"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21

I.            INTRODUCTION

The passage Jeremiah 31:30-36[31-37][1] is an important so-called proof-text in the portfolio of Christian apologists and missionaries.  One of the unique attributes of this passage in the Hebrew Bible is the occurrence of the phrase  (brit hadashah), a new covenant, the only such instance in the entire Hebrew Bible.  Consequently, Christian apologists and missionaries point at this passage as one that foretells the replacement of what they call the Old Covenant, which is Judaism’s Torah, with their New Covenant, more commonly known as the New Testament.

Jeremiah 31:30-36[31-37] is a messianic passage to both Christians and Jews, albeit for different reasons.  A careful analysis of the Hebrew text of this passage within its proper context, along with other relevant passages from the Hebrew Bible, demonstrates how this messianic passage is irrelevant to the Christian New Testament and to the Christian messiah.

II.            CHRISTIAN AND JEWISH TRANSLATIONS OF JEREMIAH 31:30-36[31-37]

Table II-1 shows the Hebrew text and side-by-side English renditions of the passage Jeremiah 31:30-36[31-37]; the King James Version (KJV) translation in the left column and a Jewish translation in the middle column next to the Hebrew text.  [Note: In some Jewish editions the passage is numbered as Jeremiah 31:31-37, as it appears in all Christian Bibles, where Chapter 31 starts with the verse that is normally the last verse in Chapter 30 – Jeremiah 30:25].  The KJV rendition also points to cross-referenced passages in the New Testament, references that were taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).

Table II-1 – Jeremiah 31:30-36[31-37]

King James Version Translation Jewish Translation from the Hebrew The Hebrew Text
Jeremiah 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:(1) (2) 30 “Behold, days are coming,” says the L-rd, “when I will form with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah a new covenant.
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; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them,saith the LORD:(1) 31 Not like the covenant that I formed with their forefathers on the day I held them by the hand to take them out of the landof Egypt, for they broke My covenant, although I was a husband unto them,” says the L-rd.
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saiththe LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.(1) (3) 32 “For this is the covenant that I shall form with the House of Israel after those days,” says the L-rd; “I will place My Torah within them, and I will inscribe it upon their heart; and I will be their G-d and they shall be a people for Me.
34 And they shall teach no more every man hisneighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them,saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.(4) 33 And no longer they shall teach, a man his neighbor, and a man his brother, saying, ‘know the L-rd,’ for they shall allknow Me, from their smallest to their greatest,” says the L-rd, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will no longer remember.”
35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, whichdivideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: 34 So said the L-rd, Who gives the sun to illuminate by day, the laws of the moon and the stars to illuminate at night, Who stirs up the sea to make its waves roar, the L-rd of Hosts is His name:
36 If those ordinances depart from before me,saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. 35 “If these laws could depart from before Me,” says the L-rd, “so will the seed ofIsrael cease being a nation before Me for all time.”
37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. 36 So said the L-rd, “if the heavens above will be measured and the foundations of the earth below will be fathomed, so too will I reject all the seed of Israel because of all they did,” says the L-rd.

(1) Hebrews 8:8-12(KJV) – See Section III.A

(2) Luke 22:20(KJV) – Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new

testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

2 Corinthians 3:6(KJV) – 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.

(3) Hebrews 10:16(KJV) – This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,

saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

2 Corinthians 3:3(KJV) – Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of

Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of

the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

(4) 1 Thessalonians 4:9(KJV) – But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

John 6:45(KJV) – It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

Romans 11:27(KJV) – For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Hebrews 10:17(KJV) – And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Overall, the two translations are remarkably similar; there are no major issues of mistranslation to be resolved.

As noted, this passage is referenced in the New Testament on a number of occasions and, when “quoted” in Chapter 8 of the Letter to the Hebrews, it is subjected to some rather serious manipulation, as will be demonstrated.

III.            OVERVIEW OF CHRISTIAN AND JEWISH INTERPRETATIONS

A. The Christian Perspective

The Christian position concerning Jeremiah’s new covenant is contained in the eighth chapter of the Letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament.  The author first states the rationale:

Hebrews 8:6-8(KJV) – (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.  (7) For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.  (8) For finding fault with them, he saith, …

Following the opening phrase of Hebrews 8:8, the author proceeds to cite a carefully edited version of the first four verses from the passage in Jeremiah, Jeremiah 31:30-33[31-34]:

Hebrews 8:8-12(KJV) (8)… 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:  (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 regardedthem not, saith the Lord.  (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:  (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.  (12)  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

Sidebar Note: It interesting to compare the phrase “… and I regarded them not …” in Hebrews 8:9 above with the (corresponding) phrases in Jeremiah 31:31[32] found in both the Jewish and KJV renditions shown in Table II-1, “… although I was a husband unto them …“, and, “… although I was an husband unto them …“, respectively.  How does being a husband transform into not regarding?  This will be addressed later in the analysis.

