Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Two Covenants of the Torah, by James Trimm

The Two Covenants of the Torah
by James Trimm

Many of us have missed an important truth. The New Covenant has been in the Torah all along! And this amazing truth is a major key in understanding the writings of Paul. There are in fact two covenants in the Torah and two Mosaic Covenants. The first Mosaic Covenant was made at Mt. Sinai at Horev.

The Second Mosaic Covenant was made at Mt. Nebo at Mo’av. This was a second covenant which YHWH made with the people of Israel through Moses which was made shortly before the death of Moses and the entry of Israel into the Land. This covenant was made near the end of the Torah:

These are the words of the covenant which YHWH commanded Moshe to make with the children of Yisra’el in the land of Mo’av, beside the covenant which He made with them in Horev. (Deut. 28:69 (29:1)) Note that this Covenant at Mo’av was made besides the Covenant made at Sinai.

Rashi makes an important comment about the significance of this word “besides”: besides the covenant [Namely,] the curses [which appear] in Lev. (26: 14-39), which were proclaimed at [Mount] Sinai. (Rashi on Deut. 28:69)

Rashi sees that these are two different covenants and that the word besides is intended to distinguish the Covenant at Sinai, characterized by “the curses” with this new Covenant made at Mo’av which is characterized not just by curses (Deut.29:16-29) but by blessings as well. This covenant was centered around repentance (30:2, 8) and its rewards included a promise of a regathering of Israel from among the nations (30:3-4), a circumcised heart (30:2, 6), Israel would be his people and He would be their Elohim (29:13); a promise of land (30:5) and life (30:6, 15, 19).

This Covenant also includes Torah observance: if you shall hearken to the voice of YHWH your Elohim, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Torah; if you turn unto YHWH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your soul. (Deut. 30:10)

NOTE: Not to be confused with Dual Covenant Theology

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