Old Testament Summary Lesson 7: “The Abrahamic Covenant”
- Abrahamic Covenant Before Abraham? It can be considered that the “Abrahamic covenant” was in existence before Abraham’s time. The honor bestowed on this faithful dispensation leader was to have the covenant that eternally binds God and man named after him. A few others have been honored similarly, such as in “The Law of Moses” and the “Sign of the Prophet Jonah.”
- New Name: It is a common practice among religious Jews that a special Hebrew name is given to the newborn child. It is an additional name to the one the person is usually known by. A girl receives her name at birth and the boy at eight days of age, at the circumcision. Conversion to Judaism is always accompanied by giving a new name. Often the ‘new’ or ‘special’ name is used when blessings are given for health, at marriages and at other festive occasions.
- Laying on of Hands: “Hands are also significant in the symbolic act of bestowing a blessing. In the same way that priests lift their hands in blessing, so parents place their hands on the heads of their children when they bless them. (For example, in the Bible, Jacob blessed his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh, by placing his hands on their heads.) Placing the hands on another person is symbolic not only of transferring blessing but also of passing on authority. In talmudic times, scholars received their rabbinic ordination through the symbolic act of placing of the hands (known as semikhah).” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)