The new covenant (Jer 31:33-31:34)

“‘But this is the covenant

That I will make

With the house of Israel,

After those days.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I will put my law

Within them.

I will write it

On their hearts.

I will be their God.

They shall be my people.

No longer shall they teach

One another.

‘Know Yahweh!’

They shall all know me,

From the least of them

To the greatest.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I will forgive

Their iniquity.

I will remember their sin

No more.’”

Yahweh says that the new covenant will be written in the hearts of the people of Israel. It will be within them, so that they will not have to teach each other to know Yahweh. Yahweh was going to be their God. They were to be his people, plain and simple. There was no great need for any kind of education. From the least to the greatest, they would all know Yahweh, since he was going to forget their iniquity. He was not going to remember their sins anymore. There would be a clean slate with this new covenant of interior knowledge and love. God, Yahweh, has taken the imitative to create this new spiritual personal covenant of the heart. He was going to take away retribution for past sins but wanted personal responsibility for here on out. The law was no longer imposed from outside but came from within.

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Jeremiah’s prayerful response (Jer 11:20-11:20)

“But you!

Yahweh of hosts!

You judge righteously

Those who try the heart,

Those who try the mind.

Let me see

Your retribution upon them!

I have committed my cause

To you.”

This prayerful response of Jeremiah is addressed to Yahweh. He knew that Yahweh judged righteously the hearts and the minds of all people. Thus Jeremiah wanted retribution to come to those who had plotted against him. However, he was committing his cause to Yahweh, to let him do as he pleased.

 

Jacob goes to Egypt (Ps 105:23-10:25)

“Then Israel came to Egypt.

Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.

Yahweh made his people very fruitful.

He made them stronger than their foes.

He turned their hearts to hate his people.

Thus they dealt cunningly with his servants.”

Once again, this is a condensed version of the story in Genesis, chapters 46-47. Israel or Jacob came to Ham, because Ham supposedly settled in Egypt, at the request of Joseph, who had an important position in the Egyptian government. Then the sons of Jacob or the Israelites, as they came to be called, were very fruitful in Egypt. They grew stronger but the hearts of the Egyptians turned to hate them. They began to treat them cunningly. They became a treath to the immigrant Israelites since the Egyptians considered them as outsiders.