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Archive for October, 2011

The symbolic mountains of Ezekiel 34

October 31, 2011 Comments off

Ezekiel 34:6 describes God’s sheep scattered over the whole earth: “My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.”

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The land of unwalled villages

October 30, 2011 Comments off

In The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy, dispensationalist author Arnold Fruchtenbaum argued for a literal approach to the interpretation of prophecy. Ezekiel 39:4 describes the judgment of the invading armies of Gog and Magog upon the mountains of Israel, which Fruchtenbaum considers can be nothing other than literal hills and mountains in Palestine. He wrote: [1]

When the prophet refers to “the mountains of Israel,” he refers to the central mountain range that makes up the backbone of the country. In the Old Testament, these mountains were known as the hill country of Ephraim and the hill country of Judah… Read more…

John Eaton on literal and spiritual knowledge

October 28, 2011 Comments off

John Eaton (1575-1641), M.A. at Trinity College, Oxford, preached against the apostasy which he believed prevailed in the church in his day. He was the author of ‘The Honey-Combe of Free Justification by Christ alone.’ None of Eaton’s writings were permitted to be published in his lifetime. He was for 15 years a minister, but he was removed as vicar at Wickham Market, Suffolk in April 1619, allegedly for being ‘an incorrigible divulger of errors and false opinions,’ for which he suffered imprisonment numerous times, and yet he was seen as ‘a pattern of faith, holiness, and cheerfulness, in his sufferings.’ In the following quotation, Eaton discusses six ways in which literal and spiritual kinds of knowledge may be distinguished. [John Eaton. The honey-combe of free justification by Christ alone. Edited by Robert Lancaster. London. 1642. pp. 213 ff.]
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The siege of Jerusalem

October 26, 2011 Comments off

Many of the prophets spoke of a great conflict in the day of the Lord. This conflict is not a war between nations of the earth, but one that is spiritual in nature.  In Joel 2, a great multitude is described, in the context of an account of a plague of locusts. The army is “a great people and strong;” it is unique; nothing like it has happened before, or will happen again. Furthermore, verse 11 says, “And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great.” Later, the spirit of God is poured out upon all flesh. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” [Joel 2:28]
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Preterism, futurism, and the fig tree

October 24, 2011 Comments off

When a futurist prophecy expositor becomes obsessed with some date for which he predicts an event which fulfills prophecy, it is usually one in the near future, and in his own lifetime. This tends to make their claims appear more sensational. As a rule, such proposed dates pass without anything happening. Then they are disappointed, humbled, and embarrassed for a time, and they are forced to revise their interpretations.

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Bible Commentaries & Resources

October 23, 2011 1 comment

Below is a list of links to Bible Commentaries, most of which are freely available, and sites providing links to commentaries and resources for Bible study.

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The 2,300 days prophecy and 1750 AD

October 22, 2011 Comments off

The 2,300 days prophecy of Daniel chapter 8 is one of the most remarkable prophecies in the Bible. It relates to events in the reign of the Seleucid king Antiochus IV, that were to have long lasting effects, that would be especially relevant in the “time of the end.”

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A. A. Bevan on the 70 weeks

October 22, 2011 Comments off

Anthony Ashley Bevan (1859-1933) was the last person appointed to Lord Almoner’s Professorship of Arabic at the University of Cambridge. He was the author of a critical commentary on Daniel, which he  assumed was composed in the Maccabean period. On the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9 Bevan wrote: [1]

The 70 weeks obviously stand in connection with the 70 years of v. 2. Elsewhere in the Bible the word “week” always means a week of days (Dan. x. 2), but that this cannot be the case here is evident, and the idea of weeks of years therefore naturally presents itself. Read more…

Antiochus IV a type of the Antichrist

October 21, 2011 2 comments

The prophecies of Daniel focus on events connected with ancient world powers, such as Babylon, the Persian empire, the kingdom of Alexander, the hellenistic kingdoms of the diadochi, the Roman empire. In the 8th chapter, a prophecy about the second century B.C. Seleucid king Antiochus IV was to be understood at “the time of the end.” [Daniel 8:17]

Karl August Auberlin considered Antiochus IV to be “a type of the last Antichrist.” Below is his discussion of Antiochus Epiphanes and his significance in Daniel 8. [1]
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Pierre Jurieu on the 1,260 days

October 20, 2011 Comments off

Pierre Jurieu (1637–1713) was professor of theology and Hebrew in the Huguenot academy of Sedan in northern France, which was closed down in 1681 by Louis XIV. Jurieu took refuge in Rotterdam, where he became a pastor in the Flemish Walloon Church. While in Rotterdam Jurieu wrote a book in which he applied the prophecies of Revelation to the troubles of the French Protestants.

