Everlasting Kingdom: Unraveling the Bible’s Secrets

Is It A “Renewed Covenant”?

Jeremiah 31:31-32 The time is coming [1],’ says Yehovah, ‘when I’ll make a New marriage Covenant with the ‘nation’ of Israel and the ‘nation’ of Judah. 32 It won’t be like the marriage Covenant that I made with their ancestors during the time when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt, since they broke My Covenant, tho I was their Husband, says Yehovah.

Many of my friends speak of a “Renewed Covenant”, claiming that “New Covenant” is a mistranslation both in the Hebrew and the Greek. This article addresses the question of whether or not it is a “New” or “Renewed” Covenant by taking every use of the words ‘new’ and ‘renew in the entire Bible into acount. The word chadash (khaw-daWsh’: Strong’s 02319) is used 53 times in the Scriptures. Aside from 4 references in Isaiah 65 & 66, about the “New Heavens and the New Earth”, none of these usages, including the one just quoted can remotely be construed as “renewed”. Here is the complete list:

The New Earth of Isaiah 65:17 & 22 could only be viewed as ‘renewed’ (if you were to cheat and substitute the adjective form of the word) in the sense that the earth was totally ‘destroyed’ in the flood (Genesis 9:9-17), but the planet was still here; (tho the next destruction will not be as severe: Genesis 7:23). In fact the Psalm 104 reference (below) is one of the 10 usages of the real word for renewed. It has to do with the renewing of the earth after the flood.

This very similar root word of chadash (khaw-daWsh’) always means “renew” or “repair”. Here is the similar root word: chadash (khaw-dash’: Strong’s 02318). This slightly different form of the word is never associated with a covenant. Here is every usage of the RENEWED (or restored) form of the word from the Hebrew:

1 Samuel 11:14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let’s go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there.” —The Gabriel Bible

2 Chronicles 15:8 When Asa heard these words, and the prophecy that Azariah the son of [Gill’s] Oded the prophet spoke, he was encouraged to remove the abominable idols from the entire land of Judah and Benjamin, and from the cities that he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. Then he RENEWED Yehovah’s altar that was in front of the portico of Yehovah’s Temple.

2 Chronicles 24:4 Some time later Joash decided to RESTORE Yehovah’s Temple.

2 Chronicles 24:12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who were working on Yehovah’s ‘Temple’; and they hired masons and carpenters to restore Yehovah’s house, as well as skilled iron and brass workers to RENEW Yehovah’s ‘Temple’.

Job 10:17 You RENEW your witnesses against me, with ever increasing anger against me. Hardships assault me, wave after wave.

Psalm 51:10 Create a clean conscience in me, O Elohim [God], and RENEW a firmly established spirit within me.

Psalm 103:5 who satisfies your desires with good things, so that your youth is RENEWED like an eagle’s.

Psalm 104:30 When You send out Your spirit, there is a new creation, and You RENEW the surface of the earth.

Isaiah 61:4 They’ll rebuild places desolate since antiquity, they’ll rebuild the ancestral places and places now wasted and deserted, and they’ll RESTORE cities parched from heat, and places deserted for many generations.

Lamentations 5:21 Bring us back to You again, Yehovah, and we’ll be restored. RENEW our days as in ancient times.

Psalm 104:30 When You send out Your spirit, there is a new creation, and You RENEW the surface of the earth.

In modern Hebrew, chadash (and chadasha, the feminine form) still means new. Here are two random examples snagged from the net:

“Our sages have confirmed this when they point to the ‘shira chadasha’ or ‘new song’, written in the feminine gender, that the Jewish people sang in appreciation of G-d’s salvation at that time. This song will be replaced by a ‘shir chadash’, also ‘new song’ but in the masculine gender, which will be composed and sung by the Jewish people in the future when the final redemption will occur.” link

“(1) Go to Misrad HaP’nim IN THE TOWN WHERE YOU RESIDE to apply for Change of Status to Oleh Chadash/Olah Chadasha. They open at 8:00 AM but will start handing out numbers at 7:30 AM. For the shortest possible waiting time, arrive at 7:30 AM. (If you arrive after 9:00AM, you can often forget being served at all that day.) At the information (modi’in) desk, ask for an application form for oleh chadash (new immigrant) status, which you can fill out in the waiting room. Make sure to bring ... ” link

Some people try to reason that the “new moon” would be better termed “renewed moon”, attempting to add credence to their use of the term “renewed”. Is that a valid argument?:

“It is only through the other Hebrew word for month, yerach, that we have the connection to the physical body known as the moon. On this basis it would be more literal to translate the Hebrew word chodesh as ‘first of the month’ or ‘new-month’. The Hebrew noun chodesh has the same consonants as the Hebrew adjective chadash, khaw-dawsh’ (almost always translated “new”) and the Hebrew verb chadash, khaw-dash’ (about half the time translated “renew” and half the time “repair”). The month following any month is not a renewal of the previous month or a repair of the previous month; instead it is indeed a new month. While the translation of chodesh as ‘new-month’ seems more literal and precise than ‘new-moon’, the latter is so firmly accepted that this will be used in the present study.

