A Tale of Four Temples: What the Prophets Knew and When They Knew It

Isaiah 63:18
“The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary.” (KJV)

“Your holy people possessed Your sanctuary for [only] a little while; Our adversaries have trampled it down.” (Amplified)

Just as Jeremiah’s prophecy was a catalyst for Daniel’s further quest for understanding (Dan 9:2), there can be no doubt that Ps 74 with Isa 63:18; 64:10-11 would have been an influence on his expectation concerning the fate of a future sanctuary that would be standing at the time of the end.

Whether Ps 74 was written before Isaiah or the reverse, it is Isaiah who adds something that entirely distinguishes the tribulation temple from any other.
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The broad context surrounding the mention of the temple in Isa 63:18; 64:10-11 makes clear that Israel’s ultimate deliverance at the day of the Lord is envisioned as following in the wake of the devastating loss of the temple and the trampling down of the holy city. This is a theme that we see in many places throughout the prophets. But here’s what is so striking about Isaiah’s prophecy in particular. The temple that will be trampled burned and destroyed in the final tribulation has only been back in Jewish possession for “a little while” (Ps 74:7-8; Isa 63:18; 4:10-11; Dan 8:11, 13; 9:26).

No other temple in history answers to this description. It can only have reference to a third temple that has been only recently rebuilt, shortly before it is desecrated, trampled and burned by the self-exalting little horn (Dan 8:11; 9:27; 11:23, 31; 12:11).

Similarities in language suggest very strongly that either Isaiah is aware of a very early Asaph (Ps 74), or else a later Asaph is certainly aware of Isaiah‘s prophecy (Isa 63:18; 64:10-11) — and Daniel shows awareness of both. I tend to favor the view that the prophecy originated with the Asaph who served in the tabernacle of David.

Certainly, an early Asaph would have inherited all that Moses had said concerning the inevitability of exile and dispersion. Covenant chastisement would be the ever-looming threat until the expected day of national repentance that Moses foresees at the end of a final tribulation “in the latter days” (Deut 4:29-30; 29:4; 30:1-6).

It is just as likely that the original Asaph could have prophetically anticipated the destruction of the sanctuary. In any event, it seems clear that Ps 74:7-8; 78:59-60; 79:1, with Isaiah 63:18; 64:10-11 forms the prophetic background for an eschatology of tribulation that is centered around a very recently restored sanctuary.

Liberal commentators who hold that this portion of Isaiah could not have come from the pen of Isaiah of Jerusalem will, of course, assume that Ps 74 and Isa 63-64 are both written in retrospect after the exile, looking back and lamenting the bitterness and shock of the loss of the first temple.

We say, on the contrary! In both cases, the Spirit of prophecy is putting into the mouth of the suffering remnant of the final tribulation the cry for the long-awaited day of deliverance and permanent possession of the Land, according to the the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants.

Daniel’s prophecy is building on this background. In what follows, we want to reflect on how he would have most naturally interpreted his own prophecy in light of where he stood in history. Both the context and the unmistakable similarity of language leave no doubt that Daniel understands “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer 30:6-7) to be the unparalleled period of trouble culminating in Israel’s national deliverance at “the time of the end” (Joel 2:1-2; Isa 13:6-8; 26:16-17; 66:8; Mic 5:3; Dan 12:1-2). The removal of the sacrifice at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week clearly marks the beginning of the this calamitous time (Dan 9:27; 12:11).

Significantly, Daniel’s visions of the long march of kingdoms and the prophecy of the seventy sevens puts Jacob’s trouble at a great distance in the future, on the far side of three more kingdoms after Babylon. Even the earlier Isaiah saw something of this march of kingdoms before the end, and therefore expected no soon fulfillment of the Davidic covenant. He saw beyond the contemporary Assyrian threat, past Babylon’s defeat by the Medes (Isa 13), and on to the rise of Cyrus as a type of a yet more distant restoration under the Messiah from David’s line (Isa 9:6-7; 11:1-5; 44:28-45:5).

Christendom’s Solemn Loss

Therefore, not only Daniel, but Isaiah before him, understood that the final struggle at the end is centered around a lately repossessed temple and recently restored sacrifice (Isa 63:18 with Dan 8:13). Since the removal of the regular sacrifice is an inseparable aspect of the abomination of desolation, which Jesus gives as the sign that begins the final tribulation, and since the chronology of John’s Revelation is framed around Daniel’s half week as the immediate precursor to Christ’s return (Rev 11:2-3; 12:6, 14: 13:5), it is astonishing that this expectation, so manifestly fundamental to Isaiah, Daniel, Jesus, Paul, and John would come to be so absent from the consciousness of the church.