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Why is prophecy obscure?

October 19, 2011 Comments off

This question is similar to the question the disciples asked Jesus: “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” [Matthew 13:10] Jesus explained that it is not given to everyone to understand the message of the gospel, and about his kingdom. “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” He cited a prophecy of Isaiah:
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When is Jerusalem raised up?

October 18, 2011 Comments off

The prophecy of Isaiah 2:1-4 says that the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established in the tops of the mountains. An article by Dr. Seth Erlandsson discusses this and several other prophecies about changes in the promised land, and applies them to the church. [1] Erlandsson relates these prophecies to the new covenant, and to the new Jerusalem. In Isaiah 2:2, all nations flow to the mountain of the Lord; many will seek to learn about God’s word at Jerusalem.
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H. A. C. Hävernick on the mountains of Israel

October 15, 2011 Comments off

In his commentary on Ezekiel, H. A. C. Hävernick (1810-1845) interpreted the mountains of Israel in chapters 35 and 36 as symbolic, representing God’s promises to Israel. He supported this interpretation from Genesis 49:26, which is the account of Jacob blessing his son Joseph. [1] Near the end of his life, Jacob said that his blessings extended “unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills,” alluding to the hills and mountains as being both high, and everlasting. Thus the mountains became symbols of lofty spiritual promises from God, such as the promise of eternal life, and they are witnesses to God’s faithfulness and mercy to Israel. Ezekiel’s prophecy showed that the attempts by others to touch them, or overthrow them, were vain and futile.

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Jerusalem in Zechariah 14:10

October 15, 2011 Comments off

Zechariah’s prophecy about changes in the topography of the area surrounding Jerusalem, in Zechariah 14:10, parallels Isaiah’s prophecy, which said the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established in the tops of the mountains. [Isaiah 2:1-3]

These prophecies focus on the spiritual significance of Jerusalem, as the holy city which represents the kingdom of Christ, which the New Testament identifies with the Christian Church.
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H. A. C. Hävernick’s introductory comments on Ezekiel

October 15, 2011 Comments off

The following article is helpful as an introduction to Ezekiel:

Hävernick’s introductory remarks to his commentary on Ezekiel.

Translated by Edward Robie. Adapted from: Bibliotheca sacra and theological review, Volume 5. Allen, Morrill, and Wardwell, 1848. pp. 434 – 447.

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The land devours its inhabitants: Ezekiel 36:13

October 14, 2011 Comments off

Ezekiel’s prophecy of chapter 36 describes the promised land, the land of Canaan, as a land which “devourest up men,” but he said that this would change. The land would no more devour its inhabitants. What does this prophecy mean? Ezekiel wrote:

Ezekiel 36:13-14
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they say unto you, Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations:
Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord GOD.

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New Testament links to Zechariah 12

October 13, 2011 Comments off

In Zechariah 12:3, Jerusalem is described as becoming “a burdensome stone for all people.” This may be compared with Daniel’s prophecy of a stone that was cut out without hands and which smote the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, and then became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. [Daniel 2:35]

Clearly the stone alludes to Christ, in both prophecies, as he is identified with a rock in several New Testament scriptures. [Matthew 21:42, 44; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17, 18; Acts 4:11; Romans 9:33; 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 2:7, 8] The mountain in Daniel 2:35 and Jerusalem in Zechariah’s prophecy represent Christ’s kingdom, and those who are heirs of the promises through faith in Christ. The table below provides some more New Testament links to Zechariah 12.

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They shall look upon me whom they have pierced

October 12, 2011 Comments off

Commentators have two different ways of interpreting this prophecy in Zechariah 12:10. One is to apply the prophecy in this chapter to the Jews. In this approach Jerusalem means the earthly city.

The other approach is to apply the prophecy to the Church.

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The seventieth week and the sabbath

October 11, 2011 Comments off

Both the creation week in Genesis, and the seventieth week of Daniel 9, end in a sabbath of “rest.”

The sabbath day of creation week followed the completion of the creation in six days. The seventieth week also concludes with “rest,” which is the promised inheritance of the saints.
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Blind horses of Zechariah 12:4

October 11, 2011 Comments off

John Calvin made many references to the Church in his commentary on Zechariah 12, but he applied the prophecy to the Jews. [1]

Commenting on whether the prophecy of Zechariah 12 applies to the Christian Church, Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg wrote in his Christology of the Old Testament: [2]

The Christian Church is from its very commencement the legitimate continuation of Israel, the wicked having Read more…