The term ‘covenant’ is often misunderstood and perhaps this is due to many theologies of man that has misinterpreted the message or principle of this very important word ‘covenant’ and therefore I will explore the various Hebrew and Greek words that we find in Scripture in regards to ‘covenant’ and expand on a fuller understanding of this vital word that carries much significance for us as a ‘covenant’ people!
In this article I will explore the various passages where we find the term ‘covenant’ and therefore highlight the context of these passages in order to give a fuller understanding of covenant.
When one does a word search in Scripture for the English word ‘covenant’ we find that in the ISR Scriptures translation this word is used 327 times in 304 verses and the first use of this word is found in:
Berěshith/Genesis 6:18 “And I shall establish My covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.”
In order to get a proper understanding of this word and its original usage we must take a look at the original Hebrew word and trace this word through Scripture to get a better understanding of this word.
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘covenant’ is the word בְּרִיתִי– beriythiy, which literally translates as ‘My Covenant’ and comes from the noun בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 which means, ‘covenant, confederacy, alliance, pledge, treaty, constitution, ordinance, agreement’.
What we find in Scripture is that there are alliances or agreements made between men as well as ordinances between a king and his subjects and pledges between man and man, or alliances of friendship such as in the case of Dawiḏ and Yehonathan!
Primarily we take note that this term is used to describe the agreement or constitution that is established between Elohim and man, and such ordinances are accompanied by a sign or pledge.
This noun is believed to come from the root verb בָּרָה barah – Strong’s H1262 which means, ‘to eat, choose’, which gives us a better understanding in terms of a ‘Covenant Meal’ where eating together establishes the covenant between the parties!
In the first usage of this root word בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 we clearly see יהוה declaring that He will establish His covenant with Noaḥ. Here in this verse we see a clear promise being given to Noaḥ that יהוה will establish His covenant with Noaḥ and his family would come into the ark with him.
The next time we see this noun being used is in Berěshith/Genesis 9 where this promised Covenant is established with Noaḥ by יהוה:
Berěshith/Genesis 9:9-17 “And I, see, I establish My covenant with you and with your seed after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you: of the birds, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. 11 “And I shall establish My covenant with you, and never again is all flesh cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again is there a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And Elohim said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for all generations to come: 13 “I shall set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 “And it shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud, 15 and I shall remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and never again let the waters become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 “And the rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I shall see it, to remember the everlasting covenant between Elohim and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And Elohim said to Noaḥ, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
In this passage we see the word בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 being used 7 times, 3 times being clearly expressed by יהוה as ‘My Covenant’, while 3 times we see the significance being made in reference to ‘the sign of the covenant’ and once we are given the clear truth that this is an ‘everlasting covenant’.
OK, so here in Scripture, we are given the first account of any covenant that is made and established, along with a specific sign of the covenant.
What is also important to take note of here, is that with the instruction being given in regards to the purpose of the covenant is that the sign of the covenant will cause us to remember the everlasting covenant.
This teaches me how serious a covenant is, and highlights the clear truth of the fact that when יהוה establishes a covenant it is forever, and therefore sets a clear standard for any covenant that would be made between men!
This first covenant was established with Noaḥ and all mankind, as we take note the clear covenant being established with Noaḥ and his seed after him, which includes all mankind that would come from his three sons. This covenant was also established with every living creature that was with them on the ark.
This first covenant that יהוה made with man and every living creature was that he would never again cut off all flesh by the waters of the flood and that a flood would never again destroy the whole earth!
This covenant stands forever, as we have the firm assurance that the earth will never be destroyed by a flood! While floods may take place in various parts of the earth and ring much destruction we take note that the covenant promise that was given here to Noaḥ was and is established forever.
We know that the consuming fire of יהוה is coming in the Day of His wrath yet He will not destroy the earth with flood waters again!
The Hebrew word used here for ‘establish’ is קוּם qum – Strong’s H6965 and is written in the hiphil active tense which is the causative action of the root and therefore means, ‘to cause to arise, to raise, to set up, build, to establish’.
The One who causes to be is the One who causes His Covenant to be set up and established, and when He sets it up it shall not be taken down! Once again we take note that this covenant is for all mankind as we take note in verse 12 that the sign of this covenant which was made between יהוה, Noaḥ and all living creatures is for all generations!!!
The Hebrew word that is used here for ‘sign’ is the root word אוֹת oth – Strong’s H226 meaning, ‘a sign, banner, pledge, witness, token, proof’ and comes from the primitive root אָוָה avah – Strong’s H184 which means, ‘to sign, mark, describe with a mark’.
The distinguishing mark that was given to remind us of this ‘covenant’ was the ‘rainbow’.
יהוה set His ‘bow’ in the cloud!
The Hebrew word used here for ‘rainbow’ is קֶשֶׁת qesheth – Strong’s H7198 which means, ‘bow, archer, arrows’ and comes from the primitive root קָשָׁה qashah – Strong’s H7185 which means, ‘to be hard, severe or fierce, stiffened’ in the original sense of the primitive root word קוּשׁ qosh – Strong’s H6983 meaning, ‘to lay bait, ensnare’.
The word used for ‘set’ is נָתַתִּי – ‘nathati’ – which is from the root word נָתַן Nathan – Strong’s H5414 and is written in the ‘qal active’ tense which can render the meaning of, ‘to give, put, set, ascribe, entrust, give over, deliver up, constitute’.
From this understanding we see a wonderful picture of the great mercy of יהוה who has basically ‘put’ His fierce and severe arrow in the cloud; and so, we need to realise that Noaḥ and his sons had never seen a rain cloud that did not bring destruction and here, by the sign of His bow being set in the clouds, to never bring destruction upon the earth, in that way again, was a powerful picture of His mercy toward His faithful remnant seed, in that His mighty bow will not strike them.
The rainbow would forever be a sign for us that His mercy endures forever and we who follow after Him and walk in Messiah need never fear His bow or arrow that has been drawn for those appointed for destruction:
Tehillah/Psalm 7:12-13 “If one does not repent! He sharpens His sword, He bends His bow and makes it ready, 13 And He has prepared for Himself instruments of death, He makes His arrows hot for pursuers.”
