‘house’ or a dynasty of kings who would perpetually reign over God’s people.”[1] Pentecost adds more to this simple definition by highlighting three promises God gives to David: a house, throne and kingdom. “’Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.’” (2 Samuel 7:16, NASB95) Pentecost explains the term house refers to David’s physical descendants. The term throne refers to the right to rule, or authority as king. The term kingdom refers to the political body or sphere in which David would rule, and over which David’s descendants would reign.[2]

Therefore, the David Covenant emphasizes the seed promised in the Abrahamic Covenant. From 2 Sam. 7:12 Charles Ryrie comments “David would have a son who would succeed him and establish his kingdom.”[3] In Ps. 89:3-4 “the writer praises the Lord for His covenant with David.”[4] Pentecost explains it this way: “…the seed promise contained in the Abrahamic Covenant was made the center or nucleus of the Davidic promise.”[5] Pentecost further supports this with provisions such as David having a child in the future who will succeed him and establish his kingdom. This son (Solomon), will build the temple, and his throne will not be taken away from him and instead be established forever.[6] This is further established in several Biblical passages such as Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; 30:8-9; 33:14-17; Ezekiel 37:24-25; Hosea 3:4-5 Amos 9:11; Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38 and Luke 1:31-33. The line of David is referenced in all of these passages.

Another way this covenant relates to the Abrahamic Covenant is its conditionality. Among other foundations, Pentecost makes this relating point: “Again, this covenant only amplified the ‘seed’ promises of the original Abrahamic Covenant—which we have already seen is unconditional—and therefore retains the character of the original covenant.”[7]

[1] Gregory R. Lanier, “Davidic Covenant,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

[2] J. Dwight Pentecost, Thy Kingdom Come: Tracing God’s Kingdom Program and Covenant Promises Throughout History (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1995), 142.

[3] Charles Caldwell Ryrie, The Ryrie NAS Study Bible Genuine Leather Black Red Letter (Ryrie Study Bibles 2012) (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2011), 363.

[4] Ibid. 687.

[5] J. Dwight Pentecost, Thy Kingdom Come: Tracing God’s Kingdom Program and Covenant Promises Throughout History (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1995), 140.

[6] Ibid. 142.

[7] Ibid. 144.

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