What is the reason for this loss and what does it portend for the future? That is a question the church needs to ask itself, particularly since ignorance of these critical musts of the last days exposes one to the very deception of which Jesus, and later Paul so gravely warn (Mt 24:4-5, 11, 23-26; 2Thes 2:3). Inattention to, or misinterpretation of the vital sign that Jesus gives in Mt 24:15 may (I believe certainly will) prove unspeakably costly.

Contemplate what it will mean for the watching saints to see a covenant confirmed and a sacrifice started just a short while before the man of lawlessness goes to the temple to stop the sacrifice and place the abomination that brings the final desolation of Jerusalem.

Failure to observe and obey Jesus’ command to His disciples to look for this particular event in the book of Daniel (“let the reader understand”; Mt 24:15), not only exposes one to unpreparedness, disarming shock, and possible deception, but also forfeits the priceless advantage of seeing the preliminary signs that lead up to the sign (Mt 24:15; 2Thes 2:3-4).

And this is only part of the loss. In my own experience, as a new and very young believer, I found that by following Jesus’ directive to seek this event out in the book of Daniel, with His counsel to understand, as we see that Daniel “set his heart to understand” (Dan 10:12), so much else would come to light.

I found that a knowledge of the end in its native Judeo-centric context opened up a whole new vista of the covenant background that stands behind the history of Israel and the glorious promise plan of God. So, the study of the end is crucial to our understanding the whole story line of the Bible from beginning to end and all the time between.

Returning to the question of Daniel’s likely understanding from his vantage point, let us review. Certainly, Daniel knew and expected that Isaiah had prophesied of the coming of Cyrus, identifying him by name for a testimony to the captivity weary Jews. Cyrus would issue the decree for the rebuilding of the temple. So Daniel well knew that his brethren were going home to a restored sanctuary  (see Dan 9:2, 17 with Isa 44:28). Would this second temple last till the end, be destroyed and replaced by the millennial house so graphically described by Ezekiel?

Is this second edifice the temple that would be still after three more world empires would arise in succession? Is this the temple that will be invaded by the last aggressor who will replace the continual sacrificial ritual with an abomination that brings the final desolation of Jerusalem  approximately 3 1/2 years before the resurrection of the righteous, including Daniel’s own resurrection? (Dan 12:1-2, 13).

Reasonably, the answer is no, not if he took careful regard to the language of Isaiah’s prophecy that the temple under final siege has been standing only a “short while” (Isa 63:18). So, while Daniel may very well have expected the second temple to last many generations, he would have anticipated its eventual end and a new and recent sanctuary to be standing in its place when invaded by the final Antichrist.

He would also certainly be aware of Isaiah’s prophecy that the Land would be barren and desolate, not only for one generation (as during the 50 years from 586 to 536 B.C.), but for “many generations”, according to Isa 61:4. The same is prophesied by his contemporary Ezekiel.

Ezekiel sees another return “after many days”, back to a Land that had “long been desolate” (Eze 38:8). Clearly, he is not speaking of the post-captivity return from Babylon, because this final and complete return takes place in the “latter days” after Israel has only recently returned to resettle the once barren Land, turning it into an Eden of beauty (Joel 2:3; Dan 8:9; 11:41), sufficient to awaken the covetousness of the northern invader (Eze 38:10-13).

This is the final aggressor. “Thus says the Lord GOD: “Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?” (Eze 38:17).  When this invasion happens, the elect nation is still in a condition of unregenerate blindness, and under covenant judgment, with God’s face yet hidden (Deut 31:17-18; 32:20; Isa 8:17; 54:8; 57:17; 64:7; Eze 39:8, 23-24, 29). It is after the destruction of Gog at the day of the Lord that the nation comes suddenly to faith in one day (Isa 66:8; Zech 3:9; Eze 39:8, 22, 28-29)

Manifestly, Ezekiel is consciously referring to the same long absence from the Land that Isaiah describes in Isa 61:4. So Daniel’s long-distance vision of a march of kingdoms before the end is corroborated by Isaiah, Hosea, and his contemporary, Ezekiel (Isa 61:4; Hos 3:4-5; Eze 38:8). All are looking ahead to a much longer absence from the Land than the single generation prophesied by Jeremiah.

