31 “Indeed, a time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt. For they violated that covenant, even though I was like a faithful husband to them,” says the Lord. 33 “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel after I plant them back in the land,” says the Lord. “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts and minds. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 “People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know me. For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,” says the Lord. “For I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.” 35 The Lord has made a promise to Israel. He promises it as the one who fixed the sun to give light by day and the moon and stars to give light by night. He promises it as the one who stirs up the sea so that its waves roll. His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
25 I will sprinkle you with pure water, and you will be clean from all your impurities. I will purify you from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit within you; I will take the initiative, and you will obey my statutes and carefully observe my regulations. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave to your fathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and multiply it; I will not bring a famine on you.
Notes and References
"... Such interpretations of the new covenant, which refer to “changing human nature” and “changing people automatically,” raise the question of the nature of the compliance under the new covenant. Some have argued that since Israel’s experience was proof that “human beings could not voluntarily rise to the standards required,” God would have to “hardwire” Torah into Israel’s consciousness so that she is “genetically programmed” to fulfill the covenant. On this reading, Israel’s obedience under the new covenant is a matter of automatic compliance. “[God] will alter their hearts ... and make it impossible for them to be anything but obedient to his rules and his commandments.” Moshe Greenberg finds further support for this approach in a related prophecy of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 36:27). On this reading, Israel’s obedience cannot be said to be voluntary. In my view, the new covenant is more than simply a “counsel of despair.” Despair is present; indeed, Israel’s desperate circumstances are what demonstrate the need for direct and radical intervention by God himself ... the picture of God writing on the heart alludes to the finger of God at Sinai and hence signifies that under the new covenant, the direct object of God’s Presence, creativity, power, and involvement is the human will. Accordingly, in my view, the compliance that is described in the new covenant is that of intuitive compliance rather than automatic compliance. The divine inscription is effective because it brings knowledge of God. Torah “on the heart” is understood intuitively — as opposed to what we might call Torah on “the tablet of stone,” which is not so understood ... the third difference between the old and the new covenant is that wrongdoing is finally forgiven. This is placed at the end of the promise (Jeremiah 31:34) ..."
Burnside, Jonathan P. God, Justice, and Society: Aspects of Law and Legality in the Bible (p. 60) Oxford University Press, 2011
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