What is the Edenic Covenant?

by Matt Slick
Jun 17, 2015

The Edenic Covenant is also known as the Covenant of Works. It is the covenant that God made with Adam in the Garden of Eden where Adam was to obey God, take care of the Garden, and multiply and fill the earth. He was also not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. As long as he abstained from the tree, his position with God and in the Garden would remain secure. 

  • "God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so," (Genesis 1: 28-30).
  • "The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die,” (Genesis 2:16-17)

This covenant is also mentioned in Hosea 6:7

"But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant. There they have dealt treacherously against Me."

The apparent result of keeping the covenant would have been a busy life full of work, though not difficult work. In addition, Adam would have experienced unrestricted fellowship with God. However, as we know, Adam ended up eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the consequence was expulsion from the Garden, difficulty in maintaining his God-ordained calling, and disrupted fellowship with the Lord.

Perhaps we might glean a quick lesson from the Edenic covenant and Adam's failure to maintain it. There was but one command that Adam was to obey. It was a command to abstain from eating from the tree. But even that single command was more than Adam and Eve could handle. The single prohibition led to a single sin, and through it, sin entered the world (Romans 5:12).





About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.