The sign He has set in the heavens, is therefore a two-fold sign – it is a witness of His loving-commitment toward the righteous who are hidden from His wrath, while at the same time a witness and warning against the wicked – that His bow is ready for the day of His wrath!
It is also a great sign for us who are ‘in’ Messiah that no matter how big or strong the bow of the enemy may seem, and no matter how many arrows the enemy tries to shoot at us – the enemies bow and arrows cannot match that of our Supreme Master and King – יהוה of Hosts!
The rainbow is also there as a remembrance to יהוה Himself of His covenant never to destroy all flesh again! Listen, if יהוה drew an arrow back in His bow toward the earth it would be doomed and so He set it in the heavens to remind Himself of His Covenant and He never breaks Covenant!
Clouds are often spoken of in Scripture as the symbol of the presence of יהוה and His care and protection over His people, and therefore this ‘bow’ in the clouds is a sign of that protection!
Yeḥezqěl speaks of this ‘presence of יהוה’ that he saw in the visions of Elohim:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 1:28 “As the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the esteem of יהוה. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.”
Next time you see a rainbow in the sky, be reminded of the Everlasting Covenant Promise of salvation between יהוה and Yisra’ĕl!
The next time that we see the noun בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 being used is in:
Berěshith/Genesis 14:13 “And one who had escaped came and informed Aḇram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamrĕ the Amorite, brother of Eshkol and brother of Anĕr, and they had a covenant with Aḇram.”
This is of course not a covenant between יהוה and man but rather highlights for us that a strong bond of agreement was established between Aḇram and the Amorites.
The reason why I am highlighting this verse, is to show that covenants were made between men and nations, and while I will not be highlighting every occasion that this take place in Scripture I simply want it to be clear that this did take place.
For the sake of this article, I will stick to the passages that specifically deal with covenants that pertain to יהוה and His people, which brings me to the account where יהוה made a covenant with Aḇram (which by the way is the next time we see this word for covenant being used):
Berěshith/Genesis 15:18 “On the same day יהוה made a covenant with Aḇram, saying, “I have given this land to your seed, from the river of Mitsrayim to the great river, the River Euphrates”
This was the day that יהוה made covenant with Aḇram.
Berěshith/Genesis 15 contains a clear covenant making process which shadow pictures the clear prophetic promise of Messiah coming to restore and renew יהוה’s covenant with the seed of Aḇraham.
יהוה had given Aḇram a very significant promise that he would be established and his reward be exceedingly great.
Aḇram then asks יהוה how he will know that he does possess this promise and this is where יהוה makes a Covenant with Aḇram that pictures for us the great promise of יהוה who satisfies the Covenant with us and seals it in His own Blood!
Aḇram is instructed to bring a 3 year old heifer, female goat, ram, a turtle dove and a pigeon, which he took and cut them in half and set them in place.
The reason for a 3 year old heifer, goat and ram speaks of maturity and the bringing of both the male and female of the same kind (goat and ram) is a picture of a bride and bridegroom; and while the reason for them being 3 years old may be unclear it certainly represents maturity; and when considering that this Covenant that was being made points toward the work of Messiah we can see that the 3 year old animals picture the fullness of His complete work for us as His ready Bride.
At Pěsaḥ there is the slaughtering of a year old lamb, and certainly at Pěsaḥ Messiah, who had a 70 week ministry was the fulfillment of the shadow picture of the Pěsaḥ Lamb by being the year old Lamb that was slain.
Yet what we must understand here is that as we are told in:
Dani’ěl/Daniel 9:27 “And he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week. And in the middle of the week he shall put an end to slaughtering and meal offering. And on the wing of abominations he shall lay waste, even until the complete end and that which is decreed is poured out on the one who lays waste.”
Messiah, in the middle of the week – that is on the 4th day (4th Millennium), came and put an end to slaughtering and meal offering – in other words He by the offering up of His flesh put an end to all slaughtering of bulls and goats that could never satisfy but only pointed to Messiah! Having said that we also recognise that His one-time sacrifice at Pěsaḥ also satisfies the sacrifices done on Yom Kippur in order to cleanse and set-apart the Temple and all the people as a collective body/nation!
The 3 year old animals here reflect the fullness of this Covenant that is established in the Blood of Messiah that points both ways from day 4 (4th Millennium) in confirming His Covenant for a week (full 7 days – 7 Millennium) and His middle of the week end of slaughtering satisfies the Blood necessary once for all.
From the 4th back to 1 is 3 and from the 4th to the 7th is 3, and therefore we find in this calling for a 3 year old heifer, which points to the red heifer that Messiah fulfills, and the 3 year old ram and goat that satisfies the full Atonement at the final Yom Kippur when He comes to fetch His ready and mature Bride, is being firmly established in type here with the Covenant of Promise between יהוה and Aḇram and all his seed!
When יהוה made the Covenant with Aḇraham, Aḇraham prepared the sacrifices and was then put to sleep (verse 12).
In a typical ancient covenant process both parties would walk bare foot through the blood of the animals that were cut in two, known as the blood path and proclaim the blessing and curses of the covenant; they would exchange robes and weapons to declare their commitment to provision and protection for each other and if any party broke that covenant their blood would be spilled as the animals were.
Here, Aḇraham did not walk through the blood path – he was put to sleep while a pillar of fire came down and passed through the sacrifices (verse 17). In effect, יהוה was declaring that day that when the children of Aḇraham break covenant with the Almighty, He Himself would come down and walk the blood path and pay the price, shedding His Blood, in order to restore the Covenant which He does not break!
This is exactly what happened – The Blood of the Lamb at Pěsaḥ/Passover – יהושע came down to restore by His own Blood a Bride to Himself. He came once again to pay the Bride price in His own Blood; and all who call upon Him and accept the ‘cup’ of the covenant could once again be brought near and grafted in to the Marriage Covenant as He exchanged robes with us in taking the punishment of our sin upon Himself and clothing us with righteousness.
At Shavuot/Pentecost we see once again the Marriage Covenant being announced through the sound from heaven – the first shofar being renewed and restored where the marriage contract or Ketuḇah was no longer on stone tablets but now on the heart.
