Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Prophetic Language in Isaiah (Esch 354)

Prophetic Language

Preterists observe that throughout the Bible, prophecies that seem to describing the end of the world are actually describing something less than that. For example, consider Isaiah’s prophecy against Babylon.

“The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw” (Isaiah 13:1).

“Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them” (Isaiah 13:17).

“And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,

The beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride,

Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah” (Isaiah 13:19).

God is going to raise up the Medians to overthrow and destroy the Babylonian kingdom. However, look at how Isaiah describes this:

“For the stars of heaven and their constellations

Will not give their light;

The sun will be darkened in its going forth,

And the moon will not cause its light to shine” (Isaiah 13:10).

“Therefore I will shake the heavens,

And the earth will move out of her place,

In the wrath of Yahweh of hosts

And in the day of His fierce anger” (Isaiah 13:13).

It sounds as if Isaiah is describing the end of the world, and he is, in a sense. However, he is not describing the end of the physical universe but the end of the Babylonian world.

God often uses imagery of the heavens to describe nations. The sun often refers to kings. The moon refers to the queen, and the stars refers to other leaders. This goes back to Joseph’s dream.

“Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, ‘Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me’” (Genesis 37:9).

The sun is Jacob. The moon is Leah. The eleven stars are his brothers.

Thus, when Isaiah writes that the heavens are shaken and the sun, moon, and stars are darkened, he is saying that Babylon’s rulers are going to be overthrown and their kingdom is going to fall.


Frontier Forest said...

Pastor Erick, I have had some interesting Bible volley this week with my dear cousin who is extremely Biblically educated, staunch dispensationalist. He is writing a book on Eschatology taking a pre-mill position. He was seeking my opinion on the current Biblical state of Israel, my interpretation of Romans 11, and my support of “God's chosen people”. I spent several hours going over his draft, adding my now newly formed, Reformed theology/ non-dispensational opinions. I then ask Pastor Tony to respond to some of Doug's interpretations of Revelation and Daniel, and was pleased Pastor Tony took the time to articulate his Biblical stance. This really got Doug’s attention and sent him thinking when he read Pastor Tony’s suggestion that he invest time to read your recent blog, “Why I am not a Dispensationalist.” Glad to find your blog. Your brother and fellow laborer in Christ, Woody

Eric Adams said...

Woody, glad you have found this helpful. Let me know if I can help you on any specific issues. Thanks!

Frontier Forest said...

I aint real good at this, so what is your actual blog site? I want to put you in my daily read and responder.


Eric Adams said...