Divided Heifer Genesis 15
Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 3, 2010
Luke 22:19-20 NKJV 19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.
The blood of Christ is the new covenant. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.” Colossians 1:14, Matthew 26:28, Romans 5:9, Colossians 1:20, Hebrews 13:20.
If the blood of Christ represents the new covenant, what was the old covenant? To find the answer we simply need to search the Bible using the word covenant. This can be accomplished by using a Concordance or a Bible computer program. Jeremiah 34 is one of the many chapters containing the word covenant.
KJV Jeremiah 34:16. But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids. 17. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. 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,
In this particular instance God is making reference to a group of people who, “have transgressed my covenant.” To understand the background on this text, the entire chapter should be reviewed. Jeremiah is pronouncing a sentence upon the city of Jerusalem. The city was being besieged by the Babylonian army. There was little hope for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who were vastly out numbered with limited provisions. In desperation the population of Jerusalem turned to God. After hearing their plea, God offered Jerusalem an alternative. If they freed all the slaves, God promised to save the nation. King Zedekiah made a covenant with all the people of Jerusalem, “every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should serve himself of them.” This agreement was followed for a short time. As soon as the danger appeared to passed the leaders decided to return to the old ways of slavery.
God tried to reason with Jerusalem many times throughout their history. This was a lesson which should have been handed down through the generations. Unfortunately, soon after leaving Egypt the Jews began to forget what it was like to live in Egypt.
Numbers 11:5. We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: 6. But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. 18. for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.
After wandering in the wilderness for a little over a year, they claimed it would have been better if they would have stayed in Egypt. In only a year, they had forgotten what it was like to be a slave in a strange land.
KJV Exodus 1:13. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 14. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. 15. And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16. And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.
God had intended the time in Egypt to be a learning experience. One of the lessons God wanted the Hebrews to remember was the experience of being a slave, so they would never adopt such a despicable practice. But soon after their freedom was ensured by God and the promised land given to them, power went to their heads like wine, quickly followed by the adoption of many of the local customs. This is an event and lesson revealed in a ceremony performed by Abram.
KJV Genesis 15:7. And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 8. And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? 9. And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. 11. And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away. 12. And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13. And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14. And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. 17. And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. 18. In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
The first covenant was the promised land given to the descendants of Abram.
“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Genesis 17:1, 2, 4, 7, 8, Exodus 6:4, Exodus 19:5, 6