The Covenant in Moav-Part 2

In Dan 9.2, Daniel was in captivity in Babylon at the end of the seventy years predicted by Jeremiah, and he was reading from the prophet Jeremiah. He knew that the curses in the Torah had come upon the people (Dan 9.13; Deut 28.15; Lev 26.14-20). He also knew that if there was no repentance, the judgment on them would increase seven times (Lev 26.18, 21, 24, 28). In Dan 9 he prays for mercy because he knows Israel has failed to repent and knows 7 x 70 = 490 years. The angel Gabriel comes with a reply from the Lord and that Israel would fall into a 490 year curse (Dan 9.24-27). However, Messiah would come after 483 years and be “cut off”. They would need to repent and turn to the Torah, keep a complete Sabbath cycle of seven years and at the end of the 490 years enter the new covenant because it will be offered. So, The Jewish people knew of the prophecy in Daniel in the first century and they had a high expectation that the Messiah was coming (Luke 3.15). Yeshua the Messiah comes along exactly as predicted in Daniel and begins his ministry and enters a synagogue and is called to read from the prophets, called the Nevi’im (Luke 4.16-20). Now, something needs to be explained here. Each Sabbath day had a reading from the Torah. In times past, persecution made it very hard to read from the Torah after it was outlawed by Gentile leaders who occupied the land. To get around these edicts, the Jews began reading portions from the prophets that were similar to the outlawed Torah readings, and these were called the Haftorahs or “conclusion.” After time, the ban on the Torah was over and by the first century the Torah readings continued and the Haftorahs from the prophets that were already attached to that Torah reading was read also in the synagogues. This was the scenario in Luke 4 when Yeshua came to read. The Haftorah that he read was from the prophet Isaiah 61.-1-2 and the Torah reading this was attached to is called “Nitzavim” which is Deut 29.9 through 30.20. This reading covered the Covenant in Moav, and Yeshua announces through the Haftorah from Isaiah that he has been sent to offer the good news of the new covenant. Yeshua said that “today” it was fulfilled in their hearing (Luke 4.21). Fulfilled means “to confirm” or “to give meaning to.” Now, there is a verse that needs to be understood alongside of this verse. In Isa 60.22 it says, “The smallest one will become a clan, and the least one a mighty nation. I, the Lord, will hasten it (the kingdom) in its (the kingdom) time.” In commenting on this verse, the Midrash Rabbah says that although there is a fixed date for the Kingdom, it could be “hastened” (Talmud, Sanhedrin 96a, 97b). The Jewish teaching on this verse says that an offer of the kingdom was to made around the year 4000. We have already shown you that the Jewish people were expecting the Messiah at that time, according to the prophecies in Daniel. The requirement for the kingdom offer was repentance (Deut 30.1-6). In the Talmud, Sanhedrin 98a, Rabbi Alexander said that Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi pointed to a contradiction in Isa 60.22. They understood the verse to mean “I will hasten it (the Messianic Kingdom) if they are worthy. If not, it will come in its due time.” History shows us this is exactly what happened. John the Baptist comes first and offers the kingdom to Israel (Matt 3.2, 4.17). The Kingdom of God is the restored kingdom of Israel (Jer 23.5-6; Isa 9.6-11; Acts 1.6-7) and is a variation of the Kingdom of the Lord (1 Chr 28.5; 2 Chr 13.8). The kingdom was offered by Yeshua also (Matt 11.12, 12.28; Mark 12.34). However, the kingdom was being rejected because repentance was required and the nation as a whole did not meet this requirement (Matt 11.12-19; Luke 17.21-25; Matt 21.43). Yeshua compared this rejection to those who would not “dance” (Matt 11.12, 16-19). Now, a covenant has to be ratified in blood. The “new covenant” which is the Covenant in Moav was ratified with the blood of Yeshua (Matt 26.27-29; Heb 9.14). Although the kingdom offer was rejected at the time of Yeshua, the new covenant was ratified in the blood of Yeshua. The offer was extended beyond the crucifixion in Acts 3.12-26 and the people were again told to repent, but the people didn’t, and the offer expired in Acts 28.17-28 with the death of James and soon thereafter Paul. This was 63 AD. Now the kingdom will come in its due time, at the end of 6ooo years. This concept will be explained in more detail in the post entitled “The offer of the Messianic Kingdom.”
Now, Paul has much to say about the new covenant. In Rom 2.27-29 he contrasts the circumcision of the heart by the Spirit, an element of the Covenant in Moav, with those who have been circumcised in the flesh only, an element of the Covenant at Sinai. In Rom 7.6, he talks about the “newness of the Spirit” of the new covenant, contrasted with the “oldness of the letter” of the Covenant of Sinai. In chapters 7 and 8 he contrasts these two covenants. The Covenant in Moav and the Torah of God contrasted with the law of sin, where the sin nature dwells (Rom 7.25). Walking by the Covenant at Sinai alone is of the “flesh” but the new covenant in Moav is of “the Spirit” (Rom 8.4-5). He associates the Covenant at Sinai alone with death, but the Covenant in Moav with life (Rom 8.6). Just like the Torah does in Deut 30.6, 15, 19). In Romans 10.4-8 he contrasts the “righteousness that is by the Torah (Rom 10.5) by quoting Lev 18.5 with the righteousness that is by faith (Rom 10.6-8) by quoting from the Covenant at Moav (Deut 30.11-14). He says that this same covenant is the “word of faith we proclaim” (Rom 10.8 with Deut 30.14). He says that the Covenant in Moav is the Covenant of Messiah by which we are saved (Rom 10.9-13 with Deut 30.6-8). In Part 3, we are going to pick up here and discuss what Paul said about the “new covenant” and how this is the Covenant in Moav because, as we have already seen, he quotes from it. The differences Paul is pointing out is that the Covenant of Sinai and the commandments were written on stone, the Covenant in Moav and the same commandments will be written on circumcised hearts. The Covenant at Sinai circumcised the flesh, the Covenant in Moav circumcises the heart. The Covenant at Sinai is associated with the flesh, but the Covenant in Moav is associated with the Spirit. Both these covenants contain the Torah of God, the only difference is where they are written, and the contrast between the flesh and the Spirit. Many false teachers and those with no understanding of the Scriptures teach that the “old covenant” has to do with keeping the commandments, and since the new covenant does away with walking in the commandments, it deals with walking in the Spirit. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We are going to see that the Torah was not changed by the new covenant in Moav, but it was repeated with better promises.

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

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