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How to decipher end-times prophecies.

Reader comment on item: The West Lacks a Plan
in response to reader comment: Day of the LORD Typically End Time Reference - Gaza's Not Done Yet.

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Sep 15, 2014 at 02:34

Hello, Tovey

You are no doubt an accomplished scholar of the Scriptures, which I am not; so I won't try to enter into a debate on these matters. My concern is mainly with "duffers" like myself, so I will put things in more of a broad, down-to-earth fashion.

First of all, the "Day of the LORD" simply refers to a day of judgment, not necessarily a judgment during our lifetimes. As to which prophets are prophesying about what times, the following should be a handy list:

I. Prophets from before the final captivity to Babylon: Amos, Jonah, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Joel, Jeremiah and Obadiah.

II. Prophets from the time of the Babylonian Captivity, onward: Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, Malachi, Zechariah and of course John of the New Testament.

Up until the final carrying away into Babylon, the Jewish people lived under their own kings in what is now Israel. Prophecies from before this time generally had the following format:

A. God reproving people for their sins (mainly Israel and Judah; but also Edom and Assyria)

B. Prediction of coming calamity as judgment -- in almost every case, these were fulfilled by the rampages of the Assyrians and Babyloians, and

C. Prediction of the coming of Messiah and the restoration of Israel's fortunes.

Those were the things that mattered in those days, between God and His people Israel. Once the First Temple had been destroyed, though, and the Jews carried away to Babylon and other places, it would have been pointless for the prophets to predict things that had already happened. The emphasis of the prophets (including Daniel, for argument's sake) was no longer an impending calamity. Instead, these prophecies often spoke of the very end of the age -- something which will likely happen in our lifetimes.

This is why the imagery in John's prophecy, the Book of Revelation, draws almost entirely from Daniel (the seven-headed beast), Ezekiel (the Throne of God and attendant chruvim) and Zechariah (the two Olive Trees).

Cheers.

Submitting....

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