Just as Yisra’ĕl was given 2 days to get ready at Mount Sinai and on the third be ready – יהושע, the light of the world came in the 4th day – (4th millennium) and has given His Bride, those who have been bought at a price and said ‘I do’, 2 days (5 and 6)to get ready, and on the 3rd day (which would be the 7th – 7th Millennium) He will come down and take us back to Himself as the sound of the last shofar ushers in His coming and the finishing of His work in destroying the enemy and fulfilling all His Feasts culminating in the great Wedding Supper of the Lamb which will take place at the Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot.
יהושע is the groom and we are His Bride. He has paid the Bride price in full with Blood and has sealed the Ketuḇah or Marriage Covenant and has gone to prepare a place for us. And now we eagerly await His return with our lamps filled with oil and burning brightly is this dark world showing that we are betrothed, clothed in righteousness and keeping our garments spotless by walking in obedience to the Torah/instructions of יהוה, keeping our marriage contract pure! יהושע, our Righteous King is coming, and He is coming at the sound of the ‘Last shofar’ which will be the last of the Trumpets that begin at Yom Teru‘ah and end on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) to come and ‘lift up’ and ‘take’ His Bride to be with Him forever!
In verse 16 we see that יהוה tells Aḇram that his descendants would be in Mitsrayim for four generations and we take note here that Mosheh was the great grandson of Ya’aqoḇ, and it was in the generation of Mosheh’s son that Yisra’ĕl was delivered – therefore fulfilling these words being given here to Aḇram that in the 4th generation Yisra’ĕl would return to this land where the Covenant was being made, and it would be יהוה Himself who would deliver them out of bondage.
It is in this Chapter that we see how יהוה ‘made’ a covenant with Aḇram, and the Hebrew word for ‘made’ is כָּרַת karath – Strong’s H3772 which means, ‘to cut off, cut down, cut covenant’.
This word is used in reference to the Covenant made with Aḇraham and was made by the ‘cutting’ of animals and the flow of their blood’, which was restored in the perfect Blood of Messiah, the sinless Lamb whose blood satisfies what animals could never, and so herein lies the clear prophetic promise of the sure and secured Covenant that יהוה would make in His own Blood.
This awesome wonder that would be done, would ultimately point toward the most amazing work of redemption that would be made for mankind, as יהוה Himself would come down and secure His Covenant with us and cleanse us from all crookedness and sin, in His own precious Blood!
Understanding this ‘cutting’ we recognise that those who are not grafted into the Covenants of promise by the Blood of Messiah and guard to keep His commands shall be ‘cut off’ completely and have no access to life!
Tehillah/Psalm 37:37-38 “Watch the perfect, and observe the straight; for the latter end of each is peace. 38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the latter end of the wrong shall be cut off.”
We need to jump a couple of chapters ahead to see this covenant being established with Aḇraham.
In Berěshith/Genesis 17 this word בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 is used 12 times!!!
Once again, as with the covenant made with Noaḥ, we take note that this covenant that was made with Aḇraham is an everlasting covenant and this covenant was also given a sign!
Berěshith/Genesis 17: 2-21 “And I give My covenant between Me and you, and shall greatly increase you.” 3 And Aḇram fell on his face, and Elohim spoke with him, saying, 4 “As for Me, look, My covenant is with you, and you shall become a father of many nations. 5 “And no longer is your name called Aḇram, but your name shall be Abraham, because I shall make you a father of many nations. 6 “And I shall make you bear fruit exceedingly, and make nations of you, and sovereigns shall come from you. 7 “And I shall establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be Elohim to you and your seed after you. 8 “And I shall give to you and your seed after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Kena’an, as an everlasting possession. And I shall be their Elohim.” 9 And Elohim said to Aḇraham, “As for you, guard My covenant, you and your seed after you throughout their generations. 10 “This is My covenant which you guard between Me and you, and your seed after you: Every male child among you is to be circumcised. 11 “And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall become a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 “And a son of eight days is circumcised by you, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with silver from any foreigner who is not of your seed. 13 “He who is born in your house, and he who is bought with your silver, has to be circumcised. So shall My covenant be in your flesh, for an everlasting covenant. 14 “And an uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, his life shall be cut off from his people – he has broken My covenant.” 15 And Elohim said to Aḇraham, “As for Sarai your wife, do not call her name Sarai, for Sarah is her name. 16 “And I shall bless her and also give you a son by her. And I shall bless her, and she shall become nations – sovereigns of peoples are to be from her.” 17 And Aḇraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Is a child born to a man who is a hundred years old? Or is Sarah, who is ninety years old, to bear a child?” 18 And Aḇraham said to Elohim, “Oh, let Yishma’ĕl live before You!” 19 And Elohim said, “No, Sarah your wife is truly bearing a son to you, and you shall call his name Yitsḥaq. And I shall establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 20 “And as for Yishma’ĕl, I have heard you. See, I shall bless him, and shall make him bear fruit, and greatly increase him. He is to bring forth twelve princes, and I shall make him a great nation. 21 “But My covenant I establish with Yitsḥaq, whom Sarah is to bear to you at this set time next year.”
In this passage we see the word בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 being used 12 times, 8 times being clearly expressed by יהוה as ‘My Covenant’, while once we see the significance being made in reference to ‘the sign of the covenant’ and 3 times we are given the clear truth that this is an ‘everlasting covenant’.
The Hebrew word for ‘everlasting’ is עוֹלָם olam – Strong’s H5769 which means, ‘long duration, antiquity, continual, all successive, everlasting, forever, permanent, unending, perpetual’, and clearly represents for us that which pertains to an unlimited duration of time, with a focus of no anticipated end!
What we take note of here is that the sign of this covenant was ‘circumcision’, and we take note therefore that there is no such thing as a ‘covenant of circumcision’ but that circumcision was the sign of this everlasting covenant that was given to Aḇraham.
A sign that would be ‘until the Seed’, which is Messiah!
For a better understanding on this hotly debated topic of circumcision I will insert the notes from our Torah portion commentary from Berěshith/Genesis 17:
CIRCUMCISION – THE GREAT DEBATE!
This chapter 17 of Berěshith/Genesis has certainly caused a huge debate after the life, death and resurrection of Messiah that continues still to this day.
