The first place you find it called a new covenant is Jeremiah 31.
31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 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 an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
There are several important things to notice here.
Verse 32 is careful to make it clear that this new covenant is clearly different than the one God made after the exodus on Mt. Sinai.
Next the use of the phrase After those days is a clue that he is talking about the end times. Thirdly he lists several key features of the new covenant. These help us identify and define it.
1. the law will be put into us and written in our hearts
2. He will be our God, and we, his people
3. We all shall know him
4. He will forgive our wickedness and forget our sin.
While the new covenant is first so called in Jeremiah 31, we find mention of the same idea way back in Deuteronomy. You can refer to this article by Barbara Di Gilio who provides some interesting ideas on this subject. Did God Give Moses Two Covenants? Barbara Di Gilio - http://www.mayimhayim.org/Moses2.htm
We said above that God is careful to make it clear that this new covenant is clearly different than the one he made with Israel on Mt. Sinai [Horeb] after they left Egypt. Here is a mention of it in Deuteronomy 5.
1 And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.
2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
3 The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.
4 The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,
5 (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,
61 am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
He is talking about the old covenant here and makes it clear that this is not the covenant made with the Fathers, i.e. the patriarchs. This covenant was only with those who were at Mt. Sinai when He came down and the mountain burned with fire. Moses is speaking these words to Israel after they have completed their 40 years wandering and are then encamped in Moab. They are just about to cross the Jordan and enter the promised land. At this point God makes a second covenant with them. And this time there are a couple important differences.
10 Ye stand this day all of you before the LORD your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel,
11 Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:
12 That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day:
13 That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
14 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;
15 But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:
Let's make note of some key elements here.
1. Those entering into the covenant include the strangers in the camp, i.e. some gentiles.
2. This is a covenant entered into on that day especially
3. He will be our God, and we, his people
4. This covenant contains the same promises as he swore to the fathers
5. This covenant is not exclusively with just those present there at that time but with others as well.
Then in the following chapter a promise is spelled out.
Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Here he is saying something about operating on our hearts. He promises to put the Law in our hearts. See how the law is expressed here: "love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul". This is just what Jesus is saying in Matthew 22.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Another aspect of the new covenant is spelled out by the final phrase in verse 6, that thou mayest live. This new covenant imparts life, the old one, only death.
This covenant given in Moab, [seed of the father], is the same new covenant the mentioned in Jeremiah, except that in Jeremiah he says 'after those days.' So what is he getting at here? Lets look at the full context or our quote from Deuteronomy 30
1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Verse 6 here contains the promise of the new covenant. The previous 5 verses put the fulfillment of that promise clearly into the end times. Then Israel will return to him when He gathers Israel from the nations and redeems Jacob from his troubles. This also is clearly an end time context.
There is also some prophetic typology here. Israel's crossing the Jordan, and entering the promised land is a prophetic picture of the end times. This has been widely recognized. We won't go into details on that topic here. The key point is that this Covenant given in Moab includes the promise of the New Covenant. And secondly that it comes at time that prophetically speaks of entering the end times.
The promise to the fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was a promise of inheriting the Land. And it was a promise of a blessing to all the nations. Prophetically, entering the land of promise speaks of entering the time and place of the blessing. The time is the end times and the place of the blessing is Mount Zion.
In the article we did on the feast of tabernacles, [Tabernacles by Bill Somers] we noted that when Moses came down from Sinai the second time he has the second set of stone tables with him. This is prophetic of the second or new covenant. The same holds true here speaking of the covenant given in Moab. It too speaks of the new covenant given to the Israelites as they enter the promised land, the end times.
Looking ahead in Jeremiah, we see the new covenant described again.
Jeremiah 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
Here the key aspects are these.
1. The new covenant is an everlasting one, not one that will pass away
2. The Lord will not turn away from us
3. He will do us good
4. He will impart his fear, the Fear of the Lord into us with the result that
5. We shall not depart from him.
The Fear of the Lord is one feature of the Holy Spirit as spelled out in Isaiah 11.
Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Then in Isaiah 59 the covenant is mentioned again.
19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.
21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.
This passage from Isaiah is the one quoted in Romans 11 which tells us that the promise of this covenant will be fulfilled in the end times when the fullness of the Gentiles comes in.
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
So once again the scripture is saying the new covenant takes effect in the end times. Ezekiel 36 has this to say about it. Ezekiel 36:24-28
24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Lets list the key elements here:
1. The lord gathers his people from all countries
2. He cleanses us from our sin
3. He gives us a new heart and a new spirit
4. He puts his Spirit within us to cause us to obey his law
5. He gives us the promised land
6. He will be our God and we, his people.
Now in this case it's clearly stated that he puts his Spirit in His people. Much of this is repeated here in Ezekiel 37. Ezekiel 37:19-28
19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.
21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.
One added feature is that he will set his sanctuary or tabernacle in the midst of his people forever. This is mentioned in Revelation 21:3, an end time context.
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Ezekiel 39 also pertains to the new covenant, though it's not specifically mentioned. Ezekiel 39:25-29
25 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;
26 After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.
27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;
28 Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.
29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
So far we have seen several places where the new covenant is linked to imparting the Holy Spirit. This last one from Ezekiel spells it out clearly in verse 29.
Joel chapter 2 also prophesies that the Lord will pour out his spirit in the end times. This was foreshadowed by a partial fulfillment in Acts 2.
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
Hebrews 8 has a long passage which is quoting from Jeremiah 31.
6 But now hath he [Jesus] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
This last verse 13 here mentions that the new covenant makes the first one old and ready to vanish away. But this also carries the idea that the old covenant is still in effect until the new one comes in, which means it's still in effect now!
Was this article helpful?
Download this Guide and Discover How To Find And Monetize on Your Expertise And Strengths. Inside this special report, you'll discover: How positive thinking is one of the key factors in a successful life. Five ways and tools to help you stay positive. Use these to help you keep on track. Case studies that'll inspire you to stick to your dreams. Plus much, much more.