“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.
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.
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While reflecting on what stands at the heart of the gospel, I thought first of what Paul called, “the goal of the commandment” in Titus 1:5. “Now the end (goal) of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.”
That is indeed the outworking of the fruit of His life within us, as to our sanctification, but it’s foundation and root is deeper still. It’s root is the resurrection life of Jesus, as both imputed and imparted to the justified believer. Its source is as far from the strength of nature as the budding of Aaron’s rod.
Paul says this righteousness is now revealed in the recently unveiled “mystery of the gospel” (Eph 6:19).
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Ro 1:7).
Paul shows that the mystery that could not come to full light until the revelation of the gospel was fully foretold in the prophetic writings (Acts 26:22-23). Yet, kept secret in times past till the appointed time of revelation (1Cor 2:7-8; Ro 16:25-26). Why only now, with the post-resurrection revelation of the gospel, is this righteousness revealed? Wasn’t the righteousness of God already fully revealed and well established all throughout the scriptures? What kind of righteousness is this that has waited till now to be “revealed”?
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Unless God supernaturally intervenes, translation work is not an exact science.
Yes, the ESV has some poorly translated spots here and there, but no more than most others. Except in the case of Dan 9:25 ESV, Dan 9:26 ESV. (Compare with Dan 9:25, 26 KJV) That isn’t just a poor translation; it’s bad! Yet, even there, there are arguments, coming mostly from liberal Christian and Jewish Hebrew scholars that make a case for it to be translated precisely as it is in the ESV. This translation has “given great occasion to the enemies” of the messianic interpretation.
That translation made the anti-missionaries happy, giving legitimization by Christian translators to what Jewish Hebrew scholars have been protesting all along. Of course, speaking from a strictly “technical” linguistic standpoint, it can also be JUST as legitimately translated the way KJV, NKJV, NASB, and nearly every other Christian translation in history has translated it UNTIL the ESV came along and makes this massive concession and capitulation to what Jewish scholars have been insisting all along to be the result of Christian bias, tampering with the text, giving it a forced, “unnatural” meaning. But unnatural to who?
They argue that it is the Christian who has the vested interest to “force” the text to yield a meaning that would be unnatural unless one was already predisposed to see in it one Messiah rather than two. For Jews who have no such vested interest (?), it is argued that one should see two messiahs, not Israel’s long awaited anointed Davidic ruler of ancient promise, but two priestly figures or anointed leaders, one after the first seven weeks (49 years) and another after the 62 weeks (434 years), with the latter anointed leader killed, usually by some usurper.
So what’s the tiebreaker between (some would argue) equally technical options? Well, it’s context! context! context!
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I actually have a Scofield (the ’67 edition with word changes) and like it a lot. I favor its literal and futuristic approach to prophecy and Israel, but not its particular variety of dispensationalism, particularly its view of the nature of the church.
There are two basic pillars that support ‘pre-tribulational’ dispensationalism. One is the doctrine of imminence (the view that no prophetic event stands in the way of the potentiality of an any moment coming of Christ, a potential that has existed since the earliest apostles first preached the ‘blessed hope’, which they define as exemption from the great tribulation). The second pillar is dispensationalism’s unique view of the nature of the church. According to dispensationalism, the church had no existence before Pentecost and does not (cannot) exist on earth after the rapture. I see both of these pillars as seriously flawed.
According to dispensationalism, there are two distinct programs of God, two distinct peoples of God, and two distinct dispensations for Israel and the church. The church belongs to God’s ‘mystery’ program for this dispensation only. The dispensation of the ‘church’ is seen as confined to the period between Pentecost and the rapture. In their view, the concept of the mystery removes the church from anything anticipated in OT prophecy. Therefore, it is believed that the dispensation of the church must end with the rapture before the “prophetic program” for Israel can be resumed. Thus the events of the last seven years (Daniel’s seventieth week), are understood to belong to an entirely different dispensation.