Many on the ‘Torah’ work differ in their interpretation and understanding of this matter; and there are primarily two opposing views that come head to head in an often heated discussion.
To be circumcised or not to be – a long argued debate, that still has not found common ground or agreement among so many Torah obedient believers.
Both groups will in fact even use the same Scripture verses as their opposing group at presenting their argument and can be very confusing at the best of times. In my limited research, and I say limited as there is still much to consider in this long contested topic, I have found a very common thread which clearly comes through in defining who is of what ‘camp’ so to speak.
For those who are strongly for physical circumcision, to be a requirement of all males, it is noted that this is brought forward as an argument for circumcision primarily by people who deny the deity of Messiah or who do not accept that יהושע is Elohim and that יהושע is יהוה, or better put – the Outstretched Arm and Hand of יהוה; while I find that for those who argue that circumcision is not necessary today, primarily are of the group of Torah obedient believers that believe that יהושע is Elohim and that יהושע is יהוה in the flesh, and that it was יהושע who appeared to Aḇram, and who sat with Mosheh and the 70 elders on Mount Sinai, and who Yeshayahu saw, and who Yoḥanan saw in visions.
So, what I do find is that while the debate of circumcision is a very ‘hot’ topic, I have realised that the underlying root of the arguments for or against lies in one’s view of Messiah. Having said that, we also realise that each side stands fast on their view and prays that the other will come to the realisation of their view, which may or may not happen.
What we need to determine is whether or not Messiah is Elohim or not, and I firmly believe and are of those who do believe that יהושע is Elohim and that He is in fact יהוה our Saviour and He is the One who we will see at His second Coming and it is He who will put His feet on Mount Tsiyon as spoken of in Zeḵaryah/Zechariah!
I therefore am of the belief that the need for physical circumcision is not necessary and while many will have their hair on their backs raise up at this statement, I will present why I say this and show that I am in no way ‘taking away’ from the Torah!’
Many today who are for physical circumcision as a requirement are actually at the point of rejecting all of Sha’ul’s letters as well as Iḇ’rim/Hebrews which by all accounts is believed to have been written in fact by Sha’ul.
While the argument of ‘if we only had the Torah what would we do?’ is voiced by some, we have to realise that we do not just have the Torah, but rather we have the Torah, Prophets, Writings and Renewed Writings and must look at the whole Word.
Some say t that it was the church who decided what should be in the Scriptures and this is untrue, as there are other writings from the first century that confirm for us that already in the 1st century at the time of the apostles, the Renewed Writings (N.T.) was seen as inspired and accepted as that which forms part of the Word of Elohim by the Apostles themselves!
Having said that we also realise that the underlying theme in all of Sha’ul’s letters is the issue of circumcision; and so it was as much of a debate back then as it is today; and we also recognise that what was even more of an issue back then, as is today, was the deity of Messiah!!!
What we must take note of in this Chapter 17 of Berěshith/Genesis is that the word ‘seed’ is singular, and the word used for ‘seed’ is זֶרַע zera – Strong’s H2233 and means, ‘a sowing, seed, offspring’ and comes from the primitive root זָרַע zara – Strong’s H2232 meaning, ‘to sow or scatter seed’ and is a powerful reference to ‘seed time and harvest, and points as a clear reference to Messiah as being the promised seed, as of course pictured through the life of Yitsḥaq, who would be Aḇraham’s physical seed.
The Covenant of circumcision was given as a sign in the flesh to Aḇraham and his seed forever! Messiah being the fulfilment of that seed, was indeed circumcised at 8 days old – which I believe took place on Shemini Atzeret – the Last Great day of Sukkoth, thus confirming the sign of the Covenant in the flesh – paving the way for all who were once far off from the Covenants of Promise were now by the death and resurrection of Messiah, able to enter in to the Covenants by His Blood shed on the stake! His circumcision in His flesh confirmed the Covenant with Aḇraham, and so by His death He firmly established entrance into this Covenant to all who call upon His Name and are immersed in Him!
In Dani’ěl/Daniel 9:27, we are told, as I have already mentioned, that in the middle of the week Messiah would put an end to slaughtering and meal offerings – yet this putting an end to the slaughterings does not nullify or do away with any part of the Torah, but rather upholds and establishes it by confirming with many for one week – that is for all time – those who were before He came in the flesh and those who have come after He came in the flesh. He put an end to the requirement of the shedding of Blood as a means to enter into covenant.
While many will strongly oppose this view, I would like to highlight various passages from the letters of Sha’ul showing that this topic of circumcision was hotly contested and how he addressed it in the context of יהוה Himself coming in the flesh to satisfy the cutting required in the flesh!
Qolasim/Colossians 2:11-14 “In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Messiah, 12 having been buried with Him in immersion, in which you also were raised with Him through the belief in the working of Elohim, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having blotted out the certificate of debt against us – by the dogmas – which stood against us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the stake.”
By His circumcision!!!
Being buried with Him in immersion and raised with him through belief – we who were dead in the trespass and uncircumcision of our flesh are now made alive together with Him!!! Circumcision points to the putting away of the flesh, which is death – the curse of the Torah –and that Messiah nailed to the stake – He nailed the curse of the Torah – death – that enmity that stood against us and He by his circumcision ‘rolled our reproach away” – that is our flesh – or rather the uncircumcision of our flesh!
Sha’ul warns us to watch out for the mutilation as he calls it in Pilipiyim/Philippians – watch out for those who are trying to enforce fleshly circumcision, as he clearly states who are truly ‘the circumcision’ in:
Pilipiyim/Philippians 3:3 “For we are the circumcision, who are serving Elohim in the Spirit, and boasting in Messiah יהושע, and do not trust in the flesh”
He goes on to explain that if anyone wished to trust in the flesh, he most certainly could as he was circumcised on the 8th day, but no matter what he thinks he gained in the flesh, he considered it all as loss because of Messiah!