The author of the Letter to  the Hebrews then concludes his discussion by explaining the status of the New Covenant as compared with the Old Covenant:

Hebrews 8:13(KJV) – 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.

Thus, the overall message here is that Jeremiah’s  (brit hadashah), a new covenant, is the covenant of the cross, fulfilled some 2,000 years ago when, according to Christian theology, the blood of Jesus was shed for the sins of mankind.  In other words, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews proclaims that the covenant G-d made with Israel at Mount Sinai had expired.  And, therefore, the Jewish people need no longer keep the commandments of the Torah since salvation now comes with the belief in Jesus as high priest, sacrifice, lord, and messiah:

Matthew 26:28(KJV) – For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Christian theology holds that the New Covenant has replaced the existing covenant, the Torah, which was deemed old and flawed.  Thus, it is claimed that Jeremiah’s  (brithadashah), a new covenant, is a prophecy fulfilled with the death of Jesus on the cross, an event that led to the writing of the New Testament of Christianity (the Greek noun διαθήκη(diatheke) means a covenant or a testament), the one that replaced the (Mosaic) Law, i.e., the Torah.

B. The Jewish Perspective

A correct reading and understanding of the Hebrew text shows unequivocally that Jeremiah 31:30-36 is not a prophecy that was fulfilled during the first century C.E., or at any other time in the past.  Rather, it is a prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled, one that will be fulfilled in the messianic era.  This passage contains two significant messianic agenda items, i.e., messianic prophecies, which are yet to be fulfilled: the ingathering and restoration of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel, and the existence of a state of the universal knowledge of G-d.  Here is a closer look at these:

1. Ingathering and Restoration of the Jewish People

The passage begins with the prophet addressing both the House of Israel and the House of Judah, which clearly indicates that Jeremiah is addressing an ingathered Jewish people.  This was not the existing situation at the time those words were written, and it certainly was not the case when Jesus was allegedly crucified.  To the contrary, during the first century C.E. the House of Israel no longer existed as a people because Assyria had exiled the Northern Kingdom of Israel well over 700 years earlier, during the days of Ahaz King ofJudah.  Moreover, in the first century C.E. the Jewish people were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.  Thus, not even the House of Judah was all present in the Holy Land at that time – the Jews were exiled into the Diaspora and were spread around much more than during their previous exile in Babylon following the destruction of the First (Solomon’s) Temple.

The fact that the era of which Jeremiah is speaking has not yet arrived – a future messianic age when all the Jewish people, both House of Judah and House of Israel, will be restored together in their rightful place, the land of Israel – is addressed elsewhere by the Prophet:

Jeremiah 16:15 – But, As the L-rd lives, Who brought the people of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands where He had driven them; and I will bring them back to their land that I gave to their forefathers.

This is also confirmed by some of Jeremiah’s fellow prophets:

Isaiah 11:12 – And He shall carry a banner for the nations, and He shall collect the lost of Israel, and the dispersed one of Judah He shall gather from the four corners of the earth.

Ezekiel 37:21-22 – (21) And say to them, Thus says the L-rd G-d: “Behold, I will take the Children of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them on every side, and I will bring them into their land;  (22) And I will make them into one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall no longer be two nations, and neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more.

Zechariah 10:6 – And I will strengthen the House of Judah, and the House of Joseph I will save, and I will get them settled for I have mercy on them, and they shall be as though I had not neglected them; for I am the L-rd their G-d, and will respond to them.

Note how, in Jeremiah 31:30[31], the Prophet starts out by speaking of “… days are coming …” where he speaks of both Houses, the House of Israel and the House of Judah. Then, in Jeremiah 31:32[33], he mentions only the House of Israel when he talks about an era “… after those days …“, i.e., the days after the scattered Jewish people are repatriated to the Land of Israel and are united under a single kingdom called Israel.