It is believed that the church is a mystery that occupies a parenthetical interim between Pentecost and the rapture, and thus stands in marked contrast to God’s “prophetic program” for Israel. According to dispensationalism’s erroneous view of the Pauline mystery, the church is so completely distinguished from even the righteous of Israel as to constitute a distinct people of God with its own distinct destiny. This doctrine of the two peoples of God is THE defining hallmark of pre-trib dispensationalism.
Note: (These features of dispensational thought developed in the mid 19th century out of an effort to understand the distinction between Israel and the church. Early, pretribulationism was not initially born out of a desire to escape tribulation as unfairly accused. Rather, the primary motive was to defend the hope that Christ could come any moment, i.e., the doctrine of imminence.)
We too distinguish between Israel and the church, but not in this way. There is another choice that does not require the dispensationalist’s notion of two peoples of God.
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Above and behind all the contingencies of time that seem so contingent and uncertain to us, Jesus lived and walked in a whole other place. He walked in the works that had been finished already before the foundation of the world. He walked, lived and labored out of the rest (Heb 4:3, 11). ).
With the cross still before Him, and even before He would plead that the cup be somehow removed, even while knowing this would be impossible, since for this cause He came into the world. This seeming contradiction between a predestined inevitably and the Son’s appeal as though some lingering ignorance of an unavoidable certainty had come over Him.
This is no contradiction at all!, as some wicked gainsayers have suggested. On the contrary, this is the nexus of the glory of the incarnation, of the One who so emptied Himself to be exalted, as a man!, to the highest preeminence, even equality with God! Precisely here is the greatest demonstration of the perfect convergence of a fully poured out humanity in a final act of perfectly voluntary submission to the will of His Father in the face of the unbearable and incomprehensible.
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What do you think of this article Reggie? https://www.newantisemitism.com/antisemitism/is-the-stage-being-set-for-the-prophecy-of-zechariah-123 Good thoughts, good points, raising a very timely question. However, and it’s a big however, we must never forget the larger surrounding context of Zech 12:2-3. Obviously, the final siege of Jerusalem ends when the repentant survivors of Israel “look upon […]
Reggie’s response to an excellent comment (quoted at the bottom of this article) on the video “The Downfall of the Devil is in the Details of Daniel.” Someone’s been listening in class! 🙂 In the interest of brevity and people’s natural lack of stamina for involved discussions, I would only […]
“I do not have a clear understanding of this text and was curious of your understanding of it. I was asked by a young believer and have read many comments on this but nothing I read set right with me. I pray all is well. Love and God bless” 11 […]
What would you say is the cost of making the first resurrection either the new birth or something else?
Contrasted with the first resurrection coming at the end of the last persecution with the destruction of the final beast, the obvious answer is the necessary details of all that. But is there something more that is lost? It sure feels like it.
Lost is all that God has invested in the demonstration that Israel was first set apart to demonstrate and vindicate “through their fall” and national resurrection by a sovereign act of discriminating grace (Eze 36:22, 32). Lost is all the meaning of God’s own affliction and sacrifice in their temporary surrendering over to blindness and dispersion “for our sake”. (Ro 11:11-12, 28). Lost too is all that God has invested in the crisis events of the end that signal and lead up to that great transition of greatest consequence to millions.
Lost is the purpose of 1000 years of open demonstration and vindication of the ‘everlasting covenant’, as every Jew who revered the scripture understood it before the cross, and as the apostles of the Lamb manifestly understood it after the cross.
In all references to the forward looking “everlasting / new covenant” the expectation is clear, that AFTER a final tribulation of unequaled severity, the penitent survivors of Israel would be born to new national life in one day (Ps 102:13; 110:3; Isa 66:8; Zech 3:9) through the spiritual regeneration of the new / everlasting covenant. That “from that day and forward”, not SOME but “ALL” would know the Lord from the least to the greatest (Isa 4:3; 45:17, 60:21; Jer 31:34; 32:40; Eze 39:22, 28-29), and this blessed preservation would extend without exception unto children’s children, “world without end” (Isa 44:3; 59:21; 61:9; 65:24; 66:22; Eze 37:25).
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