The two covenants



To understand the heart and soul of the proposed Global Citizen system and its accompanying Mekudeshet Festival, we need to go far back in time, back to the Middle East, to the cradle of government and religion.

Thousands of years ago, church and state were intertwined. They were organised around and built upon a system of covenants. Through the ages, various forms of government evolved from that ancient system of dynasty building. Today we can still see some remnants of the original system of rulership in our language and traditions.

Two basic systems
To oversimplify, let’s state that there were once two basic systems: a beneficial decentralised system of government for the smooth running of society on the one hand, and an evil usurping centralised anti-government which perverted everything on the other. The first gave freedom, the second slavery. Both were covenants.

As the world today is in turmoil, we can see all forms of government around us failing. And in the quiet eye of this raging storm, we can hear two small voices whispering: one weak voice is recalling the ancient promises of sovereignty and rights, while the other voice mumbles false promises of world peace and human rights in a confusing context of social babble.

So let’s imagine that the storms of our time have demolished and annihilated all other forms of government: democracy, communism, fascism and so on. And let us take a moment to take a good look at what a covenant really is. Not in today’s understanding, but how covenants once regulated the daily lives of our forefathers. Because the circle may soon be completed for mankind to be back at the original choice of two systems: a covenant of good or a covenant of evil.

The good covenant
In a covenant setting, there is one senior and one or more juniors. In ancient terms: a lord and his (maid)servants. The setting could be a small family: husband, wife and one or two children, or an extended family: a paterfamilias who was the head of the family and all of his juniors or servants: sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, an extra adopted child, an elderly aunt living in, a few generations of servants who had become part of the family. These families used to live in compounds. We can still see the archaeological evidence in ancient Sumer, Babylon, Syria and in ancient Israel. In fact, we still see that in Afghanistan and the rest of the Middle East today. A family setting in a compound ruled by a father, grandfather, eldest brother or other nearest relative as the paterfamilias or patron, lord protector, godfather, clan leader – our language knows different words for the same concept. The connotations may have changed through time, but the origin is the same.

The senior (lord, master) had the authority and duty to organise his household, his clan. He made sure that all the needs of those under his care were met, and that his charges could develop their talents and attain personal growth. He provided, he protected, he regulated, and took decisions in their best interest as he took care of their education, health and general wellbeing. He was sovereign in this regard: his family, his clan, his tribe was his jurisdiction. No one could override that except a higher, more senior lord in this straight line of authority within the covenantal hierarchy.

As a sovereign, his task was also to see to it that the rule of law was applied in his constituency. Depending on the legal situation, he fulfilled one of four roles:

- he was the judge to adjudicate and settle disputes between his family or clan members. In addition, he would take decisions over any petitions that were brought before him.

- he was the advocate to defend his family members if they were accused and prosecuted outside of his own judiciary in a higher court of law and before a higher lord. He was his servant's legal representative in that instance.

- he was the prosecutor if a crime had been committed against his (maid)servant by someone outside his own jurisdiction. This procedure to seek justice for his proteges is called 'to avenge'. Note: 'revenge' is the illegal action of seeking remedy outside an authorised court of law.

- he was the executioner to carry out a higher judge's verdict if the verdict was in favour of his charge.

This covenant duty of lordship, also called loving kindness in old English (covenant faithfulness as explained in the margin of the New King James Bible), could be applied from the smallest family to the largest tribe or nation. Thus, a caring and capable lord would provide security for those who were under his wings. See also: the sovereign citizen movement

The junior (servant, slave) had total freedom. His or her needs were met: his or her lord took care of that. The covenant lord was provider, protector and rescuer if needed. He safeguarded his or her legal rights and could be relied upon to enable a life of personal development and happiness for whoever was under his wings. These were the inalienable rights of the junior, and could be boldly and confidently claimed when necessary.

In return, the junior had obligations too: to keep his or her lord well informed so that the right decisions could be taken, to be loyal and supportive and to know and understand the lord’s aims and objectives for the future of his clan. A good servant was cooperative and appreciative without losing any of his rights and without being hampered in his or her initiatives. He was expected to use his resources and talents to be profitable and add value to the family and its future dynasty. The ancient Hebrew word for servant is the same as the word for a builder: abad or ebed. In Arabic: abd. The name Abdel means: Servant of El or: Servant of the Lord.

The lord and his covenanted household of servants formed the basics of decentralised government in a pyramid form. A young husband took care of his wife’s wellbeing while his own needs were met by his older father who in turn was the servant of the paterfamilias or clan leader.

The law: all covenants were made (or cut, as the proper term would be) under the law. In the case of the three main religions, that would be the law of the God of Abraham. One look at Abraham’s life reveals all the hallmarks of a family covenant: how he provided, protected, rescued and cared. But also how Abraham was the servant of his Lord God. Abraham prayed to God (kept him informed), praised his God (appreciated and supported him) was obedient (loyal) and he understood God’s ultimate objections: to build many nations.

The cutting of a covenant: this was a legal procedure under divine authority. To this day, any covenant or constitution that is written starts with a reference to and acknowledgement of the law of the highest authority: God. A covenant is always cut under God. “One nation under God” or: “Under the authority invested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife”.