The message in these Scriptures is unambiguous – the dispersed Jewish people will be returned to the Land of Israel and will be united once again as one nation lead by the promised Jewish Messiah/King.

2. Universal Knowledge of G-d

A verse in this passage that is often overlooked or ignored by Christian apologists and  missionaries is Jeremiah 31:33[34].  This verse has two interesting attributes.  First, in the Hebrew text, the verse starts with the preposition  (ve), and, which means that Jeremiah 31:30-36[31-37] is not a two-prophecy passage.  Rather, the presence of the preposition,  (ve), and, at the beginning of Jeremiah 31:33[34] connects it with the previous verse, Jeremiah 31:32[33], which makes it a continuation of the earlier prophecy and not the start of another, separate prophecy.

Jeremiah 31:33[34] – “And no longer shall they teach, a man his neighbor, and a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the L-rd’, for they shall all know Me, from their smallest to their greatest,” says the L-rd, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will no longer remember.”

This verse speaks of a time when the knowledge of G-d will be universal.  Ask yourself:  “Is there a universal knowledge of G-d in the world today?”  If that were the case, then why are Christian missionaries still spread all over the globe, spending many millions of dollars annually, trying to teach everyone to “know the (Christian) lord”?  Is this not in complete contradiction to the words of the Prophet in Jeremiah 31:33[34]?  The existence of Christian missionaries is a de-facto admission by evangelical Christians that this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled!  What does that do to the Christian “New Covenant”?

The message found in Jeremiah 31:33[34], of a universal knowledge of G-d in the messianic era, is also echoed by other prophets:

Isaiah 11:9 – They shall neither harm nor destroy on My entire Holy Mountain; for the earth shall be full of knowledge of the L-rd, as the waters of the sea cover up [the sea floor].

Zechariah 14:9 – And the L-rd shall be King over all the earth; on that day shall the L-rd be One, and His Name One.

As the Jewish perspective correctly demonstrates, the prophecy of Jeremiah’s  (brit hadashah), a new covenant, has not yet come to pass; its fulfillment is coupled with Israelbeing united again in the Promised Land and with a universal knowledge of G-d prevailing.

IV. DOES THIS PASSAGE FORETELL THE (CHRISTIAN) NEW TESTAMENT?

A comparison of the Christian and Jewish perspectives indicates that they cannot both be valid.  Though the Jewish perspective clearly demonstrates how this messianic passage has not yet been realized, there still remains the issue of the nature of Jeremiah’s  (brit hadashah), a new covenant, first mentioned in Jeremiah 31:30[31], and then alluded to throughout the rest of the passage.  A detailed look at the passage will help resolve this issue.

  1. An Attempt to Reverse the Prophetic Message

In his deliberate revision of the original text of Jeremiah 31:31[32], the author of the Letter to the Hebrews had intended to solve a serious theological problem for Christianity – the prophesied eternity of the Jewish people and the Torah – he tried to reverse the Prophet’s original message.

Hebrews 8:9 appears to be “quoting” Jeremiah 31:31[32].  However, checking the Hebrew text and translations of Jeremiah 31:31[32], one discovers that the phrase, , is translated in both Jewish and KJV renditions as, “for they broke my covenant, although I was a(n) husband unto them“, but is rendered in Hebrews 8:9 as, “because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not“.  The highlighted phrases are obviously not congruent in their context.

The Hebrew term  for the English phrase I was a husband is  (ba’alti).  The same conjugated verb appears once again in the Book of Jeremiah, and in the same context, at Jeremiah 3:14.  The Hebrew root verb  (ba’al) is most commonly applied throughout the Hebrew Bible in the context of being espoused.  Of its 16 occurrences, in 11 cases  (ba’al) refers to espousal, in one case it is used in a metaphorical sense, and in the remaining four cases it is used in the context of being a master over someone or something.  A Hebrew noun derived from this verb is  (ba’al), which can mean a husband (either married or betrothed) or a master and, in various combinations with other terms, it is used to describe someone who possesses certain attributes, qualities, or skills.  As it concerns the verb  (ba’al) in the context of espousal or mastership, it should be rather obvious thatdisregarding someone, as Hebrews 8:9 has it, is the antithesis of being a husband or master of someone, as Jeremiah 31:31[32] has it.

