Yirmiyahu Thirty-One: New Covenant

It’s constantly repeated throughout Tanakh, and referenced throughout subsequent Jewish texts and rituals, that our covenant with God is an extension of the original covenant made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The covenant is an ancient one, linking generations back to the original family that all of the 12 tribes, and the entire Jewish people, came from. But in this chapter, we hear a different narrative about our covenant. “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, and I will form a covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:30).” It seems like there’s been such a break between what was and what the next stage of history will be, now that the exile has happened, that a new covenant needs to be made that reflects the new reality.

“For this is the covenant that I will form with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will place My law in their midst and I will inscribe it upon their hearts, and I will be their God and they shall be My people (Jeremiah 31:32).” The covenant is therefore now based on the law, as well as the ongoing relationship between God and the people. Clearly this change came because of a pivotal catalyst. What have been other such schisms in history? Is this iteration still our covenant, or has the relationship changed again?

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