Jeremiah 34:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Those who have violated my covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces.

New Living Translation
Because you have broken the terms of our covenant, I will cut you apart just as you cut apart the calf when you walked between its halves to solemnize your vows.

English Standard Version
And the men who transgressed my covenant and did not keep the terms of the covenant that they made before me, I will make them like the calf that they cut in two and passed between its parts—

Berean Study Bible
And those who have transgressed My covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before Me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two in order to pass between its pieces.

New American Standard Bible
I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not fulfilled the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts--

King James Bible
And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof,

Christian Standard Bible
As for those who disobeyed my covenant, not keeping the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat them like the calf they cut in two in order to pass between its pieces.

Contemporary English Version
You asked me to be a witness when you made the agreement to set your slaves free. And as part of the ceremony you cut a calf into two parts, then walked between the parts. But you people of Jerusalem have broken that agreement as well as my agreement with Israel. So I will do to you what you did to that calf.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
As for those who disobeyed My covenant, not keeping the terms of the covenant they made before Me, I will treat them like the calf they cut in two in order to pass between its pieces.

International Standard Version
I'll give over the men who transgressed my covenant, who haven't fulfilled the terms of the covenant that they made before me when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts—

NET Bible
I will punish those people who have violated their covenant with me. I will make them like the calf they cut in two and passed between its pieces. I will do so because they did not keep the terms of the covenant they made in my presence.

New Heart English Bible
I will give the men who have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I will hand over the people who have rejected my promise. They have not kept the terms of the promise which they made in my presence when they cut a calf in two and passed between its pieces.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And I will give the men that have transgressed My covenant, that have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in twain and passed between the parts thereof;

New American Standard 1977
‘And I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not fulfilled the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts—

Jubilee Bible 2000
And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between the parts thereof,

King James 2000 Bible
And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in two, and passed between its parts,

American King James Version
And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in two, and passed between the parts thereof,

American Standard Version
And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, that have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before me, when they cut the calf in twain and passed between the parts thereof;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, and have not performed the words of the covenant which they agreed to in my presence, when they cut the calf in two and passed between the parts thereof:

Darby Bible Translation
And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, -- the calf which they cut in twain, and passed between the parts thereof,

English Revised Version
And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before me, when they cut the calf in twain and passed between the parts thereof;

Webster's Bible Translation
And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in two, and passed between the parts of it,

World English Bible
I will give the men who have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts;

Young's Literal Translation
'And I have given the men who are transgressing My covenant, who have not established the words of the covenant that they have made before Me, by the calf, that they have cut in two, and pass through between its pieces --
Study Bible
Freedom for Hebrew Slaves
17Therefore, this is what the LORD says: You have not obeyed Me; you have not proclaimed freedom, each man for his brother and for his neighbor. So now I proclaim freedom for you, declares the LORD—freedom to fall by sword, by plague, and by famine! I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 18And those who have transgressed My covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before Me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two in order to pass between its pieces. 19The officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the pieces of the calf,…
Cross References
Romans 2:8
But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow wickedness, there will be wrath and anger.

Genesis 15:10
So Abram brought all these to Him, split each of them down the middle, and laid the halves opposite each other; but he did not cut the birds.

Genesis 15:17
When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, behold, a smoking firepot and a flaming torch appeared and passed between the halves of the carcasses.

Deuteronomy 17:2
If a man or woman among you in one of the towns that the LORD your God gives you is found doing evil in the sight of the LORD your God by transgressing His covenant

Hosea 6:7
But they, like Adam, have transgressed the covenant; there they were unfaithful to Me.

Hosea 8:1
Put the trumpet to your lips! An eagle comes against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed My covenant and rebelled against My law.

Treasury of Scripture

And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in two, and passed between the parts thereof,

have transgressed.

Deuteronomy 17:2 If there be found among you, within any of your gates which the LORD …

Joshua 7:11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which …

Joshua 23:16 When you have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which …

Hosea 6:7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they …

Hosea 8:1 Set the trumpet to your mouth. He shall come as an eagle against …

when. This was the ancient mode of making a covenant.

Deuteronomy 29:12 That you should enter into covenant with the LORD your God, and into …

Joshua 9:7 And the men of Israel said to the Hivites, Peradventure you dwell …

Genesis 15:10,17,18 And he took to him all these, and divided them in the middle, and …

Psalm 50:1 The mighty God, even the LORD, has spoken, and called the earth from …







(18) When they cut the calf in twain . . .--The passage is interesting, as showing the survival of one of the oldest rites of Patriarchal times. So, when Jehovah made a covenant with Abraham, the victims that had been slain were cut up and arranged opposite each other, and when the "burning lamp" passed between the pieces it was the token that Jehovah had completed the covenant, even as men complete it (Genesis 15:10-17). The implied thought thus symbolised was that the parties to the contract prayed, as in the analogous case of 1Samuel 11:7, that they might be torn limb from limb like the victims if they broke the covenant, The antiquity and wide extent of the symbolism is shown by its appearing in the ritual of Greece, as in the phrase ????? ?????? --to ratify (literally, to cut) oaths, in Homer (Iliad, ii. 124, Od. xxiv. 483, and elsewhere), and the Latin f?dus ferire. In Livy (i. 24) we have both the phrase, the act which it implied, and the prayer which accompanied it, that if the Roman people proved unfaithful to their covenant Jupiter would slay them as the priest slew the victim. "Tu illo die, Jupiter, populum Romanum sic ferito, ut ego hunc porcum hic hodie feriam, tantoque magis ferito, quanto magis potes pollesque." ("Do thou, Jupiter, on that day so smite the Roman people [if they break the covenant] as I this day smite this swine--yea, so much the more smite them as thou art mightier and more prevailing.")