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 2:11-19 “Therefore remember that you, once gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called ‘the circumcision’ made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Yisra’ĕl and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no expectation and without Elohim in the world. 13 But now in Messiah יהושע you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. 14 For He is our peace, who has made both one, and having broken down the partition of the barrier, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity – the Torah of the commands in dogma – so as to create in Himself one renewed man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and to completely restore to favour both of them unto Elohim in one body through the stake, having destroyed the enmity by it. 17 And having come, He brought as Good News peace to you who were far off, and peace to those near. 18 Because through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the set-apart ones and members of the household of Elohim”
This is also very clear here in that Sha’ul is telling us that the things that excluded us from citizenship – circumcision of the flesh by the hands of men – was satisfied by Messiah’s Blood. There was a ‘wall’ or ‘barrier’ that separated the nations from the Yehuḏim in the days of Messiah and the primary or major factor that caused this barrier to be set up was indeed ‘circumcision’ and this is what Messiah came to break down, so as to create a renewed man from the two making peace, and therefore abolished in his flesh that barrier!
Galatiyim/Galatians 5:2-6 “See, I, Sha’ul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Messiah shall be of no use to you. 3 And I witness again to every man being circumcised that he is a debtor to do the entire Torah. 4 You who are declared right by Torah have severed yourselves from Messiah, you have fallen from favour. 5 For we, in Spirit, by belief, eagerly wait for the expectation of righteousness. 6 For in Messiah יהושע neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength, but belief working through love.”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 7:18-20 “Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 The circumcision is naught, and the uncircumcision is naught, but the guarding of the commands of Elohim does matter! 20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.”
Romiyim/Romans 4:9-12 “Is this blessing then upon the circumcised only, or also upon the uncircumcised? For we affirm: Belief was reckoned unto Aḇraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it reckoned? Being in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the belief while in uncircumcision, for him to be a father of all those believing through uncircumcision, for righteousness to be reckoned to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the belief which our father Aḇraham had in uncircumcision.”
Romiyim/Romans 2:26-29 “So, if an uncircumcised one watches over the righteousnesses of the Torah, shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned as circumcision? 27 And the uncircumcised by nature, who perfects the Torah, shall judge you who notwithstanding letter and circumcision are a transgressor of the Torah! For he is not a Yehuḏite who is so outwardly, neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But a Yehuḏite is he who is so inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in Spirit, not literally, whose praise is not from men but from Elohim.”
Galatiyim/Galatians 2:3-5 “But not even Titus who was with me, though a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. 4 But as for the false brothers, sneakingly brought in, who sneaked in to spy out our freedom which we have in Messiah יהושע in order to enslave us, 5 to these we did not yield in subjection, not even for an hour, so that the truth of the Good News remains with you.”
Titus was not circumcised and while false brothers tried to sneak in and spy out this freedom in Messiah, they did not yield in subjection to their fleshly observance – so that the Truth of the Good News would remain!
Ma’asei/Acts 10-11 we see the accounts of Kěpha going to Cornelius and he was condemned for going to the uncircumcised, yet what do we find Kěpha commanding Cornelius and his house after seeing that the Spirit of Elohim had come upon these ‘uncircumcised’ gentiles?
He did not command circumcision as many of the Yehuḏim were trying to enforce at the time, but rather Kěpha commanded them to repent and be immersed in Messiah – why?
So that they too would be able to rise up and eat with Kěpha – a clear picture of being able to partake in the Pěsaḥ Meal by being immersed in Messiah – and not through physical circumcision by the hands of men. Kěpha then fully understood his vision of the unclean animals and being commanded to rise up and eat – it was a vision of the nations, who were now able to enter into the Covenant by the Blood of Messiah and no longer should he call unclean what He has called clean!!!
No longer could one who was circumcised in the flesh call an uncircumcised one in the flesh unclean, so the command became clear and simple – repent and be immersed in the name of Messiah!!!
Once again I make it clear that I realise that there are many who would strongly oppose my presentation on circumcision, yet I have to stress the underlying factor in the division of these views – and that is clearly on the deity of Messiah, for most who are for circumcision deny that Messiah is יהוה in the flesh, and this I firmly believe is a great stumbling block in fully understanding just what יהוה did that day with Aḇraham, when he passed through the sacrifices declaring that He Himself would come and satisfy the Blood of the Covenants in His own flesh and Aḇraham and his descendants would most certainly bear the sign of the Covenant, which יהוה Himself too would come and receive, causing the covenant to be firmly established between Him and Aḇraham and his seed forever!!!
All who have been bought with silver – that is redeemed – are circumcised! Messiah is the Redeemer and in His circumcision this Torah is fully met – not done away with – but fully and forever met!!!
יהוה made it clear to Aḇraham that Yishma’ĕl would not receive the promise but the son born to Sarai his wife would.
After telling Aḇraham that the Covenant would not be established with Yishma’ĕl, we take clear note that Yishma’ĕl was still circumcised, giving us clear evidence that mere circumcision of the flesh does not cause you to enter into the Covenants of Promise – only the Blood of Messiah can – and as Sha’ul tells us – stay in the calling you were called – as you go forward in faith, walking in Messiah who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light!!!
Another valuable insight in understanding the ‘guarding of this covenant of circumcision’ until the ‘SEED’ which is Messiah, we find in the ancient letters of this word for ‘circumcised’, a very valuable lesson:
The Hebrew root word for ‘circumcised’ is מוּל mul – Strong’s H4135 which means, ‘to circumcise, cut off’, and in the ancient pictographic alphabet it is pictured as follows:
מ – This is the letter ‘mem’, which in the early script is pictured as – ‘water’, also carries the meaning of chaos (from the storms of the sea) and can picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown.
וּ – This is the letter ‘waw’ or ‘vav’ and the ancient pictographic form of this letter is , a peg or ‘tent peg’, which was used for securing or tying the tent or other items. The possibility of it having a Y-shape is to show that it prevents the rope from slipping off. The root meaning of this letter is ‘to add, secure or hook’.
ל – This is the letter ‘lamed’, which in the early script is pictured as , which is a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
The term ‘be circumcised’ is written from this root as follows – הִמּוֹל – ‘himol’, and as you will notice it has the letter ‘הִ’ – ‘hey’ added to the front of this root word, and in the ancient script would look as follows:
הִ – This is the letter ‘hey’ and the original pictograph for this letter is , which is a ‘man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is ‘behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation’; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!
