Threshold Covenant

And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.

Exodus 12:22 (KJV)

Bason – Have you ever heard of a Threshold Covenant? Not many have. Our culture is so far removed that when reading simple words like “bason” we completely overlook the implication of what is actually happening. Passover is approaching on the 14th and we’ll be remembering a time in which YHWH saved Israel through His grace. But very few of us realize that YHWH is establishing a Threshold Covenant with His people.

The word above translated as “bason” is the Hebrew word caph which means “threshold”. In ancient Israel tradition, the threshold was a place of great importance. Why do you think YHWH commanded Israel to apply the blood on their doorposts? Why does YHWH command us to place His words (mezuzah) on our doorpost today? That was an important sign of who lived there. Entering into one’s house was entering into one’s life, and this is where the Threshold Covenant comes in to play.

During that time, the common custom to enter into covenant with someone was to invite them to the house, sacrifice a clean animal and let the blood spill into a bowl carved in the threshold. The second party would then step over the threshold being careful not to touch the blood which signified that they were accepting and entering into a covenant with you. This is exactly what YHWH is doing with Israel during the Passover.  YHWH is passing over the threshold into covenant with us.

An ancient threshold with basin.

If you haven’t noticed, there are many covenants between YHWH and His people, from Adam, to Noah, to Abraham and onward. These covenants get layered one upon the other. I thought I’d mention this just to clarify that by having one covenant doesn’t necessarily void a previous one. So YHWH passes over the blood on our threshold to enter into covenant with us. The blood of a lamb is spilled for this covenant to be established, sound familiar? The blood of the Lamb of God was spilled to allow YHWH to pass over the threshold of our heart and enter into covenant with us today – amazing!

But what if the second party didn’t want to enter into covenant? The blood has been spilled, the invitation has been sent. Well if someone didn’t want to partake of the covenant, they would step on the blood to show their disregard. Zephaniah, the prophet, warned us about this.

In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.

Zephaniah 1:9 (KJV)

And the author of Hebrews repeats this.

Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

Hebrews 10:29-30 (KJV)

Now that we know the history, how do we expect to remain in the house of God? The invitation was given, the necessary sacrifice was provided, and we’ve taken the ‘step of faith’ into our Father’s house, but he can still throw us out and send us to punishment. As many of us tell our children, “When you’re under our roof, you live by our rules.” – so too is it with the heavenly Father.  When we’re in His house, we should abide by His rules.

3 thoughts on “Threshold Covenant”

  1. Dear Mark

    I’m writing a chapter about the threshold covenant, may I please have permission to use the picture of the ancient threshold with the basin? (With reference to your article and a link to it of course 🙂 )


      1. Hi Mark
        Thanks for the reply. I cannot find it online, do you maybe know the title or a link to it?

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