Behold, the days come, saith the Lord,….
This refers to Gospel times, as is clear from the quotation and application by the apostle, Heb_8:8; and it is owned by a modern Jew to belong to the times of the Messiah. It is introduced with a “behold”, as a note of attention, pointing to something of moment, and very agreeable and desirable, as the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises, are; and as a note of admiration, it being justly to be wondered at that God should make a covenant with such sinful and unworthy creatures as he has;
that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house Judah;
by this “covenant” is meant the covenant of called new, not because newly made, for it was with the elect in Christ from everlasting; so early was Christ set up as the Mediator of it; and so early were promises made, and blessings given, to them in him: nor because newly revealed; for it was made known to all the saints, more or less, under the former dispensation, particularly to David, to Abraham, yea, to our first parents immediately after the fall, though more clearly manifested under the Gospel dispensation; but because of its new mode of exhibition; not by types, and shadows, and sacrifices, as formerly; but by the ministry of the word, and the administration of Gospel ordinances;
and in distinction from the former covenant, which is done away, as to the mode of it; and because it is a famous covenant, an excellent one, a better covenant, best of all; better than the covenant of works, and even better than the covenant of grace, under the former administration; in the clear manifestation and extensive application of it; and in the ratification of it by the blood of Christ; besides, it provides and promises new things, as a new heart, and a new spirit; to which may be added, that it may be called new, because it is always new; it continues, it stands firm, as Kimchi observes, and shall not be made void;
it will never be succeeded nor antiquated by any other covenant, or any other mode of administration of it. The persons with whom this covenant is said to be made are “the house of Israel and of Judah”; which was literally true of them in the first times of the Gospel, to whom the Gospel was first preached, and many of them were called by grace, and had an application of covenant blessings made to them; and is mystically to be understood of God’s elect, whether Jews or Gentiles; the Israel after the spirit; Israelites indeed, Jews inwardly,
even all that are fellow citizens of the saints, and of the household of God, the middle wall of partition being broken down: and this “making” of a covenant with them intends no other than a making it known unto them; showing it to them, and their interest in it; in God, as their covenant God; and in Christ, as the Mediator of it; and an application of the blessings and promises of it to them.