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In the Hebrew scriptures, an agreement or treaty among peoples or nations, but most memorably the promises that God extended to humankind (e.g., the promise to Noah never again to destroy the earth by flood or the promise to Abraham that his descendants would multiply and inherit the land of Israel). God's revelation of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai created a pact between God and Israel known as the Sinai covenant. In Christianity, Jesus' death established a new covenant between God and humanity. Islam holds that the Last Covenant was between God and the Prophet Muhammad.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on covenant, visit Britannica.com.