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Friday, March 13 2015

Psalm 111: The Covenant Of The New Testament

"This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many ... This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many"

The Biblical Greek word, pronounced dee-ath-ay-kay, may be defined as a disposition, as in the act or means of disposing of something, such as in a will. Biblical translators variably render it as either "covenant" or "testament" - even though they actually differ in applied, but as we will read, related meaning.

  • "Covenant" means a written agreement between two or more parties to perform some action. A covenant is about everyone doing something as agreed.

  • "Testament" means a legal document declaring a person's wishes regarding the disposal of their property when they die. A testament is about giving something. Note carefully however that although the recipient freely receives something that is bequeathed to them, it's only given because they are acceptable to the one doing the giving (consider why someone is included, or left out, of someone's "last will and testament").

While the Greek word is closer in meaning to the English word "testament," the Biblical usage of it blends "covenant" and "testament" in a way that the full Scriptural meaning is only made clear by the use of both i.e. eternal life is a free gift to those who repent and obey the LORD (see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners and The Identity Of The LORD God).

Passover Notice how the actual Greek word is diversely portrayed, according to a particular translator's preference, even within a single translation of the Holy Scriptures. The original Greek word in Mark 14:24 is translated as "covenant" in the Revised Standard Version (which was based upon the American Standard Version, which was based upon the King James Version) and "new testament" in the King James:

"14:24 And He said to them, "This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many" (RSV)

"14:24 And He said unto them, This is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many." (KJV)

An example of how the original Greek word, dee-ath-ay-kay, is translated as "covenant" in the King James Version:

"8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 8:9 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 Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8:6-12 KJV)

Another example from the King James Version, of the same original Greek word, dee-ath-ay-kay, that was translated as "covenant" in the verses above, translated as "testament" or "new testament" here:

"26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:27-28 KJV)

"3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." (2 Corinthians 3:6 KJV)

The New Testament is about the same Covenant that was made with the righteous and obedient people of all time (e.g. Noah, Abraham, David - and a multitude of others), that unrighteous people broke for themselves because they failed to fulfill their agreed part of the doing (again, see the actual definitions of the words; see also Why A Book Of Deuteronomy In The Bible?). The word "testament" is appropriate because, according to the literal meaning of the word, a death, not of calves and goats (see Fact Finder question below for the reason why those particular sacrifices were made by the one who was making the sacrifices), but of the Messiah, the Son of God, is a key event of the new covenant. Again, the very same original Greek word variously translated as either covenant or testament, is here very accurately and appropriately translated as "testament":

"9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. 9:18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 9:20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you." (Hebrews 9:15-20 KJV)

King David, and all other righteous people, understood that the covenant that was made by the LORD - the promise of the deliverance of eternal life to all who truly repent and obey Him - was and is timeless (see David's Resurrection Prophecy and Job's Prophecy Of The Resurrection). The LORD's Testament is the free gift that He will give to those who obey Him, according to His covenant with the righteous of all time. He didn't break His covenant with them because they didn't break the same covenant with Him (see also The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq).

"111:1 Praise ye the LORD.

I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.

111:2 The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. 111:3 His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. 111:4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion. 111:5 He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant. 111:6 He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen. 111:7 The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. 111:8 They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." (Psalm 111:1-10 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) While the Sacrifice of the Passover lamb was always directly about the Messiah, why were other sacrifices done by the High Priest? (b) How and why are all of the "Old Testament" Holy Days living prophecies of Christianity?
(a) See The Blood Of Bulls And Goats
(b) See The True Christian Holy Days

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This Day In History, March 13

607: The 12th recorded passage of Halley's Comet (as it was later named after a man; see The Christian Universe).

624: The Battle of Badr. Known as "the turning point of Islam," it was a major victory for Muhammad's army of "Islam" (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad and The Prophet Daniel: Kings Of The North and South).

1519: Spanish Conquistador ("conqueror") Hernando Cortez landed in Mexico.

1569: During the Third French Religious War, the Huguenots under Prince de Conde were defeated by the Catholics at the Battle of Jarnac.

1639: Harvard College (known today as Harvard University) was named for the English clergyman John Harvard, a lifetime loyal servant and pioneer of England's colonies in North America.

1656: Dutch colonial authorities denied Jews the right to build a synagogue in New Amsterdam, later renamed by the British as New York City. Now with 2 million Jews, New York is today one of the largest Jewish-populated cities on earth, second only to Tel Aviv in Israel.

Halley's Comet 1759: Halley's Comet made its 27th recorded perihelion (the point in the orbit of a planet or comet where it is nearest to the sun). It was the comet's first return since it was predicted by English astronomer Edmund Halley to do so. Halley died January 14 1742 - 17 years before.

1781: The planet "Uranus" (the pagan name that humans have given to it) was discovered by German-born English astronomer Sir William Herschel.

1809: Sweden's King Gustavus IV was overthrown in a coup d'etat and was replaced by his uncle Charles XIII.

1813: Sweden joined the Grand Alliance against Napoleon and his allies.

1865: During the U.S. Civil War, the Confederate Congress under President Jefferson Davis signed a bill allowing slaves to join the Confederate army in exchange for freedom - a bizarre collusion in which the former slaves would then be fighting to keep other slaves in slavery.

1868: The U.S. Senate began the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.

1881: Russian Czar Alexander II was assassinated when a bomb was thrown at him near his palace.

1900: The British under Frederick Roberts captured Bloemfontein in the South African Boer War. The Boers (a Dutch word meaning farmer) were white descendants of Dutch settlers in South Africa; their Dutch-related language is known as Afrikaans.

1908: The first automobile in Jerusalem (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

1930: Clyde Tombaugh announced the discovery of the planet "Pluto" (the pagan name that humans have given to it).

1935: 3,000 year-old archives were discovered in Jerusalem. They matched the Biblical record.

1938: Austrian Chancellor Seyss-Inquart introduced a law re-unifying Austria with the German Reich (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1964: Catherine (Kitty) Genovese, 40, was murdered in Queens, New York, with dozens of neighbors watching. The attack lasted nearly 30 minutes, but no one helped or called police because, as some told authorities later, they "didn't want to get involved" (the origin of the popular term at that time).

1989: A tremendous magnetic storm produced by solar flares tripped the circuit breakers at the James Bay generating station, and was soon followed by a complete collapse of the power system in Quebec. Power failures also occurred in Ontario, British Columbia, Sweden, and in states throughout the U.S. The solar flares also disrupted radio communications, marine and navigational signals worldwide for many days, sometimes causing freak conditions e.g. California Highway Patrol communications overpowered local transmissions in Minnesota, and automatic garage doors in a California suburb began to open and close on their own.

1990: The Soviet parliament voted to end the political monopoly of the Communist Party after 72 years.

1992: Pravda, founded in 1912 by Lenin, the official newspaper of the Soviet Communist Party, ceased publication because of lack of funds.

1996: The Dunblane massacre. In Dunblane, Scotland, 16 Primary School children and 1 teacher were murdered by a gunman, Thomas Watt Hamilton, who then committed suicide.

1997: A deranged Jordanian soldier shot and killed 7 Israeli girls on a school trip to an area called "The Island of Peace" on the border with Jordan (see also Jordan's West Bank Invasion).

2008: Gold prices reached $1,000 per ounce for the first time.

2013: The Church of Rome's Pope Benedict XVI was succeeded by Pope Francis.


Copyright © Wayne Blank