The Covenant in Moav-Part 1

There are two covenants in the Torah. The first covenant we will call the Covenant at Sinai because it was made at Mt Sinai, mediated by Moses (Exo 19.7) to those present at the mountain (Deut 5.1-5). The second covenant was made near Mt Nebo (Deut 34.1; Nebo meaning “prophet”) in the land of Moav (meaning “seed of the father”) shortly before Israel entered the Land of Promise after 40 years in the wilderness. Deut 29.1 says, “These are the words of the covenant, which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moav, besides the covenant which he made with them at Horeb (Sinai).” Notice that there is another covenant that is made, that is distinct (“besides”) from the Covenant at Sinai. This covenant can be found in Deut 29.1 through 30.10. Now, the children of Israel said they would obey the Covenant at Sinai (Exo 24.7) by saying, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do and we will be obedient.” However, we know that they didn’t so there was a need for another covenant. The Covenant in Moav is not like the one at Sinai because it had promises. Paul refers to this need for another covenant in Heb 8.6-13. The Covenant at Moav was made with everyone, even the unborn (Deut 29.14-15). Yeshua the Messiah is the mediator of this covenant (Heb 7.22, 8.6, 12.24) and it was ratified in his blood (Heb 9.12-24, 13.20). The Covenant in Moav had blessings in it, not just curses, which said that Israel will be honored in the earth and the land will prosper. Also, their enemies would be defeated and they would be the “head, not the tail.” This covenant was centered around teshuvah, or repentance (Deut 30.2-8) and promises. Some of them include that Israel would be regathered (Deut 30.3-4) and they would have a circumcised heart (Deut 30.2-6). Israel would be God’s people and he would be their “Elohim” (Deut 29.13). The land was promised (Deut 30.5) and they would have life (Deut 30.6, 15, 19). Israel must repent of idolatry, return to God alone and keep his commandments (found in the Sinai covenant). If they did, then the Lord would fulfill all the promises. This covenant includes Torah observance (Deut 30.10). What we are going to establish is that this covenant at Moav is the New Covenant spoken about by Jeremiah, Ezekiel Yeshua and Paul. Understanding this concept will help you understand that the New Covenant, or “Brit Chadashah” is not what many teach that it is. It is found in the Torah and it tied in with the work of Yeshua. It involves a change of the heart and inner desires which includes Torah observance. We will see that this covenant has been offered to Israel at least three times: when they entered the land in Deut 29; when they returned to the land in Jer 29.10 and 31.30; and the first coming of Yeshua (Matt 26.27-29). While Israel may not and did not enter this covenant as a corporate nation as of yet, individuals can enter this covenant early, becoming citizens of a kingdom that has not been established yet. In the Covenant at Sinai, the commandments were written on stone. In the Covenant at Moav, it is written on the heart. He did this by the work of the cross and by the blood of Yeshua as he ratified this covenant. This is an important point to understand about Yeshua’s work. The covenant was made at Moav (seed of the father) and ratified by the pure “seed of the Father.” The ultimate outcome of the covenant does not depend on Israel or their obedience. It depends on the Lord and his faithfulness when he confirms Israel as his people who have been gathered from all the nations. The believing Gentiles have been grafted in to all these promises as well. We are going to get into many aspects of this covenant during this study and it will help you stay away from the false teaching that the New Covenant is separate from the Torah and has nothing to do with it. Replacement Theology Christianity has come up with a very intricate and insidious false teaching about the New Covenant. Understanding what we are going to present will help you see what the real “New Covenant” is, and help you see what it isn’t. So, let’s begin to look at the subject of the Covenant in Moav.
Jeremiah the prophet understood what the Covenant at Moav was and had much to say about it. In Jer 11.2-4, he quotes Deut 27.26 and the curse that was on the people for failing to give heed to the Covenant at Sinai. He warns them this curse was coming (Jer 25.9-12, 26.6-7). In Jer 29.10, he tells them that after 70 years he was going to bring the people back to the land. In connection with this return, Jeremiah speaks of a “new covenant” in Jer 31.31. But this covenant has been mentioned before and this “new covenant” is the Covenant in Moav. Remember, there are two covenants Moses was involved in. The Covenant in Moav can be compared with the New Covenant in the following ways, and is repeated in Ezek 36.22-38. Deut 29.1 with Jer 31.31-32 speaks of a new covenant; Deut 30.2,6 and Jer 31.22 and 32.40 talks about the people becoming changed through a circumcised heart. Deut 29.13 and Jer 32.38 speak about the people belonging to the Lord. Deut 30.3-4 with Jer 32.37 speak about how the people will be restored from captivity and Deut 30.5 with Jer 32.37 speak about how Israel will be brought back into the land. If the Covenant in Moav is the New Covenant, then the Covenant at Sinai is the “old” covenant of Hebrew 8.6-13. Both the “old” and the “new” covenants are found in the Torah. Those that do away with the Torah by the false teaching of replacement theology, do away with the new covenant, too, because it is found in the Torah. The new covenant is Torah based (Deut 30.10) and everlasting (Jer 32.40) which gives life, which is a Hebrew idiom for being “born again” and “everlasting life” (Deut 30.6, 15, 19). All of these concepts are not inconsistent with the Torah. In Part 2, we will pick up here and begin to discuss how the prophet Daniel relates to the new covenant. Then we are going to discuss how Yeshua and Paul relate to it and how it all comes back to the Covenant at Moav.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

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