Now, when we begin to understand the perfect work of Messiah, who by His Blood has given us access into the Covenants of promise, we can indeed see through these pictographic letters how we have received a circumcision done, not with the hands of men, but from above!
This word or phrase ‘be circumcised’ as pictured in these original pictographic symbols can certainly point toward the SEED, and render for us the following:
“Behold and look to Him, who through our immersion (passing through the waters) in Him, are secured and brought near to the Covenants of Promise, in which we submit under His hand and are led by Him, our Good Shepherd”
This pictographic word for circumcision makes it clear that we are not ‘added’ to His body by the works of the flesh, but that we are added by Him, who in His own Blood secured for us the ability to be added, through immersion in His Mighty and Powerful Name that we call upon for deliverance and Salvation, and under whom we continue to submit and be led forth, by His easy yoke of His clear Torah for set-apart living, as we walk according to the Spirit and not the flesh!
Back to UNDERSTANDING COVENANT!
When we study this term בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 we take note of how vital it is for us to understand the covenant that we have been grafted in to!
As already quoted, we take note that in Epsiyim/Ephesians 2 Sha’ul makes it clear that we were once far off from the covenants of promise, but now through the Blood of Messiah we have been brought near and grafted in.
Perhaps the use of the plural ‘covenants’ is what throws many people into a bit of a wobble in understanding covenant as they may begin to think that there is more than one covenant!
Before we get into the ‘covenants of promise’, I want to make it very clear that the covenant that was made with Noaḥ and all mankind we were never far off from, for it was made for all mankind, and therefore that is not the covenant that we were far off from!
Why I say this is because there is a false lie that is being taught to many that those who are not ‘Jewish’ do not need to keep the Torah but only those conditions of what has been labelled as a Noahide covenant with ‘Noahide laws’, which is NOT Scriptural at all.
So, please be warned that if anyone comes and presents this falsehood of a noahide law teaching then reject them immediately!
What we must understand is that יהוה made a Covenant with Aḇraham, the first ‘Hebrew’ and the father of our faith, and He established it with Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ, and then established it with the nation of Yisra’ĕl at Mount Sinai!
The reason why I am saying that יהוה ‘established’ the covenant with Yitsḥaq, Ya’aqoḇ and Yisra’ĕl is to emphasise that He was establishing a covenant that had already been made with Aḇraham!
Shemoth/Exodus 2:24-25 “And Elohim heard their groaning, and Elohim remembered His covenant with Aḇraham, with Yitsḥaq, and with Yaʽaqoḇ. 25 And Elohim looked on the children of Yisra’ĕl, and Elohim knew!”
You will notice here that יהוה remembered His ‘covenant’ (singular not plural) with Aḇraham, with Yitsḥaq, and with Yaʽaqoḇ.
Shemoth/Exodus 6:3-4 “And I appeared to Aḇraham, to Yitsḥaq, and to Yaʽaqoḇ, as Ěl Shaddai. And by My Name, יהוה, was I not known to them? 4 “And I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Kena’an, the land of their sojournings, in which they have sojourned. 5 “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Yisra’ĕl whom the Mitsrites are enslaving, and I have remembered My covenant. ”
A covenant people (children of Yisra’ĕl) know the Name of יהוה!
This promise to be a covenant people was made clear to the entire nation of Yisra’ĕl as they stood at Mount Sinai and were about to enter into the Marriage Covenant and become the Bride of יהוה!
Shemoth/Exodus 19:5-6 “And now, if you diligently obey My voice, and shall guard My covenant, then you shall be My treasured possession above all the peoples – for all the earth is Mine – 6 ‘and you shall be to Me a reign of priests and a set-apart nation.’ Those are the words which you are to speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl.”
A treasured possession above all peoples! A reign of priests and a set-apart nation! This is what the people who guard His covenant are!
Kěpha/Aleph/1 Peter 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, 10 who once were not a people, but now the people of Elohim; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion.”
Kěpha was reminding us that we are a ‘covenant people’! A covenant people are a set-apart priesthood, and this is important to understand in terms of this covenant, as we take note that Yisra’ĕl failed in their duty at being a nation of priests, and so the tribe of Lĕwi was chosen to be priests unto Elohim and serve in the Tabernacle.
While we take note that this priesthood also became defiled we are reminded of a covenant promise that was given to Pineḥas who stood up and put to death the whoring in the camp:
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 25:10-13 “And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, 11 “Pineḥas, son of El’azar, son of Aharon the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Yisra’ĕl, because he was ardent with My ardour in their midst, so that I did not consume the children of Yisra’ĕl in My ardour. 12 “Therefore say, ‘See, I am giving him My covenant of peace, 13 and it shall be to him and to his seed after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was ardent for his Elohim, and made atonement for the children of Yisra’ĕl.’ ”
This promise of giving Pineḥas יהוה’s covenant of peace to him and his seed after him as an everlasting priesthood we take note that this was the assurance of being established to serve as a royal priesthood forever!
This is not a separate covenant that stands outside of His covenant with Aḇraham that was established and confirmed with Yisra’ĕl, but rather that the establishment of a priesthood is secured in the covenant of Peace.
When the entire nation of Yisra’ĕl had heard the TEN WORDS of Elohim, at Mount Sinai, they trembled and asked Mosheh to hear the rest of the commands as they feared that if they continued to hear the voice of יהוה that they would die, and יהוה saw that this was good and instructed Mosheh the rest of the commands.
The TEN WORDS יהוה wrote on two tablets of stone, which were placed in the Ark of the Covenant and would forever be a clear witness of the words that the entire nation heard in order to cause them to remember that they are in covenant with the Almighty! (Shemoth/Exodus 34)
The ‘Ark of the Covenant’ represented the presence of The Almighty יהוה and we take note in Scripture the clear commands that were given in the design of the Tabernacle and the instructions of how everything was to be set up or broken down and then carried by specific groups of priests.
The presence of the Ark of the Covenant was a clear and sure sign of the presence of Elohim in the midst of His Covenant people and as long as the conditions of the Covenant were kept by Yisra’ĕl then His presence would be in their midst!
This teaches us the importance of our need to guard the commands of Elohim, as His Torah and commands, right-rulings and instructions are the clear protective boundaries within which we are to live and have His presence dwell in us, teaching us that His commands are the clear conditions of His Covenant that are to be kept forever!