Another interesting aspect of the attempt at Hebrew Bible revisionism by the author of the Letter to the Hebrews is that he actually ends up contradicting one of the main messages conveyed in the Gospels – that Jesus did not come to change The Law but to fulfill it:

Matthew 5:17-19(KJV) – (17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  (18) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  (19) Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Perhaps the editing by the author of the Letter to the Hebrews was not done as carefully as initially stated.

  1. Is the New Covenant A New Torah/Law?

What is a covenant anyway?  The American Heritage Dictionary, p. 334, Second College Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company (1991), defines covenant (the noun) as follows:

covenant n. 1. A binding agreement made between two or more persons or parties; compact. 2. Law. a. A formal sealed agreement or contract.  b. A suit to recover damages for violation of such a contract.

In other words, a covenant is a contractual agreement between two parties.  Concerning the case in point here, the covenant is merely the agreement made by the Children of Israel to accept and obey the Torah in return for the promises made by G-d.

The opening promise to Israel is made just before the revelation at Mount Sinai:

Exodus 19:5 – And now, if you will obey Me and keep My covenant, you shall be to Me a treasure out of all peoples, for Mine is the entire earth.

The terms of the contract consist of blessings (rewards) that would accrue by obedience and warnings and curses (consequences) that would result from disobedience.  Detailed blessings in the wake of obedience are found in Leviticus 26:3-13, in Deuteronomy 11:13-25, and in Deuteronomy 28:1-14.  The wages of disobedience are detailed in Leviticus 26:14-39, and again in Deuteronomy 28:15-68.

Exodus 24:3-4,7 – (3) And Moses came and told the people all the words of the L-rd and all the ordinances, and all the people answered in unison and said, “All the words that the L-rd has spoken we will do.”  (4) And Moses wrote all the words of the L-rd, and he arose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and twelve monuments for the twelve tribes of Israel.

(7) And he [Moses] took the Book of the Covenant [ (sefer ha’brit)] and read it for the people to hear, and they said, “All that the L-rd spoke we will do and we will hear.”

It is important to recognize that the covenant is the contractual agreement to obey the Torah and is not the Torah itself.  The Torah contains the commandments that are to be obeyed, and that is why it is referred to as  (sefer ha’brit), Book of the Covenant.  Thus, breaking the agreement by Israel does not change or invalidate the Torah!  This is an important point to remember.

The fact that this  (brit hadashah), a new covenant, will not replace the Torah is emphasized by Jeremiah himself:

Jeremiah 31:32 – “For this is the covenant that I shall form with the House of Israel after those days,” says the L-rd, “I will place My Torah [ (torati)] within them, and I will inscribe it upon their heart; and I will be their G-d and they shall be a people for Me.”

The Hebrew term  (torah) is used in the Hebrew Bible in two general contexts.  First, it could refer to rulesdoctrines, or other instructions for behavior, i.e., laws, statutes, and ordinances.  Second, it could refer to the Mosaic Law, which is commonly referred to as the Torah.

The context of the Hebrew term  (torati), My Torah, is unambiguous – it refers to the Torah.  This is supported by the way Jeremiah uses the root noun  (torah) throughout his Book, in which the noun appears on 11 occasions in various forms.  The remaining ten instances of  (torah) in the Book of Jeremiah are at Jeremiah 2:8, 6:19, 8:8, 9:12/[13], 16:11,18:18, 26:4, 32:23, 44:10,23.  In all ten cases the application is in the context of the Torah, as is the case in point, at Jeremiah 31:32[33].  It is interesting to note that even the KJV translators render all 11 instances as the/my/his law, as appropriate in the individual passages, clearly indicating this is The Law, a term commonly applied by New Testament authors as a reference to the Mosaic Law, i.e., the Torah.

Sidebar note: Jeremiah 31:32[33] would have been the ideal place for G-d to let us know, through the Prophet, that this new covenant will be a new Torah.  All that would have had to be said is  (torah hadashah), a new Torah, or  (torati ha’hadashah), My new Torah, instead of  (torati), My Torah, and the deed would have been accomplished.

  1. The New Covenant vs. the Original Sinai Covenant

In Jeremiah 31:31[32], the Prophet declares the new covenant to be:

Not like the covenant that I formed with their forefathers on the day I took them by the hand to take them out of the land of Egypt, for they broke My covenant,…

How will this new covenant differ from the original Sinai covenant?  The only difference between the two covenants is in where  (sefer ha’brit), the Book of the Covenantresides.  In the original Sinai covenant, it was placed in the mouths of the Israelites:

Exodus 13:9 – And it shall be to you for a sign upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, in order that the Torah of the L-rd shall be in your mouth; for with a mighty hand has the L-rd brought you out of Egypt.