But when has the Land been bereft of its Jewish population for more than a generation? Only the long Roman exile that lasted from A.D. 135 until modern times answers to this description.

In view of Daniel’s certain knowledge of Isaiah’s prophecy of another temple, which will be standing only a short while before it is defiled and destroyed (Dan 8:11; 9:26), just as surely, the sacrifice that the little horn stops 3 ⅓ years before the end has been only recently restarted after “many generations” of absence from the Land.

Dealing with Dating: Making Sense of Daniel’s Numbers

Not only this, but Daniel would have known that the difference between the 2300 days of Dan 8, and the 1290 and 1335 of Dan 12 creates an apparent discrepancy: the three numbers are given in reply to the question, “how long”? (Dan 8:13; 12:6). What would this mysterious disparity between the days have meant to Daniel? How are the extra days to be interpreted?

The 2300 days end with the cleansing of the sanctuary. What is this? When is this? If this time could be known precisely, one could simply count backward to discover precisely when the 2300 days start.

Dan 12:11 makes clear that the 1290 and the 1335 are both reckoned from the removal of the sacrifice in the middle of the final week (also Dan 9:27). If the 2300 days are to be counted from this point, it would mean that the sanctuary is not cleansed until nearly three years into the millennium. I’ll come back to why I think this is the most doubtful of the possible choices.

Let’s put ourselves in Daniel’s sandals.

Daniel knows from his predecessors and his contemporary, Ezekiel, that there will be a renewed temple after the final, unequaled tribulation (Amos 9:11; Isa 2:2-4; 16:5; 56:7-8; 60:7, 12-13; Eze 37:26-28; 38-48). Significantly, Daniel’s precise language for the cleansing of the sanctuary is found in only one other place in scripture — in Eze 45:18 (and very nearly the same language is found in Eze 43:20-26). Therefore, there can be no doubt that Daniel expects the sanctuary to be cleansed sometime after “the end”, in the early days of the millennium.

With Amos, Isaiah, and Ezekiel, Daniel is expecting a new temple to be raised after the tribulation, because the temple standing at the time of the final tribulation is expected to be destroyed by fire (Ps 74:7-8; 79:1; Isa 64:10-11; Dan 9:26).

So in view of the expectation of a renewed and much more glorious temple (Hag 2:7, 9), never again subject to enemy invaders (2Sam 7:10; Amos 9:15), evidently, Daniel’s reference to the cleansing of the sanctuary takes us beyond the destruction of the tribulation temple to the beginnings of the new temple. This temple, will sit atop the elevated plateau of Zech 14:10 that will emerge from the great earthquake, which takes place in conjunction with Jesus’ return (Zech 14:1, 3-5; Rev 16:18).

The tribulation temple will be entirely replaced by a new temple. Ezekiel gives detailed instructions for the cleansing of the sanctuary in Eze 43:20-26; esp. 45:18. So where do we locate the extra days? It is most unlikely that the cleansing of the sanctuary will be delayed very long, because the returning Jewish survivors of the tribulation will want to resume their mandated worship as soon as possible. The question is, how soon might this be?

Recall that when the first wave of exiles returned under Zerubbabel, the Jews did not wait till the new house was completed before the sanctuary and the altar was set up only seven months after the return. The actual construction on the new house did not begin until seven months later (Ezra 3:6-8). Moreover, the question, “how long shall be the vision?”, suggests that the focus is on the events leading to final relief and deliverance from the persecution of the little horn.

This focus means that, for the larger part, the extra days should be reckoned, not from the time the sacrifice is taken away, but from the time it started. So I think the careful instruction of the Spirit in Eze 43:20-26; 45:18 applies to however and whenever the altar and the minimal sanctuary will be available to be cleansed.

Notably, the sanctuary is not the same as the larger temple edifice (Lev 4:6; Eze 43:21). As in the above example of the first return, a completed temple is not required to fulfill the prophecy. Whether the structure standing before the tribulation or Ezekiel’s new temple situated on the exalted plateau described in Zech 14:4, 10, all that is required to begin sacrificing is a simple altar and the inmost parts of house. The example of the returning exiles under Zerubbabel shows that the construction of the larger edifice can be ongoing concurrent with the daily offering of sacrifice.

What about the 1290 and the 1335? Could either of these terminal points be possibilities for the cleansing of the sanctuary? It would appear that both of these dates fail as an option because by this time Jesus has already returned. 1290 days is almost 43 months and 1335 is another month and a half further, whereas the career of the Antichrist is limited to 42 months when he is slain by the breath of the Lord (2Thes 2:8; Rev 13:5).

