From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [1]

Treaties between people or nations were common in Bible times, as they are today. Such treaties were formal agreements that dealt with matters of mutual concern, such as peace, security and trade ( Genesis 21:25-33;  Genesis 26:28-30;  1 Kings 9:26-28;  1 Kings 20:34;  Isaiah 7:3;  Isaiah 30:1-5;  Isaiah 31:1).

God warned the Israelites of Moses’ time that when they entered Canaan, they were not to make treaties with the former people of the land, but destroy them. In this way Israel would avoid the possibility of moral and religious corruption through adopting Canaanite practices ( Exodus 34:12-16).

Nevertheless, in the centuries that followed, a number of Israelite kings made treaties with neighbouring nations. One danger of this practice was that it led to the possibility of moral and religious corruption, because the two parties to the treaty usually paid respect to each other’s gods. The treaty was sometimes strengthened by a marriage between members of the two royal families, which gave further opportunity for the introduction of foreign religious practices into Israel ( 1 Kings 3:1;  1 Kings 11:1-6;  1 Kings 16:30-33).

A treaty may also have been a sign of a lack of faith. This was particularly so when Israel (or Judah) trusted for military victory in an alliance with a foreign nation instead of trusting in God ( 1 Kings 15:18-20;  Isaiah 30:1-3;  Isaiah 30:15). Such a treaty would lead inevitably to political and religious domination by the foreign nation in whom Israel trusted ( 2 Kings 16:7-10;  Isaiah 39:3-7;  Hosea 7:8-10). By becoming a party to the treaty, Israel broke its covenant with God and so brought God’s judgment upon itself ( Hosea 7:11-13;  Hosea 8:8-10; see Covenant ).

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(1): ( n.) An agreement so made; specifically, an agreement, league, or contract between two or more nations or sovereigns, formally signed by commissioners properly authorized, and solemnly ratified by the several sovereigns, or the supreme power of each state; an agreement between two or more independent states; as, a treaty of peace; a treaty of alliance.

(2): ( n.) A proposal tending to an agreement.

(3): ( n.) A treatise; a tract.

(4): ( n.) The act of treating for the adjustment of differences, as for forming an agreement; negotiation.

Holman Bible Dictionary [3]


International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [4]

trē´ti ( בּרית , berı̄th , בּרית כּרת , kārath berı̄th , "make a covenant," "league," "treaty"): Although the Israelites were forbidden to make treaties, or enter into covenant, with the Canaanites because of the risk thereby involved of religious apostasy and moral contamination (  Exodus 23:32;  Exodus 34:12;  Deuteronomy 7:2;  Judges 2:2 ), they were so situated in the midst of the nations that treaty relations of some sort with their neighbors were from time to time inevitable. After the rise of the monarchy, treaties were common. David and Solomon had friendly relations with Hiram, king of Tyre ( 1 Kings 5:15 ff); Asa, to rid himself of the hostile approaches of Baasha, king of Israel, entered into a league with Ben-hadad of Syria, which the prophet Hanani denounced (  2 Chronicles 16:1 ff); Ahab entered into a similar compact with Ben-hadad's son and successor, and set him at liberty when he was his prisoner of war (  1 Kings 20:34 ); and at a later time Jehoshaphat joined Ahab in an expedition against Ben-hadad Ii to Ramoth-gilead in which Ahab lost his life (1 Ki 22). Sometimes with Syria and neighboring states against the terrible Assyrian power, and sometimes with Egypt against Assyria or Babylon, the kings of Israel and Judah entered into treaty to resist their advances and to preserve their own independence ( 2 Kings 17:4;  Hosea 7:11;  Isaiah 30:1 ). Against such alliances the prophets raised their testimony ( Isaiah 31:1;  Jeremiah 27:3 ff). See also War , 9.; Rome , V, 1.