How sacred was the Threshold Covenant?

When and Where did it start?
What is its purpose?
How does it apply to me today?

The Level of Protection and Personal Sacrifice involved in this Covenant Relationship is like nothing I know of in the Western World.

This Topic underscores the value of knowing about cultural differences when reading through any ancient historical text.

Two Times we clearly see this Threshold Covenant in operation in the scriptures. Each time it boggles my mind, until I actually understand what is happening in the story as it relates to The Threshold Covenant.

In this article I am not going to argue for any specific codification or exact rituals involved, but I am going to point to general principles and this will become evident quickly.

In general, this principle is what is going to be portrayed: When a man invites another man across the threshold of his home (house or tent), to be a guest under his roof, he will regard that man as one who is coming into the Protection of his family, and will not allow his guest to be molested by others, while the guest resides in the man’s home.

First Example:

Lot brings two guests into his home [In other words they have crossed the threshold of his home.]:

Genesis 19:1-8 (KJV) 1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. 3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed [surrounded] the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them [have Sex with them–Sodomy! With the Angels of God no less!!]. 6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof .[In other words they have crossed the threshold of my home.]

What happens next is one of the greatest demonstrations of Judgment in all of scripture–second only in scope and power to the Judgement during Noah’s Day, the time of the flood. Though this specific Judgement is a foreshadowing of a future Judgement that will cleanse the Entire Earth and make it New Again, being cleansed by Fire.

To get the whole story you will need to read: Genesis chapters 18 & 19. Also 2 Peter 3:8-14; (Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.)


Second Example:

A man, his wife (concubine), and his servant, were traveling from Bethlehem in Judah, to their home in Ephraim (in northern Israel). They decided to spend the night in Gibeah (of the Tribe of Benjamin) to rest for the night. As you will see, there are several similar elements in this story as in the one that Lot and his Guests experienced. It is uncanny actually how similar these stories are:

A man living in Gibeah of the Tribe of Benjamin, brought in a traveling Levite and his concubine to be a guest in his home. As a result of this incident, a whole civil tribal war broke out in Israel. Eleven tribes against one. Brothers against Brothers, Families against Families. Many many died, because of this one little incident–all revolving around the Threshold Covenant.

To Get the Whole Story you must read, Judges Chapters 19, 20, 21. This story completes the book of Judges. The whole tale portrays a bizarre, messed up, perverted social and moral relativistic mindset. The Final sentence in the Book of Judges, sums up the moral climate and social attitude of the whole book: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”   ~ Judges 21:25 (KJV)

Judges 19:12-29 (KJV) 12 And his master said unto him, We will not turn aside hither into the city of a stranger, that is not of the children of Israel; we will pass over to Gibeah. 13 And he said unto his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of these places to lodge all night, in Gibeah, or in Ramah. 14 And they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down upon them when they were by Gibeah, which belongeth to Benjamin. 15 And they turned aside thither, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah: and when he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city: for there was no man that took them into his house to lodging.
16 And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even, which was also of mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of the place were Benjamites. 17 And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man said, Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou? 18 And he said unto him, We are passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the side of mount Ephraim; from thence am I: and I went to Bethlehemjudah, but I am now going to the house of the LORD; and there is no man that receiveth me to house. 19 Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man which is with thy servants: there is no want of any thing. 20 And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the street. 21 So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.
22 Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him. 23 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly. [In other words they have crossed the threshold of my home.] 24 Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. 25 But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go. 26 Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light. 27 And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold. 28 And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place.
29 And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.

(to be continued)