But if neither of these points after the close of the 70th week would seem to provide enough time for the returning Jews to gather to cleanse the new sanctuary atop the newly exalted “mountain of the Lord’s house” (Isa 2:2; Zech 14:10), nothing in the prophecy requires that the 2300 days end at either of these points that obviously take us beyond Christ’s return and into the early days of the millennium.

There is one place we can look for an event early in the millennium that answers very well to the pattern recorded in the book of Ezra. In the same way that the first wave of Jews returning under Zerubbabel and Joshua began to sacrifice seven months after returning and seven months before construction would begin on the house of the Lord (Ezr 3:6-8), there is another period of seven months described in Eze 39:11-16. This is the time that it takes to “cleanse the Land” of dead bodies that filled the mountains and valleys during the battle of Gog and Magog (compare Eze 39:8 with Rev 16:13-17). Could this be the time that the new sanctuary is cleansed, according to Eze 43:20-26: 45:18).

Regardless of how we account for the difference between the 2300 days and the 1290 and 1335 days, it is clear that these are not merely symbolic numbers. They are not years, as some have suggested, but days, which manifestly follow the end of the half week of unequaled tribulation and extend into the early period of the millennial age.

Moreover, they are given to mark events that are expected on this earth after the tribulation has passed. We could suggest such possibilities as the time that Israel will go apart to mourn (Zech 12:10-12), or the messianic banquet that coincides with the time of the resurrection, as described in Isa 25:6-8.

Qualifications Concerning the 3rd Temple Service

It is important to note that though the sacrifice and the sanctuary do not lose their sanctity and legitimacy because of the spiritual condition of those presiding over the temple service, the restoration of the covenant institutions of the temple and sacrifice do not exempt those serving in the temple from covenant judgment (Deut 28:49-50; Isa 10:5-6; 28:14-15, 17-18; Jer 5:15; Eze 38:4, 16; Lk 21:22-24; Rev 11:2)

Nevertheless, the ordinances and institutions commanded in the law, along with those that Ezekiel adapts to the millennial temple, remain holy and inviolable. These temple ordinances on the elect location, belong to what the scripture in Dan 11:28, 30 calls the “holy covenant”.

This covenant with the Jewish people does not depend on their personal holiness, but on God’s election and command. The “holy place” remains holy, even when the people called to holiness are not yet holy in the sense of personal regeneration. Still, in the sense of set apart, and fiercely preserved by covenant decree until the appointed day of national redemption, they are, in that sense, holy before they’re holy, as all who ravage, spoil, and pillage them will discover, to their horror.

On the other hand, because the blood and righteousness of Christ is the only acceptable covering, sacrificing in a house appointed to desolation will not insulate the worshippers from the judgment of Jacob’s trouble. Yet, it is the holiness of the appointed place where God has put His name, with the sacred institutions He has appointed for that place that establishes the obsession of Satan to usurp and the arrogance of the Antichrist to defile and destroy, as the consummate transgression — “the abomination of desolation” (Dan 8:13; 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Mt 24:15).

Prophetic Expectations: Piecing Together the Puzzle

The phrase translated, “trodden down” or “trampled underfoot” is often applied by Isaiah and the earlier prophets to Israel and Judah when facing the Assyrian threat, as typical of the final siege of the Antichrist (Isa 5:5; 28:3, 18; 63:18). It is applied again by Jeremiah as the imminent fate of the first temple (Jer 12:10), and Daniel also applies the same term to a future defilement of the temple and the final desolation of Jerusalem (Dan 8:13).

But since he knew the second temple would soon stand again, upon the return decreed by Cyrus (Isa 44:28; Dan 1:21; 6:28; 10:1), and since he expected many generations to come and go (Isa 61:4; Hos 3:4-5; Eze 38:8), with kingdom following after kingdom (Dan 2, 7, 8, 11), it is altogether possible that Daniel expected the eventual destruction of the second temple and the eventual erection of a third. This is even probable, since he would have known from Isaiah that the tribulation temple is unique — only recently recovered to Jewish possession before it is trampled for a last time (Isa 63:18; 64:10-11).

We can see Daniel’s awareness of Isa 63:18 in particular by his use of the term for “trodden under/trodden down”, which is quite unique to Isaiah’s vocabulary. It is most often used for the final trampling down of Jerusalem just before the great day of deliverance (Isa 28:3, 18; 63:18; Dan 8:13; Lk 21:24; Rev 11:2).

