However, in Galatians 3, it almost reads like Jesus was the first covenant. Paul says that the covenant that God made with Abraham, 430 years before the law, was referring to Christ.
Galatians 3:16-17 (ESV)
16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.
Paul then refers to the law as a temporary guardian, until Christ came.
Galatians 3:19 (ESV)
19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.
Galatians 3:24 (ESV)
24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.
A possible interpretation would seem to be that God's covenant with Abraham is what we refer to as the New Covenant, and the law is the Old Covenant. However, this doesn't quite seem to work with Jeremiah:
31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,
God seems to have been saying that He will make a new covenant in the future, and this was clearly written after His covenant with Abraham was made.
So I have two questions:
- What is the "Old Covenant"? Is it the law?
- Does this imply that the "New Covenant" was made before the "Old Covenant"? If so, is it only called "New" because it was fulfilled later than the "Old"? In that case, what of the passage in Jeremiah?