And the contract was verbally agreed to, as was seen from Exodus 24:3,7.  On the other hand, according to Jeremiah 31:32[33], G-d says, “… I will place My Torah within them and I will inscribe it upon their heart …“; the new covenant will be placed within the people.  In other words, this new covenant will simply be an integral part of the people of Israel and, thus, will become just part of the Jewish way of life.

  1. The Everlasting Sinai Covenant

Christian apologists and missionaries often use the phrase, “… for they broke My covenant …“, found in Jeremiah 31:32[33], to support their claim that the original Sinai covenant is no longer in force.  After all, they claim, it is stated very clearly here that Israel broke the contract, and thus, the New Testament is the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah, and it replaces the “Old Covenant/Testament“.  Is this claim valid?

Evidently, those who make that claim do not understand the difference between the covenant and the Book of the Covenant, as was explained in Sec. IV.B&C above.  The Hebrew Bible teaches that, although the people of Israel often fell short of fulfilling their end of the agreement made at Mount Sinai and, in effect, broke the covenant, G-d has stated on many occasions that He will not break His covenant with Israel:

Leviticus 26:44-45 – (44) And despite all this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not despise them nor will I reject them to annihilate them, thereby breaking My covenant with them; for I am the L-rd their G-d.  (45) And I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt before the eyes of the nations, to be a G-d to them; I am the L-rd.

Judges 2:1 – And an angel of the L-rd came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said [in G-d’s name], “I will bring you up from Egypt, and I have brought you to the land which I swore to your forefathers, and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you.'”

Ezekiel 16:59-60 – (59) For thus said the L-rd G-d [to Jerusalem]: “I have done with you in accordance to that which you have done, that you have despised an oath in breaking a covenant.  (60) Nevertheless I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish with you an everlasting covenant.

Psalms 105:8-10 – (8) He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations.  (9) That which He had made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac;  (10) And He established it for Jacob as a law, and for Israel as an everlasting covenant;

There is no argument about the fact that Israel has strayed from the path many times since the promise was made at Mount Sinai, and for which Israel has suffered the consequences. Yet, the Hebrew Bible clearly shows that G-d will neither break that covenant nor replace the Torah – The Torah is eternal.

Given the evidence presented from the Hebrew Bible, the response to the question asked in the title of this section, “Does This Passage Foretell the (Christian) New Testament?“, is that the claim made by Christian apologists and missionaries cannot be supported with any other Scriptures from within the Hebrew Bible.  Quite to the contrary, the Hebrew Bible establishes the eternity of both the covenant and the Torah.

V. SUMMARY

The analysis presented in this essay demonstrates how to correctly read and interpret the passage Jeremiah 31:30-36[31-37].  The effort by an author of the New Testament to revise the prophetic message of Jeremiah about the eternity of the Jewish people and the Torah and turn it into a prophecy about the coming of the Christian New Testament has been exposed.

The Jewish prophets foretell that, in the messianic era, the Jewish people will observe the commandments of the Torah:

Isaiah 2:3 – And many people shall go and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the L-rd, to the House of the G-d of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths;” for out of Zion shall Torah emerge, and the word of the L-rd from Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 37:24 – And My servant David shall be king over them, and one shepherd shall shall be for them all; and they shall follow My ordinances, and observe My statutes, and perform them.

Malachi 3:22/[4:4] – Remember the Torah of Moses My servant; that which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, statutes and ordinances.

It is evident that Jeremiah’s use of the term  (brit hadashah), a new covenant, does not involve the replacement of the Torah, which is eternal.  Rather, it signals a renewal of theoriginal Sinai covenant, which was declared to be everlasting, through its placement within us along with the  (sefer ha’brit), the Book of the Covenant, to make them an inseparable part of the Jewish way of life.  The term  (brit hadashah), a new covenant, would be meaningless in any context other than one that describes the revitalized original Sinai covenant, along with the Torah, which cannot be replaced, superseded, or rescinded.


[1] The passage Jeremiah 31:30-36  appears in Christian Bibles as Jeremiah 31:31-37, hence the notation Jeremiah 31:30-36[31-37] will be used when appropriate.

Copyright © 2003, Uri Yosef for http://www.MessiahTruth.com.

 

 

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