Across the landscape of salvation of history, it is really edifying to see the miracle of prophecy in all its interdependent, interlocking intricacy. Looking back, we cannot fail to see the necessity of a long interval between the destruction of the second temple and the yet-future third temple that would follow the return that is “after many days” (Hos 3:4-5; Eze 38:8), and after “the desolation of many generations (Isa 61:4).

So, looking far beyond the soon restoration of the second temple, Daniel sees the temple described by Isaiah, standing at the time of the end. So far as we can be sure that Daniel knew Isaiah’s prophecy, this cannot be the second temple, but a third. And since this construction appointed to destruction (Isa 63:18; 64:11; Dan 9:26), it cannot be the fourth envisioned by Ezekiel and the earlier prophets, who see a new sanctuary in the new age (Mic 4:1-2; Isa 2:2-3; 16:5; 60:7, 13; Amos 6:11; Eze 37:26, 28; 40-48), as well as the later prophets, Zechariah and Haggai (Hag 2:7, 9; Zech 14:20-21). All the evidence points to a third, recently repossessed temple that is destroyed a final time, to be very soon followed by the glory of “the latter house” situated atop the newly lifted “mountain of the Lord’s house” (Isa 2:2; Zech 14:10).

Isaiah and his contemporaries to the north and the south all spoke of the destruction of the first temple. They also spoke of a very long exile that would last “many days” (Hos 3:4-5; Eze 38:8) and “many generations” (Isa 61:4). This long estrangement, during which time God is hiding His face from Israel, would end with the national repentance and return to raise up the fallen booth of David (Amos 9:11; Isa 16:5; Hos 3:4-5). But it is Isaiah alone who sees another temple standing at the end, one that has stood only “a little while”.

This is clearly before the restoration of the tabernacle of David that is always put after the last tribulation (Amos 9:9-11) and therefore, after the destruction of the Antichrist (“the aggressor, desolator, oppressor; Isa 16:4-5). It is also after the great national repentance (Isa 66:8; Eze 39:22; Zech 3:9, 12:10). This is followed by the complete return from all nations, with “none left behind” (Eze 39:28).

Daniel knows the vision of the final trouble and the final deliverance is at a great distance, “many days”, which from his vantage point is at least 490 years away (Dan 8:26: 9:24; 10:14; 12:1-2, 7, 11-13). Of course, Daniel did not see the gap between the first and second comings that would be shrouded in mystery until the appointed time of revelation (Act 3:18-21; Ro 11:25-29; 16:25-26; 1Pet 1:11)

The great take away from all of this is that unlike every other instance of the sacrifice being removed, whether by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus, or Titus, it was never a sacrifice that had been only recently restarted in a sanctuary that has been only recently returned to Jewish possession.

Call it reading between the lines, but there’s a lot to be read between those lines that glorifies the amazing foresight of the scripture, in all its delicate intricacy, so easily overlooked.

Daniel’s Understanding of Messiah’s Cutting Off

What may we suppose would have been Daniel’s understanding concerning the “cutting off of Messiah” at what would have appeared to be just seven years before the end? (Dan 9:25-27). Would the “cut off” King of Israel be raised after the seven years, with Daniel and all the righteous of Israel? (Job 19:25-27; Isa 25:8; 26:19; Dan 12:1-2; 13).

Is it then that the stem of David will slay the “wicked one” with His voice and the breath of His mouth (Isa 11:4; 30:30-31with 2Thes 2:8) Would He then slay the Antichrist and begin His rod-of-iron rule over the nations? (Ps 2:9). Or would He immediately rise to His Father’s throne, to return with the armies of His saints? (Compare Jude 1:14; Ps 149:6-9; Isa 13:4; Joel 3:11; Zech 14:5; Rev 19:14-15). In such a case, His session at His Father’s right hand would be a very short-one of only seven years. These suggestions are, of course, speculative, but they demonstrate the perplexity of the prophets, of which Peter informs us (1Pet 1:11-12).

Daniel knew Moses’ prediction of a rejected prophet by whom the nation would be judged and divided (Deut 18:18-19). Together with Isaiah’s prediction of a suffering servant who would be “abhorred” and “rejected” by the nation (Isa 49:7; 53:3), this is doubtless what Simeon had this in mind when he said, “this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against” (Lk 2:34).