Verse 18. - When they out the calf in twain, etc. This clause should be translated differently, and placed, for clearness, in a parenthesis (the calf which they cut in twain, and between the parts of which they passed). The division of the calf might, in fact, be called in Hebrew either "the covenant" or "the token of the covenant" (comp. Genesis 17:10, 11). It was a solemn assurance that he who should transgress God's Law should share the same fate as the victim. The same idea seems to have dictated the Hebrew phrase, "to cut a covenant," and the Greek and Latin equivalents (ὅρκια τέμνειν: foedus icere); comp. the parallel narrative in Genesis 15:10. And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant,.... The covenant the king, princes, and all the people made, to let their servants go free, is called the Lord's covenant, because made in his name, in his presence, and before him as a witness; and very probably the calf that was cut in pieces on this occasion, after mentioned, was sacrificed to him, which made him a party concerned; unless this is to be understood of the covenant of God in general made with Israel on Mount Sinai; and so is distinct from the other covenant, which may be more especially designed in the next clause:

which have not performed the words of the covenant made before me; did not perform what they promised to do in the presence of the Lord, as in Jeremiah 34:15;

when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof; which was a rite or custom used in making and confirming covenants; a calf, or some other creature, were cut in pieces, and the parts laid in order, and the covenantees passed between these parts; signifying thereby, that if they did not fulfil the engagements they entered into, they imprecated to be cut to pieces as that creature was. Some footsteps of this practice are to be seen as early as the times of Abraham, Genesis 15:9; upon which place Jarchi observes, that it was the way of making a covenant to divide a beast, and pass between the parts of it; and this custom obtained among the Chaldeans, Greeks, and Romans; or what was very similar to it. Cyril (u) says this custom was by the Chaldeans, who might take it from Abraham. A people called Molotti had something of this kind among them: for they confirmed the covenants they swore to by cutting oxen into little pieces (w); and Homer seems to have a respect to such a practice when he says that the priest, after he had prayed to Apollo, slew the sacrifice, and flayed it, and cut it in pieces, making duplicates (x), alike to one another. Cicero (y) is thought to have the same custom in view; and likewise Virgil (z), when he speaks of the covenant made between Romulus and Tatius king of the Sabines, whom he represents as standing armed before the altar of Jupiter, holding caps, and joining in covenant by killing a swine, and cutting it in pieces; in like manner Livy (a) describes the covenant made between the Romans and Albanians, when the herald at arms, reciting the conditions, called aloud

""hear, O Jupiter", &c.''

if the Roman people first fail in observing these,

"strike them as I now strike this hog; and so much the more, as thou art more able and mighty;''

which being said, he struck it with a flint stone; hence the phrase, "ferire foedus", to strike or make a covenant; and, in allusion to the above custom, making a covenant is commonly called, in the Old Testament, "cutting a covenant". Some versions, as the Syriac interpreter, render it, "I will make the men as the calf they cut in twain", &c. they shall be cut in pieces as that is; see Matthew 24:51.

(u) Contra Julian, l. 10. apud Grotium in Genesis 15.17. (w) Zenobius apud 10. (x) ' ------ , ' ' . Iliad 1. v. 461, 462. (y) De Inventione, l. 2. sect. 20. (z) "Armati Jovis ante aram, paterasque tenentes Stabant, et caesa jungebant foedera porea". Aeneid. l. 8. (a) Hist. l. 1. p. 14. 18. passed between the parts thereof—The contracting parties in the "covenant" (not here the law in general, but their covenant made before God in His house to emancipate their slaves, Jer 34:8, 9) passed through the parts of the animal cut in two, implying that they prayed so to be cut in sunder (Mt 24:51; Greek, "cut in two") if they should break the covenant (Ge 15:10, 17).34:8-22 A Jew should not be held in servitude above seven years. This law they and their fathers had broken. And when there was some hope that the siege was raised, they forced the servants they had released into their services again. Those who think to cheat God by dissembled repentance and partial reformation, put the greatest cheat upon their own souls. This shows that liberty to sin, is really only liberty to have the sorest judgments. It is just with God to disappoint expectations of mercy, when we disappoint the expectations of duty. And when reformation springs only from terror, it is seldom lasting. Solemn vows thus entered into, profane the ordinances of God; and the most forward to bind themselves by appeals to God, are commonly most ready to break them. Let us look to our hearts, that our repentance may be real, and take care that the law of God regulates our conduct.
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OT Prophets: Jeremiah 34:18 I will give the men who have (Jer.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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