1.1. Translation and Usage
The Hebrew word bĕrît, “covenant,” occurs 287 times in the OT, only in the singular. Even the latest attempts (e.g., by E. Kutsch) have not convincingly clarified its etymology. Showing a derivation from a Semitic root, however, would not necessarily throw light on its semantic function (J. Barr), which can and must be understood in terms of its semantic field and the relevant context.
In translation, the LXX does not use synthēkē (agreement, contract) but almost always diathēkē (last will and tes…