Thus says the LORD:
“For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom,
And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
But I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre,
Which shall devour its palaces.”
Tyre did what Gaza did. They delivered up the whole captivity to Edom.
But what Tyre did was worse. Tyre had once had a great alliance with David and Solomon. It was much more than a simple military agreement; it was a covenant of brotherhood.
Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, because he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always loved David. — 1 Kings 5:1
Now it happened at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD and the king’s house (Hiram the king of Tyre had supplied Solomon with cedar and cypress and gold, as much as he desired), that King Solomon then gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. — 1 Kings 9:10–11
When Tyre did not remember the covenant of brotherhood, that was a deep betrayal. To quote the tagline from Jaws: The Revenge, “This time it’s personal.”
Covenants are the key to the Bible. The history of God’s relationship with man is a history of covenants. A covenant is an ironclad promise; it can’t be broken. The ceremony in Genesis 15 shows its seriousness.
But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. …
When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.” — Genesis 15:8–10a, 17–21 (ESV)
Passing through the cut-up animals is pledging, “If I break this covenant, may what happened to these animals happen to me.”
Breaking a covenant is major betrayal.
These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.