Sunday, June 2, 2013


Terms for covenant in various languages say something about how they are understood.

The Hebrew term is berit which is cognate with Akkadian birit "between" showing that it is an agreement between two parties.

The Aramaic term is qeyaym from qum "to set up" and related to words meaning "eternal" or "enduring."

The Greek term is diatheke from diatithemi meaning "to manage or dispose" showing that a covenant shows how to manage certain affairs.

The English term comes from the Latin verb convenio meaning "to come together, or agree" showing that both sides should agree on the covenant.

There are other languages whose word choice might provide meaning about covenants other that they are enduring agreements between two parties about how to manage their affairs. These provide plenty of reasons to take our covenants seriously.