Framed by dividing a victim into two parts, between which the contracting parties passed, praying the similar cutting up of him who should violate the treaty (Genesis 15:10; Jeremiah 34:18-2)). Hence the Hebrew and Greek for to make a treaty is "to cut" it. Forbidden with the doomed Canaanites (Deuteronomy 7:2; Judges 2:2). But peaceable relations with other nations as distinguished from copying their idolatries, were encouraged (Deuteronomy 2:25; Deuteronomy 15:6; Genesis 27:29). Solomon's alliance with Tyre for building the temple and other purposes was altogether right (1 Kings 5:2-12; 1 Kings 9:27); and Tyre is subsequently reproved for not remembering the brotherly covenant (Amos 1:9). But alliances by marriage with idolaters are reprobated as incentives to latitudinarianism first and at last, to conformity with paganism (Deuteronomy 7:3-6).
Solomen's alliance with Pharaoh by marriage was the precursor of importing horses contrary to the law, leaning too much on human forces, and of contracting alliances with Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite wives, who seduced him from God. Hence the care to guard against the same evil, at the return from Babylon (Ezra 9; 10; Nehemiah 13; Malachi 2:11-17). When pagans renounced idolatry for Israel's God, Israelites might lawfully wed them, as Rahab, Ruth, Zipporah. Shishak's invasion of Rehoboam's kingdom was probably due to Shishak's alliance with Jeroboam of Israel (2 Chronicles 12; 1 Kings 14:25, etc.). Ahaz' appeal to Tiglath Pileser for help against Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Syria opened the way to Assyrian and Babylonian predominance (2 Kings 16). Asa's alliance with Benhadad against Baasha was the turning point from good to evil in his life (2 Chronicles 14:15-16; 1 Kings 15:16, etc.).
Jehoshaphat's alliance with ungodly Ahab and Ahaziah his son was the only blot on his character, and involved him in loss and reproof from God (2 Chronicles 18; 2 Chronicles 19:2; 2 Chronicles 20:35-37). Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram's marriage with Ahab's daughter, Athaliah, was fatal to him and to Ahaziah and his other sons except Joash (2 Chronicles 21; 22). Hoshea's alliance with So or Sabacho of Egypt was his encouragement to rebel against Assyria, and brought on him the overthrow of Israel by Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:4). Hezekiah was tempted to lean on Egypt against the Assyrian Sennacherib (Isaiah 30:2), and Tirhakah of Ethiopia did make a diversion in his favor (2 Kings 19:9). Josiah on the other hand was Assyria's ally against Pharaoh Necho of Egypt, and fell a victim to meddling in the world's quarrels (2 Chronicles 35:20-25).
Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, leant on Egypt, and Pharaoh Hophra raised the siege of Jerusalem for a time; but Nebuchadnezzar returned and took it (Jeremiah 37:1-5; Jeremiah 37:39). A "covenant of salt" (Numbers 18:19; 2 Chronicles 13:5) expresses one indissoluble and incorruptible, as salt was sprinkled on the victim, implying incorruption and sincerity (Leviticus 2:13). A pillar was sometimes set up (Genesis 31:45-52). Presents were sent by the seeker of the alliance (1 Kings 15:18; Isaiah 30:6). Violation of it brought down divine wrath, even when made with a pagan (Joshua 9:18; Joshua 9:2 Samuel 21; Ezekiel 17:16).