What Is the Adamic Covenant?


In today's message, learn more about the Adamic Covenant, which is found in Genesis 3:16-19 and can be thought of in two parts.

Question: "What is the Adamic covenant?"

The Adamic Covenant can be thought of in two parts: the Edenic Covenant (innocence) and the Adamic Covenant (grace). The Edenic Covenant is found in Genesis 1:26-30; 2:16-17. The details of this covenant include the following:

  • Mankind (male and female) created in God’s image.
  • Mankind’s dominion (rule) over the animal kingdom.
  • Divine directive for mankind to reproduce and inhabit the entire Earth.
  • Mankind to be vegetarian (eating of meat established in the Noahic covenant: Genesis 9:3).
  • Eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil forbidden (with death as the stated penalty).

The Adamic Covenant is found in Genesis 3:16-19. As the result of Adam’s sin, the following curses were pronounced:

  • Enmity between Satan and Eve and her descendants.
  • Painful childbirth for women.
  • Marital strife.
  • The soil cursed.
  • Introduction of thorns and thistles.
  • Survival to be a struggle.
  • Death introduced.
  • Death will be the inescapable fate of all living things.

Although these curses are severe and inescapable, a wonderful promise of grace was also included in the Adamic Covenant. Genesis 3:15 is often referred to as the “Proto-Gospel” or “First Gospel.” Speaking to Satan, God says, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, / And between your seed and her seed; / He shall bruise you on the head, / And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Here, God promises that one born of a woman would be wounded in the process of destroying Satan. The “seed” of the woman who would crush the Serpent’s head is none other than Jesus Christ (see Galatians 4:4 and 1 John 3:8). Even in the midst of the curse, God’s gracious provision of salvation shines through.

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