In Wayyiqra/Leviticus 2:13 we see the instruction being given that with every offering salt must be brought and the term ‘salt of the covenant’ is used:
“And season with salt every offering of your grain offering, and do not allow the salt of the covenant of your Elohim to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you bring salt.”
We must take note that this is NOT another covenant but is simply emphasising something important in regards to the Covenant!
Salt preserves, so it is a picture of eternity and the perpetuity of the covenant. A covenant of salt is part of a meal in which one promises to protect the one who is sealing the agreement through a meal. It was given to the parents of the groom at weddings.
Salt is also a cleansing and healing agent; it renders the slaughtered animal unsusceptible to outside influences, reminding us that the absolute Covenant of יהוה is not to be altered. Salt is also a cleansing and healing agent; and it renders the slaughtered animal unsusceptible to outside influences, reminding us that the absolute Covenant of יהוה is not to be altered.
It can be ground up finer and finer, yet is still always salt.
In fact, the Hebrew word for salt מֶלַח melaḥ – Strong’s H4417 comes from the word that means ‘to rub together, pulverise’. Salt cannot be destroyed by heat or water, but can be destroyed by another chemical agent.
There is no safety net if salt loses its savour; there is nothing we can add to salt to make it salty again.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt becomes tasteless, how shall it be seasoned? For it is no longer of any use but to be thrown out and to be trodden down by men.”
What יהושע was saying here was that if you mix in a chemical substance, such as false teachings and traditions of men to the pure Covenant of יהוה, then you can become tasteless and be thrown out and trodden down!!!
So how can salt lose its taste? By sitting idle for long periods and not doing what is required or by adding foreign chemicals in the mix. Salt was actually enough of a prized commodity in Roman times that soldiers received it as payment, for the term “salary” comes from the word for “salt”. A worker was said to be “worth his salt”.
But it was usually paid out in chunks, and one would not grind up a portion of it until it was ready to be used, so that the rest would maintain its flavour without the danger of it being contaminated in its powder form with other substances.
The context for יהושע‘s calling us ‘the salt of the earth’ was persecution.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness’ sake, because theirs is the reign of the heavens.”
If we undergo His grinding up, we must put what it teaches us into practice right away, or its purpose will be lost and we may just get pulverised!!!
Luqas/Luke 20:18 “Everyone who falls on that stone shall be broken, but on whomever it falls, he shall be pulverised.”
Marqos (Mark) 9:49-50 “For everyone shall be seasoned with fire, and every offering shall be seasoned with salt. 50 “Salt is good, but if the salt becomes tasteless, how shall you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace among one another.”
Luqas (Luke) 14:34-35 “The salt is good, but if the salt becomes tasteless, with what shall it be seasoned? 35 “It is not fit for land, nor for manure, they throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
With the picture of salt and the readiness of the words of Elohim on our lips we take note of the clear parable that Shelomoh is teaching us here and we are able to truly see how pleasant it is for us to guard the Word and do it, so that in everything that we do we do it in the Name of יהושע Messiah, our Master and Elohim!
If His words and knowledge are not being properly guarded in our hearts and are not found to be continually ‘ready on our lips’, then we shall be thrown out and trampled underfoot!
יהוה makes it clear in the Torah that when Yisra’ĕl stray from the Covenant and do as the nations do then he would punish and reprove them and scatter them, yet if they repent and turn back to Him then He would remember His Covenant! (Wayyiqra/Leviticus 26)
Yisra’ĕl ‘broke covenant’ and whored after the nations and defiled their calling to be a set-apart nation, and יהוה promised that He would renew His Covenant that Yisra’ĕl had broken and that He would write His laws on our hearts!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 31:31-33 “See, the days are coming,” declares יהוה, “when I shall make a new covenant with the house of Yisra’ĕl and with the house of Yehuḏah, 32 not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares יהוה, “For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Yisra’ĕl after those days, declares יהוה: I shall put My Torah in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.”
We must remember that at the time of these words that the House of Yisra’ĕl had been divorced and cut off from the covenant! And when we see this phrase ‘new covenant’ we must recognise what is being said here, and what makes it ‘new’!
The Hebrew word used here for ‘new’ is חָדָשׁ ḥadash – Strong’s H2319 which means, ‘new, new thing, something new’ and in its primitive root form means, ‘to renew, repair, restore’, as it comes from the root verb חָדַשׁ ḥadash – Strong’s H2318 which means, ‘to renew, repair, restore, restored’, and this should make it very clear and plain in understanding that יהוה is saying that He would ‘renew, restore, repair’ His covenant with his Bride who broke it – and He would renew it is His own Blood!
To illustrate the validity of what I am saying, we know that a derivative of this word is the word used for month – חֹדֶשׁ ḥodesh – Strong’s H2320 which also gives reference to the moon – which ‘renews’ itself each month – for there is one moon and it renews each month in its cycle and it is not a ‘brand new’ moon that has never been before!
These verses are quoted in the Renewed Writings (N.T.):
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 8:8-10 “For finding fault with them, He says, “See, the days are coming,” says יהוה , “when I shall conclude with the house of Yisra’ĕl and with the house of Yehuḏah a renewed covenant, 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Mitsrayim, because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them,” says יהוה. “Because this is the covenant that I shall make with the house of Yisra’ĕl after those days, says יהוה, giving My laws in their mind, and I shall write them on their hearts, and I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.”
When one understands that the primary message of the book of Hebrews then these words become very clear!
The main message that the Book of Hebrews presents to us is the change in the priesthood.
In the above mentioned passage many have erroneously interpreted the fault that יהוה found was with His Covenant.
This is not the case as we take note that He found fault with them – who? The Lĕwitical priesthood!
Despite being corrupt we take note that after each high priest died another would have to be set up and this would require more sacrifices and cleansing, and the earthly priesthood consisted of men who sinned and became unclean, and so the order of Malkitseḏeq would be established in the Blood of Messiah, who became High Priest forever, in His own Blood and purchased for Himself ab everlasting priesthood where all who are grafted into His Covenant by His Blood would serve Him as a royal priesthood forever!
