Covenant (Jewish)

How were the old Jewish Covenants performed? The first mention of a covenant in form that is met with in the Scriptures is that recorded in the fifteenth chapter of Genesis, where to confirm it, Abraham in obedience to divine command took a heifer, a she-goat, and a ram, "and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against the other." In the book of Jeremiah it is again alluded to and the violation of the covenant is also expressed. These ceremonies briefly alluded to in the passages which have been quoted were performed in full as follows: The parties entering into a covenant first selected a proper animal, such as a calf or kid among the Jews, a sheep among the Greeks, or a pig among the Romans. The throat was then cut across with a single blow, so as to completely divide the windpipe and arteries without touching the bone. This was the first ceremony of the covenant. The second was to tear open the breast, to take from thence the heart and vitals, and if upon inspection the least imperfection was discovered, the body was considered unclean and thrown aside for another. The third ceremony was to divide the body in twain, and to place the two parts to the north and south, so that the parties to the covenant might pass between them coming from the east and going to the west. The carcass was then left as a prey to the wild beasts of the field and the vultures of the air, and thus the covenant was ratified. And the Masonic student can readily understand how these old Hebrew covenants parallel Speculative Science as a part of the basis of the system. ( Jeremiah 34:18-20 )

See also Covenant of Masonry

Biblical Reference

Jeremiah 34:18-20

18 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof, 19 The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf; 20 I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.

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