Table of Contents   >>   The New Covenant is Jewish

Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu יִרְמְיָ֖הוּ) was a Hebrew prophet who lived about 2,600 years ago. So, about 600 years before Messiah Yeshua (Jesus יֵשׁוּעַ‎) Jeremiah wrote that there would be a New Covenant. The 1917 Jewish Publication Society version translates him this way:

31:31 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah;

32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; forasmuch as they broke My covenant, although I was a lord over them, saith the Lord."

(Some translations say, "even though I was married to them"). We can see in verse 32 that the reason the Lord was going to make a new covenant was because Israel and Judah (the northern and southern parts of the Hebrew nation) broke the old one. This agrees with what Moses had said would happen, in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 30:

1 "Now it shall come to pass when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you,

2 and you return to the Lord your God... with all your heart and with all your soul...

6 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..."

And earlier Moses had said, "circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiffnecked no longer." (10:16). So it seems the Children of Israel broke the earlier covenant because their hearts were not right. This is a basic problem of all humanity, not Israel only.

A little further along in Devarim, the Lord revealed that His plan includes more than just Israel: 32:21b "I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a people; I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.", and in verse 43: "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people..."

Those are probably the verses Saul (Paul שָׁאוּל) was thinking of when he wrote, "I say then, have they (Israel) tripped that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their stumbling, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles." (Rom.11:11)

Going back to Jeremiah chapter 31, if our hearts are the problem, how will the new covenant be any better? Here is what verses 33 and 34 say,

"But this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My torah in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all 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 new covenant consists of having our iniquity and sin forgiven, and the Lord's instructions written on our hearts, so they become a delight and our desire!
He has done this by coming in the form of the man Yeshua, transferring His rightness and goodness to us, and taking on Himself all our guilt and shame. When we ask for the faith to believe and respond, He sends His Ruakh haKodesh (Holy Spirit  רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ) to dwell within us.

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The Lord said much the same through the Hebrew kohen and prophet Ezekiel (Yehezkael יְחֶזְקֵאל‎): 36:26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will guard My judgments, and do them."