Here the Greek translates this covenant as being a ‘renewed covenant’, and the Greek word that is used here for ‘renewed’ is καινός kainos – Strong’s G2537 which means, ‘new, fresh, of a new kind, unprecedented’. What we must understand here is that in the Greek this word does not mean ‘new’ as in ‘brand new’ and never having existed, but rather that it is ‘new’ in its quality and not in its time!
The Greek word νέος neos – Strong’s G3501 means, ‘new, young’ and this word expresses that which is ‘new’ in time and reflects that which could be described as ‘brand new’ and not having been before; whereas kainos denotes that which is not new in time, but is new as to the form or quality. Neos represents something as being chronologically
new. It denotes that which just came into being, whereas kainos denotes that which is qualitatively new or different. It denotes that which is not necessarily new in time, but that which has existed for some time.
Then a change occurs in its quality or character, however slight, that makes it different, qualitatively, from what it was before.
This difference in quality makes it new in the sense of kainos. This difference makes it new, not in time, but in quality.
In other words, something could be a hundred years old and acquire a new and different quality, and it would be considered new in the sense of kainos.
I hope that you are understanding this, as it is vitally important for us to understand that the Covenant that we have been brought near to by the Blood for Messiah is a kainos covenant, in that it is from of old, but has a new quality in that it is now not with the blood of bulls and goats, but rather the covenant that יהוה made with Yisra’ĕl is kainos through the Blood of Messiah – and this was His Promise to us!
Now that we have established the fact that the Covenant that יהוה made with Yisra’ĕl has been restored in the Blood of Messiah, we can clearly see why we are to be a hearing, guarding and doing people!
ONE THING THAT YOU MUST ALSO TAKE NOTE OF IS THAT יהוה MAKES IT CLEAR WHO HIS COVENANT IS WITH – YISRA’ĔL AND YEHUḎAH – not with Christianity, or with any falsified denomination that tries to claim what is not theirs!!!
I encourage everyone who reads this to spend time looking at this Word for Covenant in the Hebrew text – בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 and realise that while there may be many facets or aspects to the Covenant that יהוה has made and confirmed with Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq, Ya’aqoḇ and the nation of Yisra’ĕl, we take note that it is One Covenant with our Mighty Elohim, and this should dispel any theological errors that many have made in trying to present various Covenants that we are to be grafted into by the Blood of Messiah.
It is the very same Covenant that He made with Aḇraham, yet has been renewed and restored in the Blood of Messiah and is no longer officiated with the blood of bulls and goats, but was firmly established forever is His own blood!
Many have sadly misunderstood covenant due to false theologies of man that has twisted the truth in order to present a ‘lawless’ system that is simply an abomination in the eyes of our Master and Elohim!
Our Sabbath keeping and the proper keeping of His Feasts mark us as being a royal priesthood that has entered into His Covenant and we must guard to do all He has commanded us so that we do not break covenant and risk being cast out.
From Scripture it becomes abundantly clear that the Covenant of our Master is His Covenant that He has caused us to be grafted into and serve as His priesthood forever, and walk in the peace of His Covenant that can never be changed as His blood speaks better than that of bulls and goats, as it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
While I have not touched many of the passages that highlight how Yisra’ĕl broke covenant or the various covenants that we see being made between man and man, what becomes very clear is that it is only when one understands covenant and the everlasting nature of it that one begins to grasps the responsibility that comes with being in covenant with our Elohim, as the sobering reality that we cannot disregard His Torah becomes abundantly clear!
In closing I want us to look at the word בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 in the ancient text:
Beyt – בְּ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself. We also recognise that the House/Dwelling Place of Elohim is the body of Elohim that is built up as living stones in our Master, יהושע Messiah. A house/tent speaks of your family and to whom you belong and under whom you submit and adhere to, as the House of Elohim has clear instructions for those in the House! The Light (that is His Word) is for those in the House!
Resh – רִ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning of the head of a man as well as ‘chief, top, begging or first’. It means ‘top’, as in the top or head of a body; and ‘chief’, as in a head of a tribe or people; as well as the one who rules the people. Every House has a head of the home, and all in the House submit to the instructions of the One who is head of the home, listening to and obeying the words that the Head speaks!
Yod – י:
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’, and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter! And this letter also pictures for us the outstretched Arm and working Hand of Elohim that is not too short to save!
Taw – ת
The ancient script has this letter as which is pictured as two crossed sticks, and can represent for us ‘seal, covenant, mark or sign’; as this once again points to the complete work of Messiah in the renewal of the Covenant in His Blood that brings the two Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah together in Him, as One, for He is not only the ‘aleph’, but is also the ‘taw’ – the beginning and the end of all creation!
As we consider this word for ‘covenant’ – בְּרִית beriyth – Strong’s H1285 – in the ancient pictographic text then we are able to understand the clear assurance that we have, as the House or Dwelling Place of Elohim!
The Head of the House has by His outstretched Arm and Hand secured for us an everlasting Covenant by sealing it in His own Blood!
While we certainly recognise and understand that there are many facets to the Covenant that our Creator has made and established with His chosen and called out priesthood, we recognise that our Master and Elohim does not break Covenant and He remains lovingly-committed to His ‘Covenants of Promise’ with Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ.
Yes, I said ‘covenants’, but understand that it is יהוה’s Covenant that is made and established with Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ, which is one sense presents this as ‘Covenants’, as He clearly established His Covenant with each of them, yet it is still His Covenant with His chosen, that was established and made with the nation of Yisra’ĕl; and then after Yisra’ĕl ‘broke covenant’, it was repaired and renewed, in our Master’s own blood, and we therefore recognise that we have been grafted into His Covenant that He remains faithful to, with Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Ya’aqoḇ and Yisra’ĕl as a nation; hence making it the ‘Covenants of Promise’ that we are grafted into, yet must understand that it is still His one Covenant that had been established repeatedly with His chosen, and then firmly secured and established in His own blood!
As a covenant people of Elohim, we are to guard to do all His commands as we express our love to Him in complete loving-commitment to the Covenants of Promise that we have been grafted into!
I hope that this brief article open up a better understanding of Covenant and our responsibility as a priesthood.
This short study is not a complete study on this topic but is however a tool that can be used for further study by all!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you shalom!