Covenant – Hebrew: brit

Covenant- Genesis 6:18

Hebrew: brit ברית  “covenant, league, confederacy”

Used with the most common verb, karat כרת meaning ‘to cut

“But I will establish (cut)  my covenant with you (Noah)” (CJB).

“But with you (Noah) will I establish (cut) covenant (brit)” (NIV).

Genesis 15:18

“That day ADONAI made (cut) a covenant with Avram …” (CJB).

“The Lord made (cut)  a covenant (brit) with Abram” (NIV).

The Hebrew word: ‘brit’  is parallel or equivalent to the following Hebrew words:

davar דור meaning ‘word’

Genesis 17:2

“I will make my covenant (word) between me and you, and I will increase your numbers greatly” (CJB).

I will confirm my covenant (word) between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers” (NIV).

hoq הק meaning statute, rule or regulation

Genesis 17:7

“I am establishing my covenant (statute, rule, regulation) between me and you along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you” (CJB).

I will establish my covenant (statute, rule, regulation) as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you” (NIV).

edah עדה meaning testimony

Genesis 31:44

“So now, come, let’s make a covenant (testimony), I and you; and let it stand as a testimony between me and you” (CJB). 

“Come now let us make a covenant (testimony), you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us” (NIV).

torah תורה meaning instruction, teaching

Exodus 24:8

“Then he took the book of the covenant (instruction) and read it aloud so the people could hear; and they responded, “Everything that ADONAI has spoken, we will do and obey.’ Moshe took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which ADONAI has made with you in accordance with all these words” (CJB).

“Then he (Moses) took the Book of the Covenant (instruction) and read it to the people.  They responded, “We will do everything the LORD has said we will obey” (NIV).

chesed חסד meaning loving-kindness

Exodus 31:16

“The people of Isra’el are to keep the Shabbat, to observe Shabbat through all their generations as a perpetual covenant (loving-kindness)” (CJB).

“The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant (loving-kindness)” (NIV).

piqqud פיקוד meaning precepts

Exodus 34:27

“The people of Israe’el are to keep the Shabbat, to observe Shabbat through all their generations as a perpetual covenant (loving-kindness)” (CJB).

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant (precept)  with you and with Israel” (NIV).

Note:  There are many different covenants in Scripture not just two.  There was a covenant with Noah regarding the destruction of the earth and mankind, a covenant with  Abraham and the promise of Land and descendants, a covenant with Israel as a nation, a covenant with Aaron and an eternal priesthood (Exodus 28), and a covenant with King David to always have a king from Judah on the throne over Israel (2 Samuel 7:11-16, Psalm 89:3-4, 29, 34-36).  ALL of these covenants – testimonies, words, statutes, precepts, instructions were not replaced by one ‘new one’.

There was no specific covenant made with Moses called the Mosaic covenant though the giving of the instructions is often referred to as that.    Moses was only the intercessor between God and Israel and a type and shadow of Messiah Yeshua.  Unlike Abraham, Aaron, and David, who received a personal covenant promise with YHVH, the covenant with Israel was made THROUGH Moses, not specifically WITH Moses.  It applied to him in as much as it applied to all Israelites and the mixed-multitude that came out of Egypt.

Covenants are expressions of loving relationship and promises that two parties make with one another.

1 Samuel 18:3 “Y’honatan made a covenant with Davide because he loved him as he did himself.  Y’honatan removed the cloak he was wearing and gave it to David, his armor too, including his sword, bow and belt” (CJB).

Covenants are eternal and not changing.  They can be ‘re-newed‘ as in the case of the covenant with Israel which Israel broke.  God said that he would renew the covenant with the house of Judah and the house of Israel – Jeremiah 31.    The same word for ‘new’ in the ‘new covenant’ (chadasah) is the same form as for the ‘new moon’ or Rosh Chodesh.    We do not get a brand new moon every month, just like there was not a completely new covenant, but the former broken covenant is renewed.  This renewal would not be in a removal of God’s ‘word, statutes, precepts or loving-kindness’, but would result in a change of heart of the people so his ‘word, statutes, precepts and loving-kindness’  would be written on new hearts of flesh – Ezekiel 26.

New Covenant – Jeremiah 31, Hebrews 8

“Here, the days are coming,” says ADONAI, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra’el and with the house of Y’hudah.  …I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God and they will be my people…. All will know me from the least to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more” (CJB).

“The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.  … I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts…. They will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:7-12, NIV).

The ‘new covenant’ in Hebrew is brit chadashah.  This can be literally interpreted as the ‘new cutting’.  When a Jewish boy is circumcised, it is called a ‘brit’.  So, the ‘renewed covenant’ can also be known as the ‘renewed circumcision’ which is what the prophets foretold and Paul spoke about in Romans 2.

©2011 Tent Stake Ministries

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