The word translated 'covenant' is derived from the Hebrew term berith, which denotes the primary meaning of (1) "cutting."
Genesis 15: 9-10
So He (God) said to him (Abram), "Bring Me a three year-old heifer, a three year-old female goat, a three year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon." Then he brought all these to Him and (1) cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not (1) cut the birds in two.
Jeremiah 34: 18-19
"And I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they (1) cut the calf in two and passed between the parts of it (Cp. Genesis 15: 9-10); the princes of Judah, the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs (officers), the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf-
Genesis 17: 9-11
And God said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. "This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; "and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant [berith-"cutting"] between Me and you.
Deuteronomy 10: 12-13, 16
"And now Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, "and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? "Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked (rebellious) no longer.
Deuteronomy 30: 6
"And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live."
Jeremiah 31: 31-34
"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a New Covenant" with the house of Israel [not the Gentiles] and with the house of Judah; "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, My covenant which they broke [continually], though I was a husband to them [Vulgate, LXX, Syriac- I turned away from them]. "But this is the 'Covenant' that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My Law [Torah] in their minds, and write it on their hearts (inward parts); and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
The Greek term diatheke is used in the New Testament for "Covenant" and appears in the following:
Matthew 26: 28
"For this is the blood of the 'New Covenant,' which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Cp. Mark 14: 24; Luke 22: 20; 1 Corinthians 11: 25).
Even Jesus [Yeshua] repeatedly reiterated:
Matthew 15: 24
But He answered and said, "I was not sent 'except' to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Matthew 10: 5
These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying, "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles [nations], and do not enter a city of the Samaritans."
John 4: 22
"You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews."
Since God was making His New Covenant offer of salvation to the Jews [His Elect], where do the Gentiles [believers in the Christ or Jewish Messiah] who comprise the Christian Church come in?
Romans 11: 1a, 2a, 11-12, 16-17, 24
I say then, has God cast away His people [the Jews or Israelites]? Certainly not! God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. I say then, have they stumbled that they [Israel] should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the [rest of] the world, and their [Israel's] failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is holy; and if the fruit is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you [Gentiles], being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them [Israel], and with them became a partaker of the root and the fatness of the olive tree.
Galatians 2: 11-13
Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh-who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands-that at that time you were without Christ [Messiah], being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise [no salvation or remission of sins], having no hope and without God in this world [subject to damnation??]. But now in Christ Jesus [Yeshua Mashiyach] you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Romans 9: 3-4
For I wish that I myself were accursed from Christ [Messiah] for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory [the "Shekinah" cloud], the covenants, the giving of the Law [Torah], the service of God, and the promises.
So, to sum it all up then, the teaching among some preachers, evangelists and theologians that God has somehow abandoned Israel in favor of the Christian Church [Gentiles] is not supported in the Scriptures. If anything there is abundant evidence of the very opposite and we ought to be thankful to God for Israel and pray for her continued protection and blessing because our very own fate is inextricably bound up with them.
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March 6, 2010
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