The New Covenant
vs
The Old Covenant

God promised to make a New Covenant with His people -

Hebrews 8:8 & 10 (KJV)

8. ...Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

10. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:


This New Covenant is based on a promise God had previously made to Israel, as foretold by Jeremiah -

Jeremiah 31:31-33 (KJV)

31. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

32. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:

33. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.


The Old Covenant

So what was the Old Covenant?

Exodus 19:3-8 (KJV)

3. And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

4. Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.

5. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

6. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

7. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.

8. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do...

So according to the verses above the Old Covenant consisted of 4 things -

1. A request for the people to obey God's voice – Exodus 19:5

2. God's laws spoken by God and written on stone - Exodus 20:1-17

3. A promise of blessings by God if they obeyed His voice -

  • He would make Israel a peculiar (special) treasure above all people - Exodus 19:5
  • They would be a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. - Exodus 19:6

4. A promise by the people to obey God's word – Exodus 19:8 (see verse above) and Exodus 24:3 & 7 -

          Exodus 24:3, 7 (KJV)

    3. And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.

    7. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.


What were the problems with the Old Covenant that made God promise a New Covenant?

1. The Old Covenant had problems with the promises because the New one is based on better promises.

Hebrews 8:6 (KJV)

6. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.


2. God had a problem with the people the Old Covenant was made with.

Hebrews 8:8 (KJV)

For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:


3. The Israelites failed to keep the Old Covenant and failed to be obedient.

Hebrews 8:9 (KJV)

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

Jeremiah 31:32 (KJV)

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake...


So in summary, the Old Covenant failed because the people failed to keep their promises. The fault was with them. They failed to keep their promise to obey God's voice.


New Covenant vs Old Covenant

How does the New Covenant differ from the Old?

The New is better because it is based on better promises.

Hebrews 8:6 (KJV)

6. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.



What were these better promises?

Before the people said they would do it, now only God makes promises. Before God wrote His laws He spoke on stone, now He has promised to write them in our mind and in our hearts.

Hebrews 8:10-12 (KJV)

10. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

11. And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

12. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.


God's promise is that He will work in us to do His will -

Hebrews 13:20-21 (KJV)

20. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

21. Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Philippians 2:13 (KJV)

13. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.



The Old Covenant also had ordinances (ceremonies or services) and a worldly sanctuary and was officiated over by earthly priests-

Hebrews 9:1 (KJV)

9. Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.


The Old Covenant was ratified by the blood of an oxen -

Exodus 24:5-6, 8 (KJV)

5. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord.

6. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.

8. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.



The New Covenant is based on a heavenly sanctuary, a heavenly high priest, and was ratified by the blood of Jesus Christ shed on Calvary.

Hebrews 9:14-15 (KJV)

14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

15. And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.


The Old Covenant was for literal circumcised Jews only. The New Covenant is for spiritual Jews, circumcised of the heart.

Romans 2:28-29 (KJV)

28. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

29. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.



Claim the promise of God and ask Him to work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure.










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Psalm 34:15, 17, & 19 (KJV)

15. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

17. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

19. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

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