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Confusion on the Covenants: Jeremiah 31 and the “One Covenant” Controversy

Jeremiah predicted the following in Jeremiah 31:31-34: “Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 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 a husband unto them, saith Jehovah. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith Jehovah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith Jehovah: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.”

This prophecy figures prominently in the present controversy of whether there is one continuous (Eternal) covenant from Abraham, through Moses, through the New Covenant of Christ or whether the covenants given to Abraham (Gen. 12;2f); to Israel through Moses (Dt. 5:1-3) and to spiritual Israel through Christ (Heb. 8:7-13) are distinct, separate covenants. Those who hold to “one covenant” argue that the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant of Jesus were “renewals” of the Abrahamic Covenant; insisting that the prophecy uttered by Jeremiah actually was fulfilled when the Jews returned from Babylonian exile (circa 536 BC). Hear them:

“Indeed, Jeremiah’s famous new (renewed) covenant of 31:31-34, first prophesied in about 593 BC was realized about 60 years later when God’s people in the houses of Judah and Israel, to whom the covenant oracle was specifically addressed, returned from Babylonian exile”

 

(Stanley Paher, The Eternal Covenant, p. 78). Continue reading » Confusion on the Covenants: Jeremiah 31 and the “One Covenant” Controversy