“What about the suggestion to translate chodesh as ‘renewed-moon’? The moon itself is older than it was the previous month and the physical body itself is not renewed [it’s really beat up]. If one wishes to make a case for translating the word chodesh as ‘renewed-moon’ based upon the light from the moon, this is quite subjective because chodesh has the primary affinity with month, and the month is ‘new’, not ‘renewed’.” link

So what we have is a new monthly cycle, not a renewal of some other monthly cycle, while the moon just keeps getting older.

While I believe that the covenant will be new, it will in no way diminish the Torah (Matthew 5:17-19). It will be entirely new to this different generation of Israelites who will be accepting the marriage vows—very new to them. While the basis of the covenant, the Torah, will be the same, the context: “It won’t be like the marriage Covenant that I made with their ancestors...” absolutely precludes it from being an identical covenant.

Here are several examples of where the word “new” is used in the Tanak. I checked all 48 of the references and none of them even made sense if ‘renewed’ was substituted for ‘new’, except for Jeremiah 31:31. That could make sense either way if the adjective form of the word were exchanged for the verb form:

Exodus 1:8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt...
Deuteronomy 20:5...a new house, and have not dedicated it?
Deuteronomy 24:5 When a man has taken a new wife...
Job 29:20 My splendor was fresh [new] in me, and my bow was renewed [chalaph ] in my hand.
Psalms 33:3 Sing to Him a new song...
Isaiah 41:15 I will make you a new sharp threshing instrument with teeth...
Isaiah 42:9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare...
Isaiah 43:19 I will do a new thing; now it will spring forth...
Jeremiah 31:22 How long will you go about, O backsliding daughter? for Yehovah has created a new thing in the earth...
Jeremiah 31:31...I’ll make a New marriage Covenant with the family of Israel and the family of Judah.
Ezekiel 11:19...I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh...

The promises will be even better (Hebrews 8:6), because they will never forget the terms! Not only will the Torah remain intact, but it will literally be embedded into the minds or hearts as verse 33 explains. Let's read it again adding 33 to the context:

Jeremiah 31:31-33 The time is coming,’ says Yehovah, ‘when I’ll make a New marriage Covenant with the ‘nation’ of Israel and the ‘nation’ of Judah. 32 It won’t be like the marriage Covenant that I made with their ancestors during the time when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt, since they broke My Covenant, tho I was their Husband, says Yehovah. 33 In this marriage Covenant that I’ll make with the ‘nation’ of Israel after those days,’ says Yehovah, ‘I’ll put My Torah in the very seat of their thoughts and emotions, and I’ll write it into their minds [hearts]. I’ll be their Elohim, and they’ll be My people.

The New Covenant is all about the people of Israel, all 12 tribes, returning to the promised land after the soon coming Day of Yehovah (the Lord):

Ezekiel 36:28 You’ll live in the land that I gave to your ancestors, and you’ll be My people, and I’ll be your Elohim.

Only when the New Covenant goes into effect, Satan and his children will be entirely removed from the face of the earth. No stinking snake in the garden. Success will be assured by the force of an iron scepter! (Psalms 2:9; Revelation 2:27, 12:5 and 19:15). It won’t be a renewed covenant, it will be a perfect one.

In addition to trying to muddle the only Hebrew passage about the New Covenant, advocates of a “renewed covenant” claim that the Greek word ‘kainos’ proves their point.

The story goes that there are two words in the Greek ‘New Testament’ translated as ‘new’: ‘neos’ and ‘kainos’, and that kainos would better be translated as ‘renewed’.

But when you check all 42 Greek usages of kainos in context, you will see that not one of them makes more sense by replacing “new” with “renewed”, and most of them make absolutely no sense at all by substituting “renewed”! Here are all of the ways that the Greek uses Kainos. Only the many redundancies have been removed.

Matthew 13:52 things new and old.
Matthew 26:29 I drink it new with you
Matthew 27:60 his own new tomb
Mark 1:27 A new teaching
Mark 2:21 the new from the old
Mark 2:22 into fresh (new) wineskins
Mark 16:17 will speak new languages
Luke 5:36 of cloth from a new garment
Luke 5:36 tear the new, and the piece
Luke 22:20 the new covenant
Acts 17:21 hearing something new
1 John 2:8 a new commandment
2 Corinthians 5:17 a new creature
2 Corinthians 5:17 new things have come
Galatians 6:15 a new creation
Ephesians 2:15 one new man
Revelation 2:17 a new name
Revelation 3:12 the New Jerusalem
Revelation 5:9 a new song
Revelation 21:1 new heaven and a new earth
Revelation 21:2 New Jerusalem
Revelation 21:5 everything new

Insisting that the covenant is “renewed” makes the Hebrew roots movement look silly in the eyes of our detractors. It is far better to emphasize the fact that the New Covenant will be entirely based on the Torah according to the source reference that all of the other references refer to: Jeremiah 31!

My friend Jonathan, getting right to the heart of the matter, recently commented to me that if the old covenant with Israel could simply be renewed, then we wouldn’t need a Savior. We could just return to slaying bulls and goats to atone for our sins. Again, Jeremiah 31:32 It won’t be like the marriage Covenant that I made with their ancestors during the time when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt...”

Now that you’ve read about what the New Covenant is NOT; why not read about what it REALLY is: The “New Covenant”—Coming Soon!

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Minor update 1-21-2017