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The Hebrew Word Picture for Covenant

. Posted in Teachings.

Ancient Hebrew is based on letters that form word pictures. Hebrew words are formed by joining pictures to illustrate the meaning of the word. The Hebrew word for covenant, berit, is a wonderful example of this.

Berit is formed by the Hebrew letters – bet, reysh, yood, and tav. Reading right to left it looks like this:

בּרית
House is the word picture for bet, It can also mean the temple/house of God.
ר Head is the word picture for reysh. It can also mean a person or the highest.
י Hand is the word picture for yood. It also means work or deed.
ת Sign is the word picture for tav. It can also mean seal or cross.

In the four letters that make up the Hebrew word picture for covenant, we see the “house” that has on its “head” and “hand” is a “sign.” As we are called to be the temple or house of the living God, there should be a sign on our head and hand that we are in Covenant with the Holy One of Israel. What is one of the signs of the Covenant? It is the annual celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

This [eating matzah] is done because of that which the LORD [Yahweh] did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. And it shall be for a sign unto you and upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes [head] that the LORD’S law [torah] may be in your mouth: for with a strong hand has the LORD brought you out of Egypt (Exodus 13:8-10).

The Scriptures teach, that as His covenant people, His Word is to be within us, in our mouths and in our hearts.

...And you shall teach them diligently unto your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes [head] (Deuteronomy 6:6-8).

Take time to meditate on the meaning of berit and the eternal truths that are embedded in the beauty of the Hebrew language. Encourage your children to memorize the Word, to hide it in their hearts. Being in covenant with the Holy One has incredible promises for those who believe. Here are just a few delicious samples for you and all your household of faith:

Know therefore that the LORD thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations… (Deuteronomy 7:9).

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children's children. To such as keep His covenant, and to those that remember His commandments to do them (Psalm 103:17-19).

When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him…As for Me, this is my covenant with them, says the LORD; My spirit that isupon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of you seed's seed, says the LORD, from henceforth and forever (Isaiah 59:19-21).

Teaching our children and our children’s children the commandments of God, connects us with the Covenant Community of Israel. Doing so out of love for Messiah Yeshua, unites us in His Kingdom, and causes us to bear good fruit. A household of faith, set apart, dedicated, and in covenant with the true and living God of Israel brings heavens mercy down upon us.

O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like Thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keeps covenant and shows mercy unto Thy servants, that walk before Thee with all their hearts (2 Chronicles 6:14).

Yahweh keeps covenant and mercy to those that love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations (Deuteronomy 7:9 and Daniel 9:4). Imagine the benefit this has toward us, and our children’s children! Selah.

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