In the time of the Bible, people did not make agreements or treaties; they cut them. In other words, a person in the Bible would never say to their neighbor, “Let us make an agreement about our property line.” What they would say is, “Let’s cut an agreement,” or even, “Let us make a cutting.” That word “cutting” is all over the Bible. We usually translate it as our English word “covenant,” which we think of as a promise or agreement. But we may have lost something in translation. I am not sure we understand the power, intimacy, and commitment of a biblical covenant. The word covenant is unfamiliar to us; we rarely, if ever, use it. We prefer much less powerful words like “relationship” or “connection.”
A biblical covenant was formed when two parties took an animal like a goat and split it in half. They would then lay both halves on the ground, and the two parties would hold hands and walk in between the animal halves while they made promises to each other. The not so subtle idea was, “Let me be split in half if I do not keep my part of the covenant.” The two parties were literally pledging their lives to the agreement.
You can view the video that is referenced here.