The Pattern of Salvation

All saving relationships between God and man in the Bible are a marriage covenant[1]. There are five[2]major marriage covenants in the Bible: the Adamic Covenant[3], Noahic Covenant, Abrahamic Covenant, Mosaic Covenant and New Covenant.

1.1. The Mosaic Covenant (OC) is spoken of using marriage terms and conditions:

1.1.1. God as husband, Israel as wife (Isa 54:5; Jer 3:20, 31:31-32).

1.1.2. Marriage vows are taken (Eze 16:1-8).

1.1.3. Israel is seen as committing adultery and becoming an adulterer (harlot, whore) when unfaithful to the covenant (Eze 16:15-32).

1.1.4. God threatens divorce for unrepentant unfaithfulness even threatening the “no remarriage rule” of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 (Jer 3:1-8; Isa 50:1).

1.2. The first covenant (Adamic) is revealed to be the same kind of covenant as the Mosaic Covenant (Hos 6:7 – consider it is “the covenant” v. “their covenant”).

1.3. Every other salvation covenant in the Old Testament which follows the first (Adamic) is referenced in the possessive (“My covenant”) demonstrating this to be their antecedent in kind (Gen 6:18, 17:2; Exo 19:5).

1.4. The New Covenant also uses marriage terms and conditions, and is considered to be the same kind of covenant[4] as the Mosaic Covenant (Eph 5:22-32; Rev 19:7; Jer 31:31-32).


[1] Such marriage covenants however are “betrothal” in nature (“inchoate marriages”) since this was the first act of the ancient marriage covenant and the point at which the contract was agreed upon. Though spousal terms would oftentimes be used during this period (e.g. Deu 20:7), the marriage covenant was not consummated until the actual ceremony and intimate union between the husband and his wife were achieved (see Gordon P. Hugenberger, Marriage as a Covenant, p.243-279). In the case of God’s marriage to humans, such consummating ceremony takes place only after we have passed from this life (Consider: 2Co 11:2, Rev 19:6-9; Consider also the fact that Joseph pursues “divorce” in relation to Mary though they are only betrothed. This implies some sort of marriage covenant/contract is already in place – see Mat 1:18-20).

[2] Covenant Theology recognizes six including also the Davidic Covenant. Though an important covenant in God’s redemptive plan, it was established in relation to kingship not salvation (see 2Sa 7 and 23). In this regard David himself operated under the Mosaic covenant.

[3] Though one may initially question calling the Adamic Covenant a “saving relationship” since there was no sin at the time it was inaugurated, what must be considered is the fact that this is where it ended up: in God providing an addendum and means of atonement thus taking the role of Savior in that covenant as well (Gen 3:21).

[4] This does not infer there are no differences between the Old and New Covenant but rather that the New –like the Old –is viewed and operates as a marriage covenant.