Entering a blood covenant


Historical elements

These are some steps that were used in the past to enter a blood covenant.

  • Exchange of coats. The coat represented the person and the exchange signified a mutual pledge of one to the other.
  • Exchange of belts. The belt was where weapons were carried so the exchange symbolised a joint giving of strength, one to the other.
  • Exchange of names. "Abram" became "Abraham". God's name was "Yahweh" and He took two of the letters from His name and gave them to Abram making him Abraham. We carry the name of Jesus.
  • Exchange of blood. People would cut their hands or wrists and mingle the blood to represent two lives becoming one life.
  • Exchange of blessings and curses. One person thinks of good things and blesses the other with them then follows a similar procedure with the bad, saying: "As long as you remain good to me then all this good will come back to you; if you do bad to me, those curses will also apply to you. (Read Deuteronomy 28:1-68.)
  • Exchange of memorial item. A sheep or plant was exchanged to remind both parties of the covenant they had made in all the things they would be involved in.
  • A covenant meal. People would take bread and break it, then feed it to one another. This symbolised each party saying: "I am taking these people's bodies into my body". This would be repeated with the wine to represent blood. As with the exchange of blood, it indicated a mingling of several lives to become one. (See also 1 Corinthians 11:23-30.)

Compare these seven acts with a marriage relationship.

Binding or solemn agreement

A covenant is a binding and a solemn agreement made by two or more individuals, to do or keep from doing a specified thing.

When you enter into marriage with a husband or wife you are taking the followng steps.

  1. "Do you take... ?" You are pledging yourself to one another. Marriage is not a "half-and-half" arrangement; each gives 100% to the other. Symbolically you have exchanged coats.
  2. "To have and to hold..." You are protecting the other person, pledging your strength.
  3. Sharing one name together. You now carry the same name as in the traditional exchange of names.
  4. Shedding of blood. When marriage is consummated, a part of the woman's body - the hymen - is broken. Medical science says that the hymen serves no purpose at all in the body but, when marriage partners first make love, there is often shedding of blood. You are fulfilling the covenant.
  5. "From this day forward, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, till death us do part." This is symbolic of blessing and cursing. Health, wealth and better times represent the blessings whilst sickness, poverty, or a worse situation symbolise the curses. We avoid the curses when we stay in line with the covenant made with our Father, as written in the God's word. (Read Deuteronomy 28:1-68.)
  6. The memorial. The rings are a constant reminder of your covenant.
  7. The breaking of bread. It is now traditional to share a "wedding breakfast" with friends and family, with drinks and cake featuring as distinct elements in the wedding reception.