COVENANT

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More about the word COVENANT

While the Hebrew word beriyt means “covenant”
the cultural background of the word is helpful in
understanding its full meaning. Beriyt comes from
the parent root word bar meaning grain. Grains
were fed to livestock to fatten them up to prepare
them for the slaughter. Two other Hebrew words
related to beriyt and also derived from the parent
root bar can help understand the meaning of
beriyt. The word beriy means fat and barut means
meat. Notice the common theme with bar, beriy
and barut, they all have to do with the
slaughtering of livestock. The word beriyt is
literally the animal that is slaughtered for the
covenant ceremony. The phrase “make a
covenant” is found thirteen times in the Hebrew
Bible. In the Hebrew text this phrase is “karat
beriyt”. The word karat literally means “to cut”.
When a covenant is made a fattened animal is cut
into pieces and laid out on the ground. Each party
of the covenant then passes through the pieces
signifying that if one of the parties fails to meet
the agreement then the other has the right to do
to the other what they did to the animal (see
Genesis 15:10 and Jeremiah 34:18-20).

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