Careful reading of the text of Deuteronomy reveals it to be, in a sense, a self-retiring covenant. Although life through the Deuteronomic covenant was a theoretical possibility (Deut 30:15-19), both God and Moses knew and declared that, in fact, death and exile would result (Deut 30:1). Then, there would be a new initiative on God's part: a regahering of the exiles and a supernatural "circumcision" of their hearts (30:4-6). This new initiative of God involving the cleaning of the heart is what Jeremiah identifies as the new covenant (Jer 31:31).Commenting on Galatians, Hahn continues:
For Paul, those who commit themselves once again to follow the "book of law" are attempting to rehabilitate a covenant that has failed and was -in a sense- intended to fail and thus evoke a new initiative of mercy (the circumcision of the heart) from God, which Paul sees realized in Christ.