Hebrews 8:9 is a translation of Jeremiah 31:32.
The covenant that God made with Israel means his promises to Abraham (Galatians 3:17). That covenant was for the benefit of Abrahamís future family. That was how Israelís people received the benefit of it. They were members of Abrahamís family, so God had made those promises to them, too.
The Ďfathersíí in the passage mean the people whom Moses led out of Egypt. They had been slaves there, but God made them free. The author of Hebrews wrote about those people in Hebrews 3:7-19. The promises that God gave to Abraham were for them. But their attitudes were completely wrong. They did not want to trust God. They did not want to have a relationship with him. So they could not receive the benefit of Godís promises.
Those people did not want to be part of Godís covenant. The translation in the Greek language explains the result. God would not give them any more attention. But Jeremiahís original words emphasise Godís love for them. God was like a husband to them. But they were not loyal to him. (See also Ezekiel chapter 16).
It was not only those people who had those wrong attitudes. Many people who lived in the centuries afterwards had the same wrong attitudes. God urged them to change their minds. If their fathers were evil, they should not behave like their fathers (Ezekiel chapter 18). They should be loyal to God and then they would receive the benefit of his covenant with Israel.
But still, most people did not want to serve God. That was the reason why enemies destroyed Israel and Judah (2 Kings 17:6-20; 2 Chronicles 36:14-21). God wanted to have a relationship with those people. He wanted to do good things for them. But they refused (See Deuteronomy chapter 28).
Next part: How God changes lives (Hebrews 8:10)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.