The Tie that Binds
From H1262 (in the sense of cutting (like H1254)); a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh): – confederacy, [con-]feder[-ate], covenant, league.
Total KJV occurrences: 284 (see below also)
From G1303; properly a disposition, that is, (specifically) a contract (especially a devisory will): – covenant, testament.
Total KJV occurrences: 33
Full Definition of covenant
- 1 : a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement : compact
- 2 a : a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action b : the common-law action to recover damages for breach of such a contract
play \ˌkə-və-ˈnan-təl\ adjective
Definition of league
- 1 a : an association of nations or other political entities for a common purpose
b (1) : an association of persons or groups united by common interests or goals
b (2) : a group of sports teams that regularly play one another c : an informal alliance <in league with her sister>
From the website
“The Hebrew word for covenant is b’rit, meaning covenant, pact, or treaty. It is one of the most frequently used words in Hebrew Scriptures (appearing some 270 times) and is one of the Scripture’s most important concepts.
Ancient covenants were often made by animal sacrifice. To “cut a covenant” demonstrated the earnestness of the parties involved in the agreement. YHVH chose to cut covenant with Abram in this manner (Genesis 15:7-11, 17-18). Thus the word B’rit implies the shedding of blood in the process of ratifying an agreement.”
- ( You want to bookmark this page as this is an excellent website for looking up the hebrew word once you know it from your Strong’s Concordance. Use the English spelling of the word and type it in and it will give you the more indepth Hebrew meaning.)
Not every Covenant is Conditional
Conditional vs Unconditional covenant.
Christians have long tried to understand the covenants of God in the context of an agreement between two parties. A contract if you will. A contract is a conditional document that states that if you do this, I will do this, and if you don’t do your part, this is what I will do.
This is called a ‘conditional covenant’. There are several conditional covenants in the Bible. They describe what one party would do based on the actions of the other party. The Palestinian covenant is an example of that. Found in Deuteronomy 30:1-10, it amplifes the Abrahamic Covenant in regard to the land that God had promised.
Deuteronomy 30:1-10 Amplified Bible (AMPC)
1 And when all these things have come upon you, the blessings and the curses which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you,
2 And shall return to the Lord your God and obey His voice according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your [mind and] heart and with all your being,
9 And the Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in every work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, of your cattle, of your land, for good; for the Lord will again delight in prospering you, as He took delight in your fathers,
10 If you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with all your being.
There are several conditional promises here… as you can readily see. V10 If you obey… then.. is the conditon of the promise in v9 with the implication being, if you don’t, He won’t either..
2 Chronicles 7:14 is a conditional covenant. If My people do this.. then I will do this.. says God..
To see the benefit of a conditional covenant, you must perform your side of the agreement.
An Unconditional Covenant is one where a promise is made without regard to any other element, action or transaction.
Example.. a family is an Unconditional Covenant. No matter what you do, no matter who you become, no matter what legal manuver you may do, you are still a member of your family. Nothing you do can change that..
Friendship – a true friend is a friend no matter what. A true friend forgives without being asked. A true friend helps without regard to receiving anything in return., not a ‘fair weathered’ friend that treats you good because you treat them good.. a true friendship is based on something deeper than what is done or how you are treated.. it is based on a special love. And that is what God shows us in His covenant.
The Abrahamic covenant in Gen. 12:1-3 is an unconditional covenant in the first part. It required NOTHING of Abraham. It was a promise of God and He would perform this no matter what.
There is a part of that covenant that is conditional, and that has to do with those that bless Israel or curse Israel. This is for nations and also individuals. It has become ‘posh’ in certain circles in America today to talk down, even curse Israel. To curse Israel is to curse God Himself. Woe unto those people. But even if your nation, such as America under the present leadership, is negative toward Israel, even to the point of helping Irael’s enemies arm against her, the blessing in Genesis 12 can still be yours as you bless Israel with your prayers, you conversations, maybe even your finances.
A perfect example of a conditional covenant is found in Romans 10
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
IF you confess Christ as your Lord and Saviour, God is faithful to forgive you of ALL unrighteousness and bring you into salvation.
Without the belief and confession, there is no salvation. There is NO other way than Christ Jesus and this is the way you accept him as your Lord and Saviour. There is NO other requirement in this covenant other than your confession. No one else can do it for you, you must do it yourself. Just because someone else confessed Christ, makes no difference to you, you have to make your own confession to get your own salvation. Jesus gave His life in order that we all might be saved. In other words, it is possible for all men to be saved. However, you must do something before God will honor that covenant. You must believe in your heart and confess with your mouth… that Jesus is your Lord and Saviour, then you are saved.
Covenant in the New Testament
The word covenant is translated from the Greek word diatheke. There is only one covenant described in the New Testament and it stands in contrast to the Old or Law Covenant. It is also referred to as a ‘better covenant’ or ‘second covenant’ (Heb.7.22; 8.7). The Old Testament expression used in the Septuagint on a number of occasions is ‘aioniou diatheke’ – “everlasting or eternal covenant” as in Heb.13.20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,
Paul uses the concept of covenants in many of his teachings. We Gentiles are part of the Abrahamic covenant because we have been ‘grafted’ into the vine. The Israelites are the ‘true vine’ but we are a grafted branch. As a grafted branch on a fruit tree gets its strength and nourishment from the vine, it retains its own characteristics as well. Romans 11:17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,
Jesus spoke of the New Covenant when He instituted His special remembrance supper and said “This cup is the New Testament (diatheke) in my blood. Do this as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me”
1Co 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
1Co 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
As you can see, there is a tremendous amount of background on the idea of the Covenant. This is the heart of what God has done for each of us. The Bible is chocked full of examples and dissertation on the idea of Covenant and is very revealing into the very nature of God.
Here is one Covenant for you to check out on our own.
Stay tuned for more to come.