In this final video on the idea of Covenant, we'll look at the use of covenant language in an ancient Near East marriage proposal.
Throughout Israel's history, they have viewed the events at Mount Sinai after the Exodus from Egypt as a "wedding" between them and God. God, of course, is the Bridegroom and Israel is the Bride. The metaphor for the covenant relationship established between the people and God is that of a marriage.
This symbolism is carried throughout the Hebrew bible and right through the New Testament as the early Jewish disciples are describing the new covenant relationship between their community and Jesus as the Messiah. Hence, in the Book of Revelation, John describes the church community as the 'bride of Christ.'
Additionally, as we will see in this video, Jesus uses the cultural language for a marriage proposal during the final Passover meal with his disciples. This language comes from the Mount Sinai covenant story in Exodus (Ex. 24:8). Jesus uses the metaphor of a marriage proposal and the Bridegroom going back to the 'father's house' to prepare a new room for his bride. The disciples would understand that one day, when all was prepared, the bridegroom would return to get them and the marriage would be complete.
When you engage in the sacrament of communion and raise the cup of wine to your lips, you are, in cultural language, saying to Jesus, "I do." And once you commit to that relationship, you must remain faithful.
In this lesson we look at symbolism used during the covenant with Noah and then some issues surrounding covenant language.
After God destroys the earth with a flood he makes a covenant of peace with Noah which he says "I will not destroy the earth again with a flood." Then, God memorializes this covenant with a sign which will remind people for all time of his promise. In this video we take a closer look at the symbolism from the view point of the ancient Near East culture.
Finally, we look at the language Jesus used during his final Passover meal with his disciples. Jesus inserts language used in Exodus as the people are ratifying the covenant with God. Using the imagery of covenant ratification we can look deeper into the sacrament of communion to see that we too, are once again, ratifying the covenant to say "We will obey!!"
In this teaching we take a closer look at the covenant ratification ceremony between God and Abraham.
The story is told in Genesis 15 and is full of symbolism.
For many Christians - since we do not understand the symbolism of the story - we miss the deep meaning of the ceremony.
Covenants are woven into the fabric of the ancient Near Eastern culture where the Biblical stories take place.
The Bible as a whole is structured around covenants and covenant mediators: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus.
Covenants are a legal mechanism to create a relationship where one did not exist previously. God then uses the cultural concept of covenant to communicate his relationship with his people.
Given the prominence of covenants in the scripture, it is quite helpful for Christians to understand the basics.
The concept of a covenant will help you to deepen your understanding of the Bible.
For further study on this subject an excellent starting point is the book
The Epic of Eden by Dr. Sandra L. Richter. This book is very accessible to non-scholars and provides a solid foundation of the structure of the text.
Scott Broberg - I have a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Bethel Seminary - San Diego - Biblical Studies with and emphasis on the Old Testament.
- Ladder of Jacob
- Our Rabbi Jesus
- That the World May Know
- Early Jewish Writings
- Early Christian Writings
- Abarim Publications
- Hebrew 4 Christians
- Holy Land Photos
- Biblical Archaeology Society
- Ancient Hebrew Research Center
- First Fruits of Zion
- Jerusalem Perspective
- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
- Flavius Josephus.org
- Bible Archaeology Report
- Hebrew Streams
- Biblical Resources