Daniel knew that Micah had foretold that the ruler from Bethlehem would be smitten with a rod upon the cheek, and that this would provoke God to “give them up UNTIL” the time of Zion’s travail when the penitent remnant would return to their Messiah, whose rule would now extend “to the ends of the earth” (Mic 5:1-4).He also would have known Hosea’s prophecy concerning a particular consummate “offense” (singular) sufficient to provoke the Lord to “return to His place UNTIL” (Hos 5:15-6:2).

Can we conceive that Daniel knew that the wounded, curse-reversing Seed of the woman (Gen 3:15), the divine son of David (Isa 9:6-7; Mic 5:2), would be “cut off” after suffering rejection and death at the hands of His brethren, in remarkable analogy to the story of Joseph? I think a comparison of Isa 53:8 with Dan 9:26 settles the question.

Because of this act of killing the Divine Messiah that Daniel would most naturally see at the end of the 69th seven, he would also naturally assume this to be the great transgression that brings about the Divine desertion prophesied by Hosea and Micah (Hos 5:15; Mic 5:3). Doubtless, Daniel would understand this “cutting off” of the Messiah to be the consummate “offense” (singular) that provokes Yahweh to return to His place and surrender the elect nation over to the final covenant discipline of the little horn for the final half week.

This would be after the sacrifice had been recently restored in the first half, to no avail, since the sacrifice cannot be accepted apart from a living, Spirit-quickened faith, as only demonstrated by recognition and faith in the Messiah.

Without knowing the mystery of the two comings and the long gap of “many generations” that would lay between the destruction of the second temple and a recently restored third, tribulation temple, and judging from the absence of the definite article in the Hebrew text, Daniel manifestly expected his readers to know he was using the phrase, “anointed One” as an understood title for the Messiah, Son of David (Ps 2; 110; Isa 9, 11; Mic 5:2).

From all of this detail, and the background from the earlier prophets, it would seem clear that Daniel saw the rejection and death of the Messiah as THE crowning offense that provoked God to momentarily abandon the larger part of the nation, delivering them into the hand of their enemies, and ultimately over to the disciplinary scourge of the Antichrist, whose rise would mark the revelation of the mystery of iniquity (2Thes 2:7), the finishing of the mystery of God (Rev 10:7), and the end of the times of the Gentiles (Lk 21:24, Rev 11:2).

What Daniel could not have seen was the mystery of the two distinct comings and the age-long interim that would transpire between Israel’s fall and her final return (Deut 4:20-30;Isa 8:14-17; Mt 21:43; Lk 19:42-44; Ro 9:32; 11:11, 25-27). This unexpected turn of events belonged to the secret hidden in ages past (Ro 16:25-26), and has revealed God’s secret intention to visit the gentiles to take out a people for His name BEFORE the post-tribulational return of scattered Israel to build again the tabernacle of David.

After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up …” (Acts 15:16)

After what? It is a matter of intense dispute whether the term, “tabernacle of David ”, as James used it here, is in keeping with the normal Jewish understanding of a post-tribulational event, or whether James has completely reinterpreted its meaning to be completely and sufficiently fulfilled in the present inclusion of the gentiles.
Or is it more likely that James is using the term, “after” in this passage in the same way it is used elsewhere in the prophets – to denote the expectation that the eschatological tabernacle of David is established “after” a still-future return of the penitent Jewish remnant to the Land in the “latter days”, as in Amos 9:14-15; Hos 3:4-5?

In this case, James’ reference to Amos is not to reinterpret the original language of the prophets, but to apply this foretold future precedent to the present visitation of the gentiles, in unexpected advance of the yet to be fulfilled post-tribulational conversion of greater Israel (Acts 3:21; Ro 11:25-26).

Notice that James’ citation of Amos is representative of what was foretold by other  prophets. Notice how James’ citation of Amos coincides with his use of very similar language in Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the same future conversion of the nations upon Israel’s restoration.

Thus says the LORD: “Against all My evil neighbors who touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit—behold, I will pluck them out of their land and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. Then it shall be, after I have plucked them out, that I will return and have compassion on them and bring them back, everyone to his heritage and everyone to his land. And it shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the LORD lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people. But if they do not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation,” says the LORD. (Jer 12:14-17; see also Isa 19:24-25; Isa )

James is manifestly conflating the results of what all the prophets foretold of a coming conversion of the nations that will not require that they take on all the particulars of Jewish stewardship, which was never imposed on God fearing gentiles, whether in the past or in the future, when the saved of all nations will flow to Zion (Isa 2:1; 60:5).

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