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Sunday, October 2 2016

Hebrews 8: The Prophet Jeremiah's View Of The New Covenant

"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"

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


  • "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 applied meaning to the English-language word "testament," the Biblical usage of it blends "covenant" and "testament" in a way that the full Biblical 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).

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)

While many regard the "New Covenant" as a "New Testament" term, it actually began long before when "the chosen people" corrupted themselves (see What Happens To A Nation When God's Law Is Forsaken?). Notice, for example, that the author of the New Testament Book of Hebrews (see Who Wrote The Epistle To The Hebrews?) quotes the "Old Testament" prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34 in verses 8-12 below) to explain when "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."

"8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

8:3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 8:4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 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.

8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." (Hebrews 8:1-13 KJV)

Fact Finder: How was the Messianic covenant made with Noah and Abraham - long before any Israelites even existed?
See The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq

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This Day In History, October 2

1187: Saladin, the sultan of Syria, captured Jerusalem from the Church of Rome's "Crusaders" who had taken their turn of holding the city (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

1263: King Alexander III successfully defended Scotland from an invasion by King Haakon IV of Norway.

1535: French explorer Jacques Cartier renamed a small village in Quebec as Montreal.

Jacques Cartier

1608: The first telescope was demonstrated by its inventor, Hans Lippershey of the Netherlands (although Galileo Galilei is often incorrectly regarded as the inventor of the telescope, he was actually the first to use it for astronomy).

A Dutch Telescope

1780: John Andre, an active-duty British Army officer during the New England rebellion, was hung as a "spy" by the rebels of the colonies.

1835: The Texas Rebellion against Mexico began with the Battle of Gonzales. Texas became independent of Mexico in 1836, before joining the United States of New England (the former 13 colonies) in 1845, but succeeded from the U.S. in 1861 to join the Confederate States of America during the U.S. Civil War.

1836: Charles Darwin returned to Falmouth, England, after 5 years of exploration of the southern oceans aboard the HMS Beagle (see Rescuing Charles Darwin From The Atheists to understand how present-day scientists have changed Darwin's original writings).

Charles Darwin

1853: Austria passed a law which outlawed the ownership of land by Jews.

1870: In a plebiscite, the Papal States voted for union with Italy. The country's capital moved from Florence to Rome (see also The Struggle For The Papacy).

1901: The first submarine commissioned by the British navy was launched. Submarines have had a much longer history than many people realize (see also Jonah's Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea).


1910: The first collision of 2 aircraft occurred, in the air over Milan, Italy.

1919: U.S. President Woodrow Wilson suffered a massive stroke which left him partially paralyzed.

1924: Delegates at the League of Nations meeting in Geneva adopted a protocol aimed at resolving all international disputes by arbitration. The Second World War followed a few years later (listen also to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1935: Italian forces invaded Abyssinia. Apart from seeking revenge for Italy's defeat at Adua in 1896, Mussolini had imperialist ambitions in Africa. The Italian occupation lasted until 1941. Mussolini had regarded himself as the new leader of the Roman Empire, but he was too late - it had moved north, into Germany (see The Holy Roman Empire).

1940: During the Second World War (1939-1945), the Empress of Britain, on route to Canada with children being sent to safety from the bombing of Britain, was sunk by a Nazi submarine. British warships rescued most of the 634 children and crew.

1958: The Republic of Guinea in west Africa achieved independence from France.

1964: Scientists announced their findings that smoking causes lung cancer.

1979: While speaking at the U.N. in New York City, Pope John Paul II denounced all present-day concentration camps and torture.

1985: A joint U.S.-French expedition announced that it had found the Titanic.



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