‘Cutting’ A Covenant- Christ is the ‘Karat Berit’

– Covenant and Atonement are the same idea.

– The Creation story is a story of covenant.

– How the Hittites ‘cut’ a covenant.

– A clearer understanding of The Stick of Judah and The Stick of Joseph!

Raw Transcript


“Cutting” a Covenant


so in this episode I want to talk about

cutting a covenant in the Old Testament

in the Hebrew they don’t make a covenant

the Israelites and the ancient Jews

would cut a covenant so when we read in

the Old Testament about a covenant that

is being made that is an English term

that we that we state making a covenant

the Jews the Israelites they would say

that they were cutting a covenant and

this is how we ought to think about this

think of the word cleave cleave has two

different meanings one you think of a

cleaver right a type of knife that is

going to cut something and split it

apart you can also think about cleaving

on to something now when you cleave on

to something it is something that has

already been separated it is two

separate things

and so the cleaving is two things coming

together that is how the phrase cutting

a covenant should be looked at you are

cutting something where you are

separating something two things and then

covenant means Co veneer to bring

together so it’s both things at once

it’s a lot like the creation story think

about the creation story in Genesis

Moses Abraham etc where you’re talking

about covenant language you have

throughout the creation story all of

this separation happening light and dark

land and see the different foliage

different seeds different categories of

things the different types of animals

they’ve separated out into categories

man and woman you have first a man

separated from himself from his rib

symbolically obviously there’s now man

and woman so there is that is

a covenant it has been cut it has been

split apart and the object there now is

for everything to become one

so I’ve as everything has been cut and

separated then it is to be brought back

together to made one it’s like the word

cleave it is both things at once that is

covenant the same word applies or the

same meaning applies to the word

atonement atonement has to do with

covenant it is our covenants to God to

reach to him and God’s covenant to us to

reach down to us the higher and the

lower laws it is bringing both of those

together that is at one mint atonement

so taking a few examples from the

ancient world we can get a richer

context here to this term karate each

cut out better eats is to cut a covenant

in Hebrew so first as with the example

of creation that is something that was

known throughout the Middle East

throughout probably all ancient

civilizations actually the same idea of

a creation process of splitting apart

and bringing back together was this

ancient concept of covenant and then we

know about the records of the ancient

Hittites these are Middle Eastern up

into Turkey where the Hittites have

records showing how these covenants

would be made very interesting so let’s

say for example you are a member of a

kingdom and you wanted to make an

agreement with the king and what you are

going to do was you would say something

like okay I need some land and if you

give me the land Oh King and let me use

this land I will farm it and I will

produce crops and you’re going to give me X

amount of land and I’m going to give you X

amount of crops every year to the palace

or the temple Treasury as a tax for

being able to use this land like a lease

and we’re going to make this agreement well

how do we do that

well what they would do one way that

they would do this is they would record

down what would be what how the covenant

was made how the agreement the contract

was made and then they would take an

animal sounds very strange to us in

modern times but they would take an

animal and they would cut its throat or

they would cut it up into pieces or

oftentimes just in half they would cut

the Covenant and then that would be also

a penalty that would be associated with

that covenant that would say were the

vassal the citizen would say

something like if I don’t agree to that

if I don’t follow through on these terms

of this contract then may what has

happened to this animal here happened to

me it was pretty serious right that but

that was how it was enforced now it may

not be that that’s exactly what would

happen as a penalty it was more maybe

used symbolically but that was how the

Covenant was made it was cut it would be

a cut covenant and then they would keep

the records of this and of course

everybody knew that there was going to

be some type of enforcement that would

be in place so that both sides would

keep the terms of the contract

additionally another example of how this

would be done we talked a lot about the

stick of Joseph and the stick of Judah

that we hear about in the book of Isaiah

we always look at that like okay we’ve

got a the stick of Judah is the Bible

and the stick of Joseph is the Book of

Mormon that’s usually what we hear and

that’s true that’s fine but why why are

these sticks and a lot of times I think

well it was a scroll that rolled up

around a stick or something which is not

how they did it but let’s say we let’s

take a step back here and look at this a

little closer and get a little richer

idea of what this mean this is covenant

this is two separate pieces of the same

thing being split apart and then brought

back together so as an example

you see in the land of Egypt that there

are always two different Egypt’s there

was an upper Egypt and a lower Egypt and

there are different representations even

on for example you look at King Tut’s

crown there would be there would be two

different symbols there that would

represent Upper and Lower Egypt and

there were that they were it was the

oftentimes called the land the

subject of the effect of the land of two

lands or the two lands and so it was in

a sense a covenant where you had Lower

Egypt which is actually in the north

because it goes by how the Nile runs and

then you would have Upper Egypt in the

South and these would work together and

they were two different lands of the

same land but two pieces think of

Covenant right cutting a covenant it’s

the same thing happened in Israel right

you had the land of Judah to the south

the stick of Judah and you had the land

of Joseph or Ephraim his heir his son

the northern area the northern land of

Israel was called Ephraim and it was

Joseph who was the head of that so that

would be the stick of Joseph as well now

yes it has to do with the scriptures

because the Book of Mormon comes from

Lehi who is Ephraim’s or uh comes from

Manasseh the tribe of Manasseh who is

Ephraim’s brother Manasseh is also the

son actually the oldest son of Joseph

and of course the Bible comes from the

land of Judah from the Jews and so you

have the stick of Joseph and the stick

of the stick of Judah but looking at it

further we can look at it in a different

way anciently one way that they would

make these contracts and the same thing

contract as a covenant is the same thing

is they would take a stick or let’s say

a larger piece of wood and one thing

they would do is they would write down

the terms of the

contract on the wood they wouldn’t grave

it and they might have the terms of

let’s say again the example of the king

and the citizen they might have the

terms of the King on one side and the

terms of the citizen on the other or

maybe they would put both terms from

both sides on each you know on two side

on both sides of the stick or let’s say

the left side of the stick and the right

side of the stick and then they would go

down the middle of the stick or the

piece of wood and let’s imagine a jigsaw

going down and cutting it in a specific

way so that the terms were that mirrored

on each side of that cut and then you

would have now two pieces that were one

just like Adam and Eve right you have

two pieces that were one one of those

pieces you would put into the temple

Treasury or the palace Treasury that

would be held under the King’s

administration the other would be held

by the citizen and let’s say he goes off

to farm the land he comes back and as he

reports to the tax collector or the

Kings representative the treasurer

they would have his stick their portion

of the stick and they would bring it out

and the citizen would bring his portion

of the stick and they could match them

right because the cut would match

perfectly and they would have the coal

contract then brought together at that

point so you have just like the two

sides of the stick you have the stick of

Joseph and you have the stick of Judah

and in fact the word Testament we think

think of the Old Testament of the New


probably a better translation into

English would be the Old Covenant and

the New Covenant is the way that would

probably be better if we termed it that

way and with the Book of Mormon we have

the Book of Mormon another testament or


covenant of Jesus Christ and so that

brings it all full circle to show us

that yes it’s the stick of Joseph and

yes it’s the stick of Judah but these

are covenants these are two pieces of

the same people

originally the tribes of Israel that

would be brought back together again as

you hold them together it’s like a

representation of the Northern Kingdom

of Israel and the southern kingdom of

Judah being brought back together as all

things need to be brought back to be at

one or at one mint and that would be the

representation of covenant with the


lastly in conclusion we can look at the

Savior himself and as he went to the

Garden of Gethsemane and he bled from

every pore and then died on the cross

the marks and the wounds that he had on

that cross are the Covenant that were

literally cut into him he is the cannot

bet eat because it is he that was cut it

was he that was wounded and it is he

that brings the atonement the ad1 meant

the covenant to us and we see the

representation of this as he came back

from the resurrection as a resurrected

being to the disciples and then down in

Bountiful in the Americas where everyone

came and felt his wounds that why does

he hold on to those because he is the

cannot bet eat he is the cut covenant

that brings us all back together I’ll

talk to you next



Bite-Sized Mormonism on the Cwic Media Podcast

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