The initiative for the cutting of a covenant always comes from the senior. A marriage is a covenant, and traditionally, the marriage proposal comes from the bridegroom. God proposed a covenant to Abraham (when he was still called Abram).

Blood: with the cutting of a covenant, blood family is created by blood bond. Examples: circumcision, the tearing of a bride’s hymen on the wedding night, the Biblical ear piercing for a worker who is invited by a lord to enter into the family covenant and become a ‘blood relative’.

The supper: there is always a meal at the making of a covenant. In a wedding: a marriage supper. When a king enters into a covenant with his people: a royal banquet. From now on, the new husband will provide for his family. In Biblical terms: eat at his table.

The name: the senior gives his name to the junior. In Hebrew tradition, the father named his newborn son at the circumcision ceremony. A wife takes the surname of her husband. Before her marriage, she is still under the family covenant of her father, so she carries her father’s surname. (I find it funny that women’s libbers refuse to take a man’s name, but they still keep their father’s name). Abram became Abraham.

The binding: the one who binds his household together under a loving covenant is called a house binder: a hus-band. Levitical priests had a cummerbund-like sash tied around the upper part of their waist, close to the heart, to remind them that a binding covenant stands for loving care. In Jewish weddings, the hands of the wedding couple are bound together."I drew them with cords of [loving] kindness, with the bands of love".

The mark: being in a covenant gives us a family identity, which often needs a symbol to express. Coats of arms display symbols or marks that give a clue about the specific features of the family, clan or nation. Identity can also be expressed by celebrating or setting apart a special day: America’s Day of Independence, a wedding anniversary, a weekly day of rest like the Sabbath - "the sign of the covenant". Even a number can have symbolic meaning as a mark: we get our word ‘seven’ from the Hebrew word for ‘Sabbath’.  

The ring: also called a wedding band. A visible mark, worn on the person. A family covenant is 'everlasting', which means: from generation to generation. We have the symbol of two intertwined rings for the concept of infinity.

The oath: also called a pledge. “I do”, say the new husband and wife to each other, giving their vow under the covenant law of marriage. The husband (senior, lord, master) pledges his marriage covenant oath first, the bride (junior, his charge) promises her loyalty next. A new king is sworn in with his hand raised and promises to love, protect and care for (serve) the people under him. His cabinet, as the representatives of the people, then swears their oath of loyalty to the lord their king.

Freedom with responsibility and care
These are just the basics of the beneficial covenant system of building families, clans, tribes and nations under God. It allows everyone to live a life of fulfilment within a sound structure that provides freedom with responsibility and care. The nation of Israel was built on this divine system until they became disloyal and committed adultery (idolatry) with other gods. They broke their covenant.

It goes without saying that throughout history, there have been good and bad lords and loyal and disloyal servants. The feudal system is one example where the original covenant system was watered down and corrupted until lords were able to rule over their serfs (servants) harshly. However, there was still enough room and liberty for some lords to apply the covenant laws appropriately in which case their fiefdom remained secure and prosperous for as long as they lived. But the intention of the original structure was always the same: to secure a safe and peaceful environment for people to live their lives in harmony with each other and with their God, according to God’s plan of building His kingdom.

The evil covenant
Lucifer who lost his covenant name and became Satan is neither a creator nor a law giver, which makes him feeble and powerless in that regard. All he can do is to copy God’s system. He then proceeds to pollute, pervert and twist everything that is good. A covenant with Satan (selling your soul to the devil) still has the exact same features, but is twisted and perverted beyond recognition: his pyramid structure of hierarchy produces cruel masters who promise but don’t deliver. His servants are in effect slaves. Innocent blood is spilt at the cutting of his vile version of covenants, and human flesh is eaten at his banquets of debauchery.

Madonna's Kabbalah name is Esther
Slaves captured in Satan’s covenants (covens) receive a new name (Madonna became Esther) and there is an oath to take. All of these give the victim an identity, because that is what covenants do: they show to whom a person's life belongs, for good or for evil. Satan’s identity is expressed by celebrations like Halloween and a number: 666.


Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans wears the Global Citizen bracelet at his TED talk
The Choice
With all current types of government on their death beds, we will be left with only two choices. One of these will be a covenant with Satan. I challenge you to hold the Global Citizen covenant with its Mekudeshet betrothal and the blood-red scarlet wedding ring to the light. Decide if you want to take the pledge and become a slave. Is this the identity we want?

The choice is ours.

2 comments:

  1. I'm a slave captured in the covenant of Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah. Follow him. Why isn't he mentioned? He rejected Satan near the end of 40 days of fasting, etc. Seems like you never heard of him. Sorry for you, but you still have time.

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  2. Dear Dr Mark,

    Thank you for your comment. Bible scholars like you are familiar with various covenants and their different purposes. The New Testament teaches about the New Covenant with Jesus Christ as its mediator. Much has been written about that - I don't need to add more.

    This article is about the structure of covenants, and how they work in practice. My purpose is not to convert souls, but to show a practical way of living based on covenants, both for believers and non believers. It's a way of life that is worth trying out.

    Other faiths are also familiar with the way clans and families are organised under one paterfamilias, but understanding the system and getting the most out of this way of loving your neighbour will hopefully make people think and take a